Mapping Session results: Data markets

Our break-out Mapping Session at Structure:Data didn’t product the usual trend analysis framework we strive for, but it did give us some insights in what analysis we need to do to understand the sector’s potential. Generally, we host a Mapping Session discussion, moderated by GigaOM Research analysts with the idea that well pose some key questions on a market, and work toward identifying the key technologies, business models, and user patterns that constitute the trends that smart companies can drive or ride to gains in revenue and market share.

We call those Disruption Vectors, and Mapping Sessions can fuel GigaOM Sector RoadMap reports, where we take the next step and score companies based on their alignment with the trends. But in this case, we confirmed GigaOM analyst Paul Miller’s earlier analysis of data markets. At this point, data markets are a technology in search of a business model.

There’s a reason Infochimps is now more focused on tools than markets, and Kasabi exited the space. It’s not enough to simply say: “here’s some data packages enabled by the new technologies, now go make something of it.”

We concluded during the session that a valid research approach would be to first review existing data(base) markets like Lexis-Nexis, Reed, IHS, Nielsen, mapping, etc., to creates some frameworks for how to exploit the potential presented by the new tech: big data, social media data, Hadoop, analysis tools. The early players were a bit too focused on APIs and early visualization tools, and were missing some critical aspects of a marketplace:

  • An initial customer set they were close to, so that they could better identify opportunities and fine-tune their offerings
  • Case studies from the above that they could market as proofs-of-concept
  • Deeper consulting services aligned with vertical industry markets
  • A way to translate raw data into “currency” similar to how the media industry uses Nielsen ratings to price advertising and measure efficiencies

So we’ll get on it.


We welcome your feedback on our approach, and on what you think might accelerate the success of data markets. Are we on the right track. What forces do you believe will be key to driving the sector over the next 12 to 24 months? Continue the discussion by leaving a comment below.

Mapping Session panelists