The Art World: Paradise for Big Data ?

It is our pleasure to present H A P P E N I N Ga��s first art market study carried out in collaboration with AXA ART. It marks the end of the first phase of our research program and the release of our new product, ARTIST PROFILES. In Spring 2016, we began working with LIST (the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology) specialized in data science and its application. Thus, we have begun to analyze a huge breadth of art world data.


The first part of our research program sought to make the art world data we collated readily available and easily understandable to all those who required it. We therefore had to create a solution that would meet the needs of dealers, exhibition curators, art advisors, collectors, asset managers, insurance companies and of course the artists themselves. A�It was also necessary to respond to the collective need among these various parties for mobile data that is accessible anywhere. Due to the absence of a volume of data recorded in petabytes, we had to create a tool to address the complexity of the data from scratch. Thus ARTIST PROFILES was born: a mobile app which employs sophisticated means of datavisualization that can be easily accessible from your phone whenever a question about an artist arises, whether you are in front of a computer screen or have just seen an artwork that attracts your attention in a gallery.


Data in the art world comes from segmented databases, digital traffic, and of course from insider exchanges. When aiming to build a database on the art world, therefore, we are faced with scattered, fragmented and incomplete data. Despite this, the art world is no less digitized than other collectible spheres, and data scientists are now able to talk of Big Data in art, the first defining characteristic of which is Variety.

How has the art world reacted to this arrival of data? Three phenomena can be identified:
  • The need to simplify and compress reality in order to summarize
  • The reflexivity between the real world and the digital world. The practices of the art world are evolving with the institutionalization of Big Data.
  • The new themes and issues relating to Big Data are already on the table. Algorithms enable us to estimate more objectively the value of a work of art and to predict its future value.

Finally, the study examines the new economy within the art world, distinguishing the platforms for news, online sales, and collection management.


AXA ART, a subsidiary of AXA Group, is a forerunner of technological development. Technology and Big Data are playing a key role in the evolution of insurance companiesa�� business models, allowing them to develop a better knowledge of their clients and distributors. AXA ART works to create a tailor made service for its ever-demanding client base.
The collaboration between H A P P E N I N G and AXA ART is a win-win strategy that allows us to pool our individual skills and resources. This year at TEFAF, we are delighted to present our research project at AXA ARTa��s fair stand.