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Data exhaust drives business opportunities

Charles Poliacof, the CEO of Knoema, is in the business of finding insight in huge data flows — sometimes in strange places. “There’s a garbage company selling trash volumes for big box stores.  That helps the companies monitor sales volumes.”

In other words, another way to track the sales through the front door is to weigh the refuse going out the back.

Knoema announced ExpressLink, a program with the consulting firm Alternative Data Analytics to create a simpler way to extract the value from data. It will formalize the connection between Knoema’s tools for preparing data and the Snowflake Data Marketplace, a mall or flea market for digital insights. For example, a company that wanted to track sales volume at big box stores, perhaps because they sell through them, might purchase the data from the marketplace.

Snowflake Ventures announced an investment in Knoema last December and this  announcement is designed to enhance the relationship between the two companies by leveraging the expertise of Alternative Data Analytics

“It’s about helping data owners better understand how to maximize the opportunities,” Poliacof said. “It could be something as simple as What’s an effective pricing model? How do I target a new vertical? How do I think about a data monetization strategy in the context of the current data ecosystem?”

Packaging data exhaust

Knoema has already been reselling information through the marketplace. Adding the consultants at Alternative Data Analytics will make it easier for anyone to start finding a home for data exhaust, or data generated as a byproduct of someone’s online activity.

This exhaust can be diverse. Knoema reports that it’s currently collecting more than 50,000 data sets, cleaning them by normalizing the information, removing anomalies, and then bundling it for others. Their clients include both companies that use them internally and others that resell their own information using Knoema’s pipes on a white label basis.

“I think we’re now starting to enter a phase where corporations are realizing that their data is actually a monetizable asset,” said Poliacof. “But they can’t take a bunch of data, throw it into a table and voilà, instant product, right? There’s an element of data productization that’s important. Structuring these tables, enriching them, adding potential metadata, aggregations for different use cases. There’s a whole bunch of work that goes into doing that, right?”

The answer to this question, the new partners’ hope, is ExpressLink. The consultants want to find companies with data to sell, even if it’s just unwanted “data exhaust,” and match them with people who want the information in the numbers.

“The business users have always been several layers removed from the underlying information,” Poliacof said.  “I think you’re seeing a lot of transformation now. Business users are becoming much more digitally native, and you know, Knoema is one of those tools that is helping to expedite that.”

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