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Glossary

Data Marketplace

A data marketplace is a centralized space where datasets and data assets can be accessed, exchanged and shared between organizations and individuals.

What is a Data Marketplace?

A data marketplace is a centralized space where datasets and data assets (such as visualizations and dashboards) can be accessed, exchanged and shared between organizations and individuals. Data marketplaces can be internal (sharing information with employees), external for partners (sharing with specific companies within an ecosystem) or open (sharing data with any user). Data marketplaces can be used to sell data, exchange it for data from other players, or shared for free.

Why is a Data Marketplace important?

Organizations and ecosystems increasingly rely on data to operate effectively. However, with more and more data available, being able to access relevant, trustworthy, high-quality data is vital. Often relevant datasets may be produced by companies in different sectors. For example, mobile phone usage data can help retailers track customer flows geographically.

Data marketplaces bring together data providers and data consumers, enabling seamless, fast access to a comprehensive range of datasets. They enable consumers (whether internal employees, partners or other stakeholders) to easily discover and acquire the data they need to increase productivity, improve decision-making, collaborate and innovate. They provide data producers with the potential to monetize their data, increasing revenues or to share it with partners to meet shared goals, such as around supply chain management or sustainability.

What are the features of a Data Marketplace?

Data marketplaces aim to provide the same, intuitive experience as an ecommerce marketplace, giving data consumers choice, making it easy to find data products, and driving data democratization.

Successful data marketplaces focus on five key areas:

User experience

Users of a data marketplace, particularly internal employees, are not data experts. That means it must be as simple and seamless as possible for them to find the right data to use on a self-service basis, without requiring technical skills. They have to be confident that they have accessed the best dataset and have trust that it is reliable and high-quality.

Data marketplaces therefore require an intuitive user interface that does not need in-depth training, and comprehensive search and discovery tools to enable data consumers to find or browse for relevant data.

Data quality

Users have to trust that the data they are accessing is high quality, accurate, and usable. This requires comprehensive data management processes to collect, cleanse, enrich and share data. Data needs to be standardized in terms of format and meet company (or ecosystem) governance processes. Datasets and other assets should clearly explain what they cover, both directly and via metadata and provide the opportunity for users to directly query data producers. Many data marketplaces allow users to rate data, just as they would an ecommerce marketplace transaction.

Comprehensive

Internal data marketplaces need to be comprehensive and contain all available data, breaking down silos between different departments. Providing a single source for all data assets within the organization will drive greater usage and trust – data consumers will know where to go to find information when they need it. Data needs to be available in a wide range of formats (raw data, visualizations, dashboards) and accessible through different tools (downloads in standard formats, via APIs or weblinks).

Data security and compliance

Data has to be protected and be stored securely. Published datasets should be compliant with privacy legislation (such as the GDPR), and meet governance standards around protecting personally identifiable information. Access control measures should protect confidential data from access by unauthorized users, whether internal or external.

Clear licensing and transaction management

Every dataset should clearly define how it is licensed and how it can be used and reused. The data portal should be able to monitor which datasets are being used to ensure compliance. If data is being monetized, robust payment mechanisms must be in place.

What are the benefits of a Data Marketplace?

Data marketplaces benefit organizations, employees, external users and other stakeholders. Benefits include:

  • Improved decision-making and greater productivity through access to a wider range of data
  • Increased efficiency through seamless, automated access to high-quality, reliable data
  • Greater use of data, increasing data democratization and building data cultures
  • Increased revenues and differentiation for data producers, if data is monetized
  • Improved collaboration and innovation both internally between departments and externally with partners/ecosystems. For example, sharing data on emissions can help understand where to target efforts to decarbonize and meet sustainability goals

 

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