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Big Data: why couldn’t you sell your data?

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This may seem like a silly idea but here it is. Wouldn’t it be better to pay users for their data rather than stealing it from them and discussing issues of data quality afterwards? (see our other articles on Big Data here)

Disruptive business model needed in Big Data

Big Data and Data Mining have been operated rather homogenously since the beginning. It consists in either “stealing” data from the consumer (data captation at every touchpoint) or buying it from third parties. Data acquisition models haven’t changed much in essence. It’s all about trackers to record data and infer behaviors. Yet there is one looser in this model: the customer itself. If you want to learn more about the information recorded on you, install ghostery in your browser and find out how many programs spy your online behavior. You will discover that the New York Times has some 20 trackers implemented.

Big Data: Big Business

Buying data is a rather expensive process. As a company you can easily spend a few Euros to complete your dataset and fill the gaps in your database. This is especially true when you buy unqualified contacts that will be hard to activate.

In the data selling business, firms have specialized in collecting data and building datasets that cover almost the entire population of a country. Yet, if you think about it, such firms are only intermediaries between the consumer and companies willing to promote their products and services. However the consumer doesn’t get a cent in the whole process: he’s the product. Can’t it change?

What if …

The question is whether there is an alternative way. Here’s the disruptive idea: allow customers to sell their data. There will still be an intermediary platform to store and manage the sales process, but at least customers will get some monetary value out of it. This can be easily compared to a “Shared Economy” business model where consumers form an alliance to overcome intermediaries parasitizing the value chain.

Image: Shutterstock

Author: Pierre-Nicolas Schwab

Pierre-Nicolas est Docteur en Marketing et dirige l'agence d'études de marché IntoTheMinds. Ses domaines de prédilection sont le BigData l'e-commerce, le commerce de proximité, l'HoReCa et la logistique. Il est également chercheur en marketing à l'Université Libre de Bruxelles et sert de coach et formateur à plusieurs organisations et institutions publiques. Il peut être contacté par email, Linkedin ou par téléphone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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