Share of businesses analysing big data from any source


Statbel & Eurostat


Big data: amount of data in structured or unstructured form generated from digital activities of clients, users, etc.

Big data are generated from activities carried out electronically and from machine-to-machine communications (for example, data from social media activities, production processes, etc.).

Big data usually have the following characteristics: 

considerable volumes: large quantities of data are generated over time; 

variation: the different formats of complex data in structured or unstructured form (for example, text, video, images, recordings, documents, sensor data, activity logs, clickstreams, coordinates, etc.); 

speed: the high speed at which data are generated, are made available and change over time. 

Big data analysis refers to the use of techniques, technologies and software tools for analysing big data extracted from the data sources in one’s own company or from other sources.

Remarks on quality

The data are the result of  the ICT survey which the statistics institutes annually organise in the EU. In Belgium, Statbel organises the survey in companies with five or more employees among a broad group of private, non-financial sectors.

The survey is carried out via SAPQ (self-administered paper questionnaire) and SAWQ (self-administered web questionnaire).

The sample is stratified according to region, size of company and activity. The sample is equally distributed over the three regions. The largest companies with 250 or more employees are all selected.

In the event of unit non-response, adjustment takes place by weight with the original sample strata as weight classes. In the event of item non-response, the respondents will be contacted for answers to missing questions.

The European comparison uses the details from Eurostat on companies with 10 or more employees.


Statbel: ICT company surveys

Eurostat: Big data analysis


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