The pitch

Charlie Brown returned to that pitching mound year after year, looking for the elusive summer victory. He asked his team to have faith, see its potential, and no matter what never give in to despair no matter how long the odds. While victory eluded the Peanuts gang every summer, the competition for Big Data is ripe for a winner. Some customers know they want it, some know they need to deal with it, but few know how to capitalize on it.

The Enterprise has been dealing with large amounts of data for years, building systems to deal with their own creations. But what if you want to go into the business of Big Data as a broker? What if you want to offer your customers a marketplace where the big data belongs to the users? What are the challenges?

The swing

It’s hard to sell software as a service (Saas) or platform as a service (Paas) when many businesses are still writing off assets from past investments. How many companies invested in robust databases and extensive licensing to gain what they needed, only to discover they were overkill?

The truth is those were the best options available at the time. Platforms, and by extension SaaS, have made offering services more appealing. The cost and effort to maintain complicated storage and retrieval systems only grows with time. With a decent PaaS system, a customer imports data and begins work immediately. And if the GUI is intuitive enough, the learning curve becomes more manageable.

Finding the data you need is like hitting a home run.

Out of the park and into the future

The idea of a data warehouse isn’t so far-fetched these days. Long an idea from fiction, a marketplace could easily emerge with buyers and sellers bidding and bargaining over the value of data as a commodity. Imagine running a science data warehouse storefront offering years of historical figures on climate or biological diversity. Whole businesses could arise offering opportunities to people willing to collect data. The two negotiate the value of the information and after confirmation of ownership as a transaction takes place.

Fraud is to be expected, but with an official data store, a record of ownership is easily established. Time and date stamping become automatic when running the transaction through a business. With today’s platforms you often get security built right in, allowing for easy encryption to protect the data as well as robust user management to protect access.

Using an application programming interface (API), these platforms can even offer access to external systems. Imagine needing a dataset on plant yields from 2004, but you don’t actually have that data. An API call from an application running on a legacy system brings in the data, extending the life of previous investment.

This game is looking for a professional team to bring clout and credit to the field.  The season is just gearing up. Who will be the hero of big data? And what are the implications for your business?