4.1. Introduction

The Data Space Support Centre defines a usage scenario as follows:

“A potential use case envisaged to solve societal, environmental or business challenges and create value. The same usage scenario, or variations of it, can be implemented as a use case multiple times in one or more data spaces.”
Thus, usage scenarios are the theoretical descriptions of how a data space is used and use cases are a practical implementation of such a scenario. These usage scenarios should always be designed with potential scalability in mind, as they may expand in scope in the future (e.g., in terms of functionality or stakeholders involved), thereby creating additional value for participants. This underscores the importance of contemplating their future potential right from the initial design phase to avoid scalability-related challenges.

Usage scenarios must be thoroughly examined and mutually agreed upon by all parties involved in the design of the data space. This process can sometimes be quite complex. For that reason, the detailed definition of usage scenarios should be approached through different stages: establishing objectives and potential benefits, identifying functionalities and components that facilitate data sharing, and detailing the enablers that allow for the development of these functionalities – including stakeholders, roles and interconnections.

At the same time, these usage scenarios will serve to illustrate the importance of connecting various service and data providers, why data spaces are necessary, and how they contribute to avoid data fragmentation, fostering data standardisation and improve data security and privacy. In this chapter, the main usage scenarios for a Skills & Education Data Space are described as well as the value they bring to each stakeholder involved. The value that usage scenarios bring to the final users is the raison d’être of the data space.

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