Ecosystem for Data management of Local publishers

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Media companies in Flanders today have fragmented consumer data, with each company maintaining its own data management platform. As a result, data remains largely undervalorized. The EcoDaLo project aims to develop a knowledge platform for publishers allowing the integration of many diverse data sources.

It will also define a business model for cooperative data products that complies with regulations and guarantees data ownership and privacy protection. These outcomes will lead to increased scale and thus competitiveness of local media companies, a healthier media ecosystem and a framework for other sectors in need of new ways of leveraging data.

A disconnected publisher landscape

High quality data is a valuable commodity across market segments, enabling interactive services and personalization based on customer information. Local media companies in Flanders stand to benefit significantly from these data-driven assets, but they operate separately in managing their data inventories. This makes them unable to take advantage of economies of scale, putting them at an economic and competitive disadvantage in the eyes of customers and advertisers, while keeping them from developing new data-driven business models.

Many sources, scalable technology, dynamic insights

EcoDaLo aims to enable local media publishers to collaborate through data sharing by addressing 4 key challenges:

  1. Development of a ‘knowledge integration layer’ that does not touch data ownership but enables access of multiple players to information derived from data;
  2. Identifying complimentary data and the unique aspects of different data management platforms;
  3. Choosing a suitable model for data and exploring which data products can be offered;
  4. Ensuring privacy and solving competition-related and legal issues.

In doing so, the consortium will develop a ‘knowledge integration layer’ on top of the separate data management platforms companies are using today. This layer can be used to access many different data sources. In addition, it will shape a method of aggregating and linking a variety of data using scalable big data technologies capable of inferring data on the fly. A compliance-by-design manual, concerning both privacy and competition law, will also be created.

Concrete components and methodologies

The platform proposed by EcoDaLo will give media players of all sizes access to economies of scale, resulting in a more diverse ecosystem and stronger media markets. Other market sectors hindered by high costs of entry, such as retail, will also benefit from technologies based on the platform.

“The EcoDaLo project aims to develop a ‘knowledge integration layer’ for media publishing companies allowing the integration of many diverse data sources. It will also define a business model for cooperative data products that not only complies with regulations, but also safeguards data ownership and guarantees privacy protection.”


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Ecosystem for Data management of Local publishers.

EcoDaLo is an imec.icon research project funded by Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen and imec.

It runs from 01.10.2017 until 30.09.2019.

Project information


  • Pebble Media
  • Adlogix Innoviris
  • Roularta Media Group


  • imec - IDLab - UGent
  • imec - SMIT - VUB


  • Project Lead: Philippe Degueldre
  • Research Lead: Karen Donders
  • Innovation Manager: Steven Van Assche