Today, data is not only a product.  Companies with strong user bases contain valuable data where user information is in need of being monetized.  Companies that sell products and services are in need of valuable data that can improve customer service, marketing, and, ultimately, increase sales.  In each of these scenarios, data is the currency.  No matter which side of the data market you lie on, there are challenges, paths to accomplishment, and value in buying and selling data.

Challenges: Buying or selling large swaths of data means nothing if the data is in a raw format.  When buying data, it is important to have the data processed or analyzed in a format that meets your business needs.  The same holds true for selling data.  Additionally, the data should protect against legal breaches that put people’s information at risk.

Paths to Accomplishment:  The first step is realizing the type of data you need.  Do you need email addresses for an email marketing campaign?  What about consumption data for non-tangible products such as music and television? Buying data?  Knowing where to go to and for what is the first step in buying.  For selling, there is so much free data available that you have to create a demand for the data that you are selling.  A retail website may understand use the data on their internal website to better understand customers.  However, data from third-party channels may provide a better picture of the customer, including their spending habits, outside of the retail space.

Value:  Using data to specifically market and generate more sales, or a simple transaction of data between seller and buyer definitely creates revenue.  However, in today’s information-driven economy, data is more valuable than ever.  According to a recent Harvard Business Review article, data, “Is fast becoming a centerpiece of corporate value creation more generally.”  In other words, data – more specifically the analysis and insight that data provides – adds to overall, value of a company.  This is inherently valuable for startup companies whose valuations and investment rounds are based upon data from a user base.  Whether buying or selling, data exchanges should be partnerships that drive enterprise value for both parties.

Buying and selling data is the business of today’s digital economy.  To find out more about how to buy or sell data for your business, contact us.


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