Data Economy 2.0: Rethinking Data Acquisition & Data Monetization
by Nick Jordan, on March 4, 2019
Data practitioners need to focus on data quality, transparency, and compliance to keep up
There’s no denying data’s immense power... and its current limitations.
Data is increasingly one of the most valuable resources in nearly every industry. But that doesn’t mean its value is being realized.
As Ann Winblad, co-founder and a Managing Director of Hummer Winblad Ventures, said recently, for data to be worthwhile for businesses, “it has to be useful, and specific.”
Too often, it’s neither.
A robust, fluid data market must emerge for it to unlock its massive potential.
Data has the power to transform business, and is already doing so. Simply put, in today's digital era, for companies to survive and ultimately thrive, they must participate in the emerging data economy.
Unfortunately, the data that will help these companies thrive is rarely at their fingertips. It’s spread out across multiple vendors, buried inside broad segments, or locked up within walled gardens.
All data isn’t created equal.
Nearly every industry is becoming increasingly sophisticated and scientific when it comes to data and analytics.
Yet buying and selling of data is trapped in an analog world.
Indeed, companies that buy data are all pushing for more control, transparency, and options—and partners who can deliver on those needs. Yet they are continually settling for what they have instead of what they want.
Meanwhile, companies that sell data are equally as frustrated and need to figure out how to respond to this growing dissatisfaction.
For businesses to survive and thrive, the proper tools needs to exist.
To extract the maximum value from data and ultimately make it useful, companies need data with specificity. (Think of specificity as the difference between saying it’s hot out and saying it’s 93 degrees out.)
Currently, attaining the level of precision needed for data to be useful is a painful process involving both seller and buyer, and there’s no guarantee the data purchased will be useful.
Creating the tools needed to clean, organize, and analyze data internally is just not an option for most companies trying to run and grow their core business.
The Narrative Data Platform and Data Marketplace
We’ve created a software-driven marketplace designed to facilitate data acquisition. We’ve built the supply chain and infrastructure to bring data acquisition and monetization into 2019. Our goal is to help make data from other companies as accessible and useful as your first-party data.
Some of the attributes of our product:
- Overall, our software is designed to deliver data specificity. To make data useful for all parties
- Data transactions are fast and straightforward for both buyers and sellers
- Our marketplace is fully transparent. That means we go beyond just producing a report with a list of customers. We want to make it dead simple for buyers and sellers to interact directly. If you’re going to jump on the phone with a customer and ask data questions, you’re able to do that with Narrative
- The platform isn’t limited to a single use case. It can be used for data enrichment, consumer analytics, acquisition marketing, attribution, building predictive models, or anything your team dreams up
- Narrative is safe. Our marketplace was built from the ground up with security in mind
- Perhaps most importantly, Narrative makes data accessible and actionable for buyers and monetizable for sellers
Marketing technology provides a substantial case study for the current data conundrum
Consider how far the marketing industry has advanced in recent years when it comes to using data and technology for managing efficiency and making smarter decisions.
Brands today manage dozens of channels using cloud-based software. They glean deep insights into their customers’ thanks to collecting first-party data. They buy ads in real time. They know who their customers are and what they like and what they do.
Simply put, brands’ data is their data. Because of that, these companies can leverage that data with all the autonomy, precision, and transparency they need - which is incredibly valuable.
Then think about how these same brands use - or don’t use - consumer data obtained outside of their organization. None of those qualities apply. Instead, when employing acquired data, companies operate in the dark and with little control. They end up wasting money targeting the wrong users, or the same users, again and again, thanks to non-specific, non-useful data sets. Their return on investment suffers even as they try to be precise.
The practice of buying and selling data is stuck in the 1990s
Remember booking a flight or finding a financial broker in the pre-internet era? You had little transparency or control over what you were getting. Gatekeepers dictated these transactions and the flow of information - and customers often got one-size-all solutions.
That’s where acquiring data for marketing purposes stands today. You can buy or license pre-packaged segments that don’t mean much and don’t change. Rarely is it clear who you are reaching or where the data originated. You get the data version of the dollar menu.
Companies on the sell side would surely like to offer better data options, but even if they have valuable data in-house they don’t have the means or the tools needed to provide anything but off the shelf data packages. So many companies don’t even bother.
In a nutshell, the way companies trade data is downright primitive. There is nothing real time about it.
Existing data strategies are hindering growth
The current stagnancy found in the marketplace for data transactions is creating massive missed opportunities for both buyers and sellers
For buyers, that means unrealized growth, while more data-savvy competitors advance For sellers, that’s revenue left on the data. They end up sitting on an increasingly powerful and valuable asset at a time when every media company is under enormous pressure to diversify
It’s time to evolve your data strategy
In short, it’s finally time for data to transform your business the way it was supposed to.
It’s up to you how your business looks to monetize or acquire data. At Narrative, we don’t buy or sell data, nor do we intend to. Instead, our goal is to power the new data economy.