Digital Agenda Scoreboard: A Statistical Anatomy of Europe's way into the Information Age

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Evidence-based policy is policy informed by rigorously established objective evidence. An important aspect of evidence-based policy is the use of scientifically rigorous studies to identify programs and practices capable of improving policy relevant outcomes. Statistics represent a crucial means to determine whether progress is made towards policy targets. In May 2010, the European Commission adopted the Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE), a strategy to take advantage of the potential offered by the rapid progress of digital technologies. The DAE is part of the overall Europe2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. In order to chart the progress of both the announced policy actions and the key performance targets a scoreboard is published, thus allowing the monitoring and benchmarking of the main developments of information society in European countries. 

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The Digital Agenda contains commitments to undertake 101 specific policy actions (78 actions to be taken by the Commission, including 31 legal proposals, and 23 actions proposed to the Member States) intended to stimulate a virtuous circle of investment in and usage of digital technologies. It identifies 13 key performance targets to show whether Europe is making progress in this area. In order to chart the progress of both the announced policy actions and the key performance targets, the DAE calls for the publication of an annual scoreboard, supported by a large set of statistical indicators allowing monitoring and benchmarking of the main developments of information society in European countries. As an outcome, the visualization tool of the Digital Agenda Scoreboard (DAS) was published in June 2011. This application was developed for interested citizens and professionals (e.g. journalists) providing them with the possibility to browse statistical data with suitable visualization and interaction features. In addition to these human-readable access methods, machine-readable access facilitating re-usage and interlinkability of the underlying data in a dereferencable way is provided by means of RDF and Linked Open Data.

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