Data marketplace: Productizing data to improve value-driven consumption

  • Posted on September 16, 2022
  • Estimated reading time 4 minutes
Data marketplace platform

We are all consumers first. We look for ease of access, convenience, and affordability in everything we do. And it is no different when it comes to data. But today, while every organization is touting data as fuel for their growth and success, their data consumption tells a different story.

  • According to Gartner, 85% of data science projects fail. A key reason behind these failures is that most organizations’ data still resides in siloes.
  • According to Forrester, 60-73% of all data in an enterprise is never analysed.
  • On top of that, an IDC study found that data workers waste 44% of their time in unsuccessful data activities in which searching for the right data tops the list.

We have seen many S-curves of data platform from just of copy of transaction data for reporting to siloed DataMarts and then Enterprise data warehouse etc. In all those eras, the data was supporting the business to make decisions. In the digital era, tectonic shift is that data not just supporting the business, but it is the business itself. Hence, we need a better approach to data management which is consumer led. Enter data marketplaces.

What is a data marketplace?
Imagine if you had an Amazon-like platform for data. You could just sign into the application and add the data you needed to your cart: 2GB of customer data, 1GB of product data, and 5GB of transaction data. You could even get sales performance dashboards and customer Churn AI/ML models in the same place. Sounds fantastic, right? But it’s entirely possible to create these eCommerce-type data marketplaces that productize data for easy consumption.

A data marketplace is a cloud-based platform where users can buy or sell ready-to-use data sets. A data marketplace enables self-service, real-time, and secure access to high-quality data. Since the marketplace sells the data like a product, unlike enterprise data warehouses, the data in the marketplace is cleaned, harmonized, and accurately labelled. It provides all the organization’s data in a single, simplified view.

What does a data marketplace look like? (Illustration purposes only.)

Why is a data marketplace important for your business?
While data is a recognized business asset, most companies still see data management initiatives as a cost centre. With a data marketplace, they have the unique opportunity to monetize their data and transform it into a profit centre. Data marketplaces also improve transparency in the system and boost collaboration between shared services data management team or regional HQs and their global teams. A data marketplace:

  • Guarantees data consumption
  • Creates data reusability across markets/LOBs, improving the speed of access while reducing the cost of data onboarding
  • Provides visibility to data products/assets existing on the platform via an intuitive UI, incentivizing data use
  • Provides data infrastructure-as-a-service so smaller markets/LOBs can directly consume it on a subscription basis and avoid large CAPEX investments

What does it take to set up a data marketplace for your business?
To set up a thriving data marketplace in your organization, you must invest in its success. The following approach could get you started:

  1. Change how you think about data – Your business needs a mindset change. You must move beyond the tech and consider yourself a store owner. You are in the business of selling data, insights, and AI/ML products. How do you make these products appealing to the data customer? How do you ensure the data products are up to date, top quality, neatly labelled and accessible? How can you offer value-added services on top of the data? You need to start thinking in these terms from the start.
  2. Invest in data governance tool – Cataloguing is fundamental to a data marketplace. You need a tool such as Microsoft Purview for auto cataloguing and data discovery
  3. Invest in an intuitive UI – Deliver a cutting-edge eCommerce experience with an intuitive UI and make search easy. Invest in experience designers, though products are top class you still need to attract consumers to store and make purchase experience seamless
  4. Ensure data security, governance, and accessibility – Implement policies to ensure the right people can access the data securely based on their roles or access clearances. Put in place SLAs to ensure data quality.
  5. Improve the marketplace experience with user feedback – Let data users leave feedback in the form of reviews and ratings for the data sets they use. Make it easier for other users to make purchase decisions based on peer feedback.

It’s time to find a home for your data
The need to channel the power of data for business resilience has created a compelling business case for data marketplaces. Several players have already launched marketplaces with demonstrable business benefits. If you have been struggling with data challenges, now is time to give data its rightful place in business.

If you want to explore how a data marketplace will impact your business, reach out to our team of experts at Avanade today.

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