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Data Marketplaces

Companies of all sizes rely on data to fuel strategic decision-making. They use data analytics and machine learning models to better understand their target markets, assess their own performance, streamline operations, and identify new opportunities. Data is a hot commodity, and data marketplaces exist to facilitate a more public (and commercialized) form of data sharing. 

Data marketplaces are generally cloud-based data exchanges. Data is uploaded onto the platform, kept behind a paywall, and anyone who wants to access it must pay to do so. 

Some examples of the types of data for sale in a data marketplace: 

  • business intelligence (BI)
  • market research
  • geospatial
  • demographic 
  • firmographic 
  • public data


There are three primary types of data marketplaces:


  • Personal: Individual consumers can monetize their data, whether this relates to their location, personal preferences, or financial history. Sharing personal data is fully GDPR  compliant as this is an entirely voluntary exchange. The individuals either wait for an interested buyer to approach them or they can sell their data to the third-party marketplace in return for an immediate benefit (usually in the form of cash or gift cards).

  • Business: Business, or B2B, marketplaces enable organizations to readily share data with one another—whether this is demographic data, firmographic data, technographic data, marketing data, or intent data. 

  • Sensor: IoT devices can automatically gather and share data with third-party marketplaces, which other interested parties can pay to access. This is especially important given that McKinsey research suggests that most companies perennially underutilize their IoT data.


Data Marketplaces provide access to data, but do not help with other aspects of the data acquisition process such as data exploration, discovery, integration, preparation, predictive model training, deployment, and evaluation. They are beneficial for those who understand exactly what data they need, and have the resources to purchase and wrangle the data they acquire. 

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