How to Start Selling Your Data
by Brenna Dilger, on November 11, 2021
Data monetization allows your organization to unlock the external value of your company’s internal data. The data that your company has collected and used for internal purposes can actually be extremely valuable to other organizations, and your company could be earning an entirely new stream of revenue by simply sharing that data. By evaluating your own data, exercising care in the quality and usability of the data you’d like to sell, and being strategic when you create your data business and products, you will be able to monetize your data assets efficiently and effectively.
Map and value your data
To get started with your data monetization strategy, you must first assess and value your organization’s data. Make sure you comprehensively evaluate what types of data you have to offer that are valuable to other organizations outside of your own. To do this, begin with a thorough audit and appraisal of the data you have gathered within your organization. This includes data on your processes, transactions, customers, and any other data that your company accumulates.
Make sure that you are fully transparent about the data you wish to sell. That means it’s important to understand and be willing to share how and when your data was collected, how datasets interface, how relevant and valuable they are, and so on. After examining your data and ensuring that it is transparent and quality data that could bring value to other organizations, you can then move on to the next step of identifying who will be buying your data.
Determine your audience
No matter what type of data you collect within your organization, there are external parties that are excited to buy and use it. It’s important for your organization to determine who those external parties might be so that you can craft your data monetization strategy around your potential audience.
Think about these questions: Who would find your data valuable? Who would be willing to pay for it? In what way is your data valuable? Will it help other organizations cut costs, streamline operations, increase sales, gain insights on customers, or all of the above? Would organizations outside of your industry benefit from the data you have? Identifying an audience will help you later in your data monetization strategy when you are organizing your data and deciding how to market that data to potential buyers.
Review policies, laws & regulations
It’s important to be fully aware of your own company’s policies, procedures, and guidelines before you decide what types of data your organization can sell to external sources. Make sure that you would not be doing your company’s reputation any damage. To ensure you are sticking to your company's policies and safeguarding your reputation, you must be transparent with your company’s customers that you will be collecting and sharing their data. This can be done simply by having customers agree to allow location access or accept cookies when interacting with your website, having them agree to terms and conditions when making a purchase, or displaying disclaimers and information about customer data somewhere on your website. It's also important to assure your customers that their privacy will be protected.
It’s also important to be aware of the different types of laws, regulations, and other legal issues that surround data monetization. You should be fully aware of all the rules surrounding data collection and data monetization in order to be sure that the data you are sharing is all above board.
Choose a method for selling your data
Now that you have evaluated your data, determined your potential buyer audience, and ensured that you are following all rules and regulations, you are ready to make your data accessible to buyers. There are a few options available for you in order to do this:
1. Sell your data directly to another companyBy facilitating a direct sale to another company, your business directs a large chunk of time and energy to a single one-on-one negotiation. Direct transactions are straightforward, private, and are securely controlled between your organization and the organization that is purchasing your data. This option provides the most security and control, since you and the teams within your organization are solely responsible for overseeing every step of the data transaction.
In order to go this route, you will need to hire data engineers, sales people, and financial and legal teams to make the transaction a success. It can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive process to find companies that will purchase your data, negotiate terms, write contracts, prepare and transform your data, and build connections between systems and platforms in order for that company to officially purchase your organization’s data.
This process can take months or even years to complete and must be repeated each time your business wants to make a direct sale to a new company.
2. Sell your data to a data aggregatorYou can also opt to sell your data to a data aggregator. Data aggregators are organizations that collect data from multiple sources, provide some value-adding processing, and repackage a mash-up of usable data into summarized datasets. Going this route is an easy way to sell a bulk of data quickly and without too much hassle.
However, you have little control over the transaction and you may not get a favorable price for your data. It’s also more of a gamble to ensure that the data aggregator you sell your data to is reputable, secure, and capable. Data aggregators are notorious for providing low-quality data because they mix a large amount of data together from multiple sources as opposed to providing quality and transparent single-source data.
3. List your data on a data exchange or marketplaceData exchanges are platforms where data providers and data consumers are able to easily exchange data without having to go through the many steps of a one-on-one direct negotiation. Using a data exchange, you can have all of your profitable data assets available to a multitude of buyers within a fraction of the time that it takes to negotiate a direct sale, and you won’t need a dedicated sales team to drum up demand for your data. It’s also a more reputable route than selling to a data aggregator since you have more control over the data you are providing, how it is being processed, and who is buying your available data.
However, you may not have much traction on these platforms and might not generate a large amount of revenue since you don’t have much opportunity to differentiate your business and your data products from other data distributors within the exchange you are participating in. These marketplaces can also be difficult to navigate and utilize properly without the technical expertise needed to package and productize your organization’s data.
4. Leverage a data collaboration platformA data collaboration platform is the easiest and fastest way for an organization to begin monetizing their data, providing many of the same benefits as the other options without requiring a significant investment of time, resources, or labor. Narrative’s data collaboration platform is an end-to-end data monetization solution that serves as an effective and efficient way to get your data products in front of a large group of potential buyers, without any coding or design experience needed. Within just a few hours, your organization can build its own custom ecommerce shop front, create easily discoverable data products, market those data products to interested buyers, and simultaneously list your data products in the Narrative Data Streams Marketplace.
Using the intuitive tools and workflows created by Narrative’s data monetization experts, your business will be able to easily evaluate your data, ingest your data, package and price your data products, create an attractive ecommerce storefront, and automatically collect payouts from customer purchases. The platform makes every step of data monetization easier than ever and maximizes the opportunity for buyers to find your data.
No technical expertise, including coding or design experience, is required to build your fully functional ecommerce data business. Anyone within your organization can use Narrative’s easy-to-use apps to monetize your company’s data from start to finish, no matter their data analytics prowess.
From ingesting your native data exactly as it is stored to “tagging” that data to make it easily discoverable to packaging your data into neat products to customizing a beautiful ecommerce store, Data Shops provides a user-friendly solution to every data monetization hurdle.
Start generating revenue with solutions from Narrative
Using Narrative’s data collaboration platform makes it easy for anyone within your company to package, publish, and distribute data to interested buyers that are searching for the type of data your organization wants to sell. It’s simple and intuitive to start up an ecommerce data business in just a few hours, even with no technical expertise.
Once your data has been reviewed, organized into marketable products, and displayed in a beautiful ecommerce shop front, you can sit back and relax. When a buyer makes a purchase from your data shop, Narrative will deliver the purchased data automatically to the buyer, so you can simply check in on your data business at your leisure without having to monitor purchases.
Give your data monetization strategy the best shot at success. Once you map and value your data, determine your data buying audience, review data monetization rules and regulations, and set up your brand new data business with Data Shops, you’ll be able to open up an entirely new opportunity for revenue.
You can also watch our Narrative Product Tour: Building an Ecommerce Data Business with Data Shops to see first-hand how easy it is to package, merchandise, and distribute your first-party data in just a few clicks with Data Shops.