In the last twenty years, significant efforts have been made at the European level to improve statistics for the cultural and creative sectors (CCS). Yet, there remains no systematic means to fully comprehend the value of CCS and their contribution to the European creative economy and knowledge society. This study explores the data available from both Eurostat and ‘alternative’ sources including administrative registers, professional associations and rights management bodies, business registers, ‘big data’ from the Internet and Cultural Observatories. Whilst alternative data do not follow the same quality standards as official statistics, they may help obtain ‘market intelligence’ for a better understanding of the sector’s performance, evolution and competitiveness. Three scenarios are proposed to make the most of existing data: Scenario 1 proposes continuing the work that Eurostat is currently carrying out on CCS to ensure that a minimum number of high quality statistics on these sector s are regularly produced and delivered; Scenario 2 suggests setting up a capacity building scheme to collect more and better quality data from alternative data providers on the basis of identified policy priorities (e.g. promotion of cultural diversity). This scenario foresees also the creation of a Creative Leadership Board acting as an incentive for industry representatives to engage in data collection and a CCS Virtual Platform as a ‘one - stop - shop’ for CCS data; Scenario 3 – the most ambitious one - recommends establishing a CCS Observatory with the mission of improving the collection and comparability of alternative data as well as developing new ‘big data’ methodologies to measure the creative economy.