The term data marketplace has a broad meaning: It can be a destination platform, where end users can discover and shape, analyze and publish data. Or it can be a place where a Data as a Service (DaaS) publisher provides content to consumers.
A data marketplace gives context, life and visual appeal to data, as well as simplicity and ease of use. From a more technical perspective, a data marketplace can be a compute platform for processing data, information, analytics and insight for a variety of information sources. We call these workloads.
Until recently, the compute platform has been specifically aimed at one of several market domains.
- Transactional or machine data, such as cash registers and factory sensors
- Social data
- Consumer data
- Public data
- Commercial data
- Institutional knowledge, such as documents, Intellectual Property, presentations and reports
Today, these categories are beginning to blur, with plenty of new DaaS players entering the market. D&B, of course, fits in the commercial area best. Startups like D&B partner Fliptop provide social data and analytics. Other partners complement D&B’s offerings, such as Datamyne (trade, commerce and shipping), HDS (healthcare), Iridium (sales intelligence) and Profound (technology). Companies like GE Software and Siemens Transportation have been in the machine data business for years, analyzing machine and sensor data to optimize plant operations and run giant pieces of equipment. Institutional knowledge is the buried treasure: legal, contract, research and other documents, including Microsoft PowerPoint and Office files, stored in SharePoint, Dropbox and Documentum.
So those are the data types sold through data marketplaces. What about the marketplaces themselves? The big players are Microsoft Windows Azure Marketplace, InfoChimps, DataMarket, IBM ManyEyes and Google Public Data Explorer — and they typically sell to individuals and small and medium-sized businesses. Microsoft, Salesforce.com and Oracle also sell data, catering to an installed base of enterprise customers.
So that’s just a start on the wide world of data marketplaces. It’s an area that is growing and changing rapidly. In my next post, I’ll look at the consumerization of data and the value of open APIs. Tune in find out more.