Four visuals, one list of verticals, and 5–10 minutes of story. Show it twenty or more times in a day, and the wraps are off the Data Market Study, my primary research focus for 2024. I attended the alternative data conference put on by Eagle Alpha in New York last week, and as trial balloons go, this new project flew. So we’re off.
The project, in a nutshell, is about understanding how data gets from the original source to the end user, focusing on data that moves between organizations.
A diagram focusing on software development might portray data acquisition as a simple line between an interesting type of data (for example, weather data, news content, or satellite imagery) and the system that will do the work of extracting insight from the data. This project is about going deep on that line: Understanding the collectors, aggregators, catalogs, marketplaces, and all the other players that make the market for data work.
We’re going to get into the value created by these different participants, identify the patterns that are common across vertical markets, and dive into some of those verticals to understand how they work. The goal is develop a framework for understanding these markets that will be useful for strategic analysis of, and by, market participants and investors. Expect some technology, but the focus is on markets, products, and strategy.
This is a research project, so the first things to come out of it will be written. I plan to work in public on this, posting updates and sharing some of what I find in the newsletter. It’s all leading to a book project to pull together the theory and a closer look at some of the vertical markets—defined both by the eventual customers and by the source data.
But of course there’s more to this than selling a few books. As things get moving, I’m going to look for some sponsors who want to see the project completed, and the research will form the basis for advisory and speaking activities. Beyond that? Watch this space.