Step 1: Data


Build and/or validate the evidence base for decision making between stakeholders (see the "Set Focus" step).

Stage of development

Currently users are able to edit data points directly, or to upload CSVs files with updated datasets.

Beta - in testing.

To see in the tool

Once you have selected a city on the landing page, click on 'Data' on the left toolbar. Here you can edit values or upload datasets.

For every city available, the tool showcases publicly available data on:

  • Gross Value Added (GVA) - economic productivity data per sector
  • Emissions - greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data per sector
  • Jobs - employment data per sector
  • Material Flows - material inputs and outputs per sector

To do in this step

  1. Get an overview of data available in the tool
    For each economic sector, the tool provides data on:
    • Gross Value Added (GVA)
    • Emissions
    • Jobs
    • Material Flows
    Once you select a data category, you will see the details of the latest dataset available for that indicator, as well as the date on which the dataset was valid.
  2. Check the quality, accuracy, and reliability of data
    Make sure that data presented are reasonably complete and accurate, meet the intended purposes, and are not subject to inappropriate alterations.

    In this step you should work independently or with the Scan Team at Circle Economy to:
    • Perform additional desktop research to collect relevant data and reports
    • Handle missing numbers and determine proxies where information is not available
    • Work with local stakeholders to validate relevant data
    • Clean and prepare datasets for upload into the tool
    • Ensure the data is correctly represented in the tool
    • Document and share the process, sources, and methodology

  3. Update the tool with improved data (if required)
    When data is not complete, you can edit or upload new data. For more information on how to collect data, click on the 'Data' button on the left toolbar of the tool, select which data category you want to update, and click on 'How to collect'. To edit/upload data follow the steps outlined below.

    By clicking on 'How to collect' on the top of the page you can also learn more about the data category description, its unit of measure, and its sector classifications.

Types of data you will need

The Circle City Scan Tool requires the following datasets:

  • Gross Value Added (GVA) data per key sectors in the city (measured in 1,000 EUR, or in local currency)
    • GVA is commonly used to estimate the economic performance of various sectors. It is measured in monetary units (GVA = outputs - costs) and it represents the value that each sector adds to the city's local economy.
  • Emissions data per key sectors in the city (measured in tonnes CO2 equivalents)
    • This measure is used as an estimate for the environmental impact of the sectors. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions provide a rough estimate of the carbon intensity of each sector, and are measured in tonnes of CO2-equivalent.
  • Jobs, or most recent employment data per key sectors in the city (measured in full time equivalent (FTE) employees)
    • Employment data are often used to estimate the social impact of different economic sectors on the local economy. Employment is calculated by measuring the total number of full-time equivalents per sector.
  • Material input and output flows per key sectors, aggregated according to standard material definitions in the city (measured in kilotonnes)
    • Total material flows estimates the resource intensity of different sectors. Material Flow data should be measured in physical units, matched to sectors, and derived from the most recent data sources. Waste/output flow data per industry should follow the same categorization as input flow data, and be from the same year.
  • Scaling factors are needed to transform data available at the national level to city level.

How to update data in the tool

When data is not complete, you can edit or upload new data. The following steps outline how to upload and edit data in the tool.

  1. Click on the 'Data' button on the left toolbar to access the data section.
  2. Select the data category that you would like to review and/or update (i.e. Gross Value Added, Emissions, Jobs, or Material Inputs).
  3. Click on 'Edit/Upload' to modify the data.
  4. Specify the date for which your dataset is valid.
  5. Provide some description on how you collected the data and what sources you used.
  6. You can now edit the data in two ways:
    • Edit the values directly online by using the form provided, and then press 'Save'. By doing so, you will upload your data into the tool and overwrite the previously available dataset.
    • Use the CSV template: download a pre-populated template, edit the values, and upload the template back into the tool. After uploading, the tool will insert the values from the template into the form. Press the 'Save' button to finally upload the form data into the tool.

Once the changes are saved, your uploaded data will be processed and become available in the tool within several minutes. You will see a message saying that new data is being processed.

It is important to know that all saved changes will be in effect for every user of the tool, and only an administrator will be able to reverse these changes.

Do this process for all the data points!

To have a reliable overview of the sectors of your city and to help us keep the Circle City Scan tool up-to-date, we recommend uploading the employment, GVA, emissions, and material flows data for all the sectors.

Find more information on data sourcing and preparation here.


  • Research Scope

The boundaries of a city are not always well defined. Often industrial parks (or waste treatment facilities) are technically located outside of the city, although they manage materials flows that run within the city's boundaries. It is important to define what are the boundaries of your city that you will consider while using this tool, before proceeding to the next step.

  • Data gaps

Unfortunately, data gaps are to be expected. Use a pragmatic approach to fill-in gaps - meaning that sometimes '80% accuracy' might be sufficient to make an informed decision - and make note of all the data gaps you cannot overcome. This information might be useful in guiding your municipality on what data to collect in the future.

  • Data discrepancies

Available data might not always be available in the format or resolution required. Often it might be necessary to scale down national datasets to city level using economic data. Other times, economic data might not be available in the same resolution at city level as it is at national level, which forces the city level analysis into a higher level sectoral analysis, for example, analysing "Manufacturing" as opposed to distinct goods manufactured.

  • Material flows

Data regarding physical material flows is notoriously hard to come by and prepare. At an urban level, it is more complex because the data is often not gathered at this resolution. In the City Scan Tool, we provide high level estimates of materials and waste flows related to each sector. However, if this level of detail is insufficient for your decision making needs, you can collect your own data. It is rare to have a single source data to understand how the listed sectors make use of resources. Different sources of data and stakeholders need to be consulted. This is one of the more time-intensive parts of the Circle City Scan process, and it is dependent on the availability of data and on the response times of the stakeholders you consult, so make sure to allocate enough time for this step.