Data industry trends: New markets, fast data, new research

At the SIIA DataContent 2013 Conference last week in Philadelphia, I picked out several interesting trends in the business information field. Here are a few key take-aways from the event:

Meaningful Data: For FindTheCompany CEO Kevin O’Connor, huge new masses of data represent an opportunity. The availability of vast public data sets – from financial statements and filings to government databases of visa information, federal contracts, and imports and exports to proprietary and private databases and publications – can be made useful by a company that provides an editorial role to make that data useful and available. The key is “making complex, distributed firm data available for meaningful consumption,” said O’Connor.

New Markets: According to David Chun, CEO of compensation data research firm Equilar, an information business driver is the ability of data products to open new markets. He specifically highlighted the possibilities in benchmarking, pay-for-performance analytics and connection mapping. Chun pointed to his own company’s fast growth as evidence that reaching new markets can result in dividends.

Fast Data: New data products are changing the way people communicate with people … and the way machines communicate with machines. According to Peter Lankford, president of the Securities Technology Analysis Center, high speed data products and machine-readable data are going to be playing large roles in retail, Web ads, power grids, healthcare and manufacturing – just as they now do in financial markets. “There is an automation revolution underway,” Lankford said at the DataContent 2013 conference.

At ABM, the “data” field is one of the four key components I measure in compiling the total size of the b-to-b media and information industry. Sponsored by ABM’s Business Information Committee, a new ABM research project is gathering benchmark data to measure the success of data subscription products. Generally, data products deliver revenue through advertising models and subscription models. This new research is trying to put some numbers behind the latter, for example, in terms of subscription growth rate, percent of revenue from new products, and other metrics.

If your business includes data products, please participate in the research by clicking here. All participants will receive a report on the results, as well as a chance to win a $100 Amex gift card.

I’ll be presenting the research results with Infocommerce CEO Russell Perkins, the organizer of the DataContent event, at ABM’s Executive Forum, coming Nov. 11-12 in Chicago. We’ll be discussing strategies and benchmark KPIs for media companies offering database products and for companies moving in that direction. Find out more and register for Executive Forum here.

By Michael Moran Alterio

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