Nordic Data Sharing Creates New Value

- The pilot project with e-invoice and e-orders shows that sharing of business data across the Nordic region is possible. This is one of the first steps on the road to an economy with efficient sharing and use of data in near real time, says Thordur Reynisson, Senior Advisor, Nordic Innovation.

Can save large sums

Sharing standardized business data and having standards that enable the data to be machine-readable, has enormous potential in the Nordic region. Ernst & Young has estimated the possibilities for streamlining to be more than NOK 250 billion from 2027. That is almost four times as much as the expected price tag at the Olympics in Paris or 60 times as much as it cost to build the opera house in Oslo.

- The efficiency potential is large. It is extremely cumbersome when data has to be entered manually several times. Today, companies have to deal with different systems that do not talk to each other. This provides significant additional work, says Kjersti Lunde, Program Manager, Nordic Smart Government.

Simply submitting a loan request means that the company has to provide a large amount of data that needs to be adapted to the bank's system.

- We must to a greater extent think of the economy as an ecosystem where we enter data not only adapted to an actor's need for data. We must think about the needs of all stakeholders, and we must realize that this involves cross-disciplinary collaboration, says Kjersti Lunde, Program Manager, Nordic Smart Government.

It is important that changes are made with focus on interoperability and security.

- Digital business data contributes to creating a safe and secure business life where actors in the ecosystems, in a greater extent, can trust each other, says Thordur Reynisson, Senior Advisor, Nordic Innovation.

Promising pilot project

Nordic Smart Government is a program initiated by the Nordic Business registers and funded by Nordic Innovation. Over 20 organizations participate in the program, including tax authorities, and statistics offices. Together with private stakeholders, a pilot project has sent and received invoices and orders across all national borders in the Nordic region.

- The financial data arises from purchases and sales. We have tested and documented how orders and invoices can be sent digitally from one Nordic country to another, from one accounting system to another.

The tests are done together with market participants, in collaboration between private and public stakeholders.

- The tests show that it is possible to share data without manual processing or emails. We have shown that we do not just have a common vision, a common strategic plan, and a common organization. We have managed to deliver an important piece that creates change and will make life easier for small and medium-sized businesses, says Kjersti Lunde, Program Manager, Nordic Smart Government.

Will provide better competition

90% of companies in the Nordic region are small or medium-sized. And it is precisely these who are the target group for the project.

- Small and medium-sized businesses are the cornerstone of our society. Ensuring a sustainable economy for these is important, says Thordur Reynisson, Senior Advisor, Nordic Innovation.

The work of sharing financial data is also about finding standards across countries and industries.

- We need to bring public and private stakeholders together to discuss and agree on use of standards. Then we can create interoperability which enable business data to flow between systems and services in the ecosystem, says Kjersti Lunde, Program Manager, Nordic Smart Government.

- We have a good collaboration in the public sector and we are now continuing to develop the collaboration with the private sector. Together, we will define the use of standard data formats so it will be easier for companies to choose new services. If, for example, they want to change accounting provider, then they must be able to bring their own data to a new service provider, says Thordur Reynisson, Senior Advisor, Nordic Innovation.

This will strengthen the competitiveness of the region.

- This means more efficient competition and better utilization of the opportunities found in data. It will improve competition and strengthen value creation in the Nordic region, says Kjersti Lunde, Program Manager, Nordic Smart Government.

Blue and green data

The goal is that the data created by buying and selling should not only contain blue accounting figures, but also green ones.

- By including information about climate emissions, energy consumption, packaging and shipping in the data that is entered, you get a completely different insight into the green side of the economy, says Kjersti Lunde, Program Manager, Nordic Smart Government.

Better systems for sharing financial data can in fact be an important piece to ensure the implementation of the green shift.

- Many actors request product information related to environmental impact, product life cycle and material consumption. Digital traceability and improving the revision of green data are important to contribute to the transition to a greener and circular economy.

Read more about the Nordic Smart Government program