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How do companies make money with data?

Felippe Regazio
web developer - js, [s]css, node, php, python - intp, lifelong learner, father, skateboarder. a strange carbon-based lifeform.
・1 min read

Ok, we know that facebook, google, twitter, etc make money using tons of data to feed IAs that will feed Ads, and this adds will collect content behavior that will drive YOUR/OUR behavior at some point. Nice, thats a lot of power! We know That they make money with tons of data, generating and managing a huge amount of information, organizing and transforming that information in something relevant and useful. And thats brilliant, and thats clear for me/us, i think.

Some of us may have heard the phrase "data is the new oil". But, what if i have a huge amount of data, but im just a little service on the web, how can i make money with that?

I would have to wait a big corporation to buy my software? Or i can sell the data by myself? I have to transform the data and serve "information as a service"? What if i have large amounts of data, it has a value? Can i sell raw data, or i have to treat before by myself and sell the possible results and conclusions? And what if im selling information extracted from this large amounts of data, how can i became reliable? Or none of that is true for new players, and this is an unfair game that only majors can play?

Someone, please?

Discussion (2)

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hawarir profile image
Hawari Rahman • Edited

I've worked at several companies, one of them sells data as their main business. So I'll try to explain from my experience as it relates strongly to your question.

I've yet to find a case where we sell data in its raw form, I think it's possible, but whether it's raw or not shouldn't be the main focus here, it should be about the value of such data to your clients/users.

It doesn't matter if you're just a little service if you're the only one in the world who collects a specific type of data. One of the companies I've worked at sells purchasing data gathered from store receipts snapped by their users. They also ask their users to provide their data to be able to map the purchasing history into the demographics of the users. With those in hand, they can create invaluable insights into the market which they sell to their clients. And guess what? None of the so-called big companies are doing what they do.

My two cents is that you shouldn't try to compete with Google or Facebook in terms of volume of your data, you're going to lose, especially if the data you collected is of the same type and provides similar value. If you want to monetize your data, identify what is unique about your data, and find out what kind of people might benefit from the knowledge that can be gathered from your data. It doesn't have to be sold per se, you can use it for your analytical purposes. Maybe you can analyze the behavior of your users while using your service, and then you can improve your service based on that data.

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felipperegazio profile image
Felippe Regazio Author

Thanks for your comment, was very enlightful, considering that is a real person talking about a real situation. Also, seems that scarcity is still the most expensive currency, so. I took a lot of little appointments from your words, like: data worth its applicability, scarcity and now depends on CREATIVITY to be extracted. Thats was crazy to think about, the point here is, so, creativity & scarcity, a creative way to extract rare data (also think thats apply to a lot of other science fields).