DGermany is lagging behind,” says Regina Riphahn, referring to scientists’ access to data from authorities and companies. In an international comparison, Germany has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to data infrastructure. But not only the researchers would suffer from this. Ultimately, society as a whole bears the price. If researchers had better access to high-frequency data, they could also advise politicians much more precisely. “During the pandemic and the gas crisis, it was noticed that we researchers lack important data to advise politicians well,” says Riphahn.
But if no data were available, politicians would also poke in the fog. Expensive political mistakes flying blind can be the result. “During the pandemic, we didn’t know exactly how many people were infected or how many were vaccinated,” complains Riphahn. It also remained in the dark for far too long how many companies made use of short-time work. “And the gas price brake could have been designed even more precisely if one had known how high the income of gas customers is.”