FIRMBACKBONE: digital data collection infrastructure on Dutch companies
Applicant: prof. dr. Wolter Hassink (Utrecht University)
The digitalization of the economy has enabled novel methods of data collection of companies. Such digital economic data are both detailed (wide) and broad in scope (long). However, applied researchers in economics and adjacent fields currently lack access to a comprehensive and longitudinal data source about Dutch companies. The purpose of this project is to build an organically growing longitudinal data-infrastructure of information on Dutch companies. A backbone will be created that contains a list of company names that are publicly accessible and that can be used for web scraping. We will enrich the data by public information of annual reports and other data, such as financial reports. Researchers making use of the backbone will enrich it with data they have collected, for example using surveys or tailor-made indicators. Quality control will be performed in collaboration with CBS.
The data will be accessible to academic researchers under an access protocol within the secure high-performance ODISSEI Data Facility hosted at Surf. Collaboration with the existing research-infrastructure ODISSEI will ensure adequate data protection, governance, and long- term sustainability. Collaboration with ODISSEI, a social science infrastructure that currently lacks economic information, opens up new avenues for cross-disciplinary research linking individual-level (micro)data with firm-level information.
- Firmbackbone website: www.firmbackbone.nl