Awaking the sleeping giant: Global Corporations enter the data market

Nomad Data
April 3, 2024
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It has long been prophesized that the day of the corporate data vendor was near. What first began as whispers quickly transformed into a hum. We can now clearly hear the drumbeat of the coming hordes. But is the world ready?

Showing value as Chief Data Officers through data monetization

Chief Data Officers have long dreamed of how to show their value to the organization. It was all about how much money they’ve saved or how much efficiency they’ve created. For the lucky few, they could directly point to tangible revenue growth for the organization, powered by data. Now CDOs are waking up to articles about $60M paid to Reddit annually for a single data license and a $100M 3-year deal being paid to the New York Times. Wait what? This is no longer a sideshow. This is meaningful, high profit-margin revenue. CDOs now have the full attention of the C Suite.

These early large deals are reminiscent of the first few gold discoveries that fueled the California gold rush of the mid 1800s and the first significant oil discoveries in the US around the same time. Show people a few examples of getting rich quickly, and others will rush to replicate that success. AI is dominating the news cycle, and underlying it is the insatiable hunger for data. These powerful models need to be fed a constant stream of data. They are demanding and they want more. The more types of models being built, the more types of data will be needed. Even the most obscure data offers the potential of significant spoils when sold to the right needy buyer.

As companies see more and more examples of successful large data deals, the pressure to jump into the fray is increasing. Selling data for large sums of money isn’t new, but such deals getting publicity is. The problem with closed-door data deals is that no one else can use them as evidence to convince their own companies to follow suit. That’s finally changing. Companies have been aware of the data market for some time, and have usually had at least a few internal discussions involving their own comfort with becoming a vendor.

Where can you find this growing trove of unique corporate data?

So how is Nomad Data approaching this market? Our goal is to find these would be corporate vendors as early as possible in their journey so we can help them put together the case for building a new business around data. Nomad Data users are creating requests for data all over the world, every day. These requests guide Nomad to where we should be looking for corporate data vendors. On a typical day, we are identifying dozens or hundreds of companies that would likely have data which is relevant to a specific data request on our platform. We then use home-grown software to identify the right stakeholders in these organizations and reach out to them. Typically, we’re contacting hundreds of companies a day.

The reception we’ve received to our outbound efforts has improved materially even over the last six months.  Despite most corporates not having traditional model training data, the overall buzz around data sales is leading many companies to start to build out teams or at least committees to explore this area. Nomad Data helps these companies in the stage where they’re making the case for a data business by providing invaluable intelligence on the real-world use cases and active buyers that their data can address.

Taking a big step back, one important question that is top of mind is how are companies going to pay for all this new data they want to acquire? Unfortunately, the most likely answer is through cost savings driven by automation. We are entering an era where company headcount growth is likely to stall, and for some companies even go negative, causing many workers to have to reskill in order to remain competitive in the job market.

Although the media buzz is creating the much-needed management buy-in for most companies to begin their data selling journey, the process isn’t completely frictionless. We’re expecting most companies to need between six to eighteen months to deal with the various friction points involved in coming to market. These range from legal and compliance to data tagging and scrubbing. The acceleration we’re seeing from our corporate discussions at Nomad Data are expected to reach a far more dramatic inflection in actual products on the market sometime later next year.

The burgeoning demand for diverse data sets to fuel AI and other decision-making technologies has opened up new revenue streams for companies, transforming data from a supporting asset into a primary product. As organizations like Nomad Data play a crucial role in facilitating these transitions, the landscape of corporate data vending is set to evolve rapidly. The journey into the data market is fraught with complexity, but for those who can navigate it successfully, the rewards promise to be substantial.

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