Find more of the data you need with DataMarket

January 31, 2011  |  Data Sources, Online Applications

Add another online destination to find the data that you need. DataMarket launched back in May with Icelandic data, but just a few days ago relaunched with data of the international variety. They tout 100 million time series datasets and 600 million facts. I'm not totally sure what that means (100 million lines, sets of lines?), but I take it that means a lot.

Just over 2 years and countless cups of coffee after we started coding, DataMarket.com launches with international data. You can now find, visualize and download data from many of the world’s most important data providers on our site.

At first glance DataMarket feels a lot like now defunct Swivel. Search for the data you want and you get back a list of datasets. The focus on only time series though is actually a plus in that they can provide more specific tools to visualize and explore. The current toolset isn't going to blow you away, but it's not bad.

Unlike other data-centric offerings like Infochimps and Data Marketplace (recently acquired by Infochimps), DataMarket doesn't provide premium datasets. They take existing data and make it easier to manage and use. All of the data is available to download as CSV for free, while premium members can build custom reports, download files as or automatically import data into Excel. Finally, they also provide API access for a monthly fee (sort of like Factual).

While I'm happy these sort of applications continue to launch, I'm still kind of concerned about how financially viable they are. Obviously I really want them to succeed, but is the niche big enough? Who are the main people who will pay for the service? I guess time will tell. In the meantime, I'm glad there are people making my life easier.

Check out a short clip of how DataMarket works in the video below.

[DataMarket]

5 Comments

  • Thanks for the write-up!

    On the viability issue, we have already managed to generate substantial revenues from our services in the tiny local market in Iceland. We hope to copy some of the lessons learned from that to the international market as well, even though we’re careful not to generalize to much from that.

    My take on this is more or less that there is a lot of untapped value in the space we’re going after. I believe we are releasing some of that value, but whether we’ve found the way to tap significantly into that value to generate revenues for ourselves internationally remains to be seen.

    There are the API and Pro-subscriptions as you mention, but we also offer tools for data providers:
    http://datamarket.com/p/data_providers/

    …and while you are right that there isn’t any premium data on the site as is, there will be quite a lot soon.
    Tha approach is: Data that is already open and available for free elsewhere will still be open and free for everyone on DataMarket, allowing users to search, compare and analyze the data and gain new insights. Within a few weeks, DataMarket users will also find data sets from premium data providers such as market research companies, financial markets and research analysts on DataMarket. We’re building a data market, and while a lot of good statistics are available for free, much of the deeper analysis is only available from commercial organizations. If users have the budget and reasons to go for that, they can.

    According to some sources, data sales (think Bloomberg, Reuters, Factset, etc.) are a $100B industry. These are mostly going after the financial markets. We believe that there is data out there that can help pretty much any busniess out there make better decisions and run their companies better. So, there should be some substantial niches here ;)

    • @Hjalmar – that’s great to hear! Im looking forward to seeing how this all develops over the next couple of years.

    • Just my 2 cents… and a bit of curiosity… (in case you revisit your post)

      Indeed – the financial world provides a huge market for data consumption. I work in the financial industry and we allocate a very large portion of our annual budget to purchasing data (millions of dollars). So, while I agree with you that there’s a huge market there – how do you intend to tap into it? Bloomberg, Reuters, MarkIt etc etc sell their data for a phenomenal fee, but they generally do not allow for resale of that data . Their strength likes in the fact that they are the SOURCE of that data. They’re relative value is in data creation – and the distribution is just the way to monetize it.

      In the cases where resale is allowed, the fee you’d need to charge to make up your costs is really very high – certainly well out of the reach of the average internet data user. So if I can afford that fee, why would i not pay a little less and go to the source? Also, often, to be able to resell data you have to convince the originator that you’ve done something to add value – e.g. some financial analysis. This is not trivial in this day and age where every other kid with a masters in finance starts a hedge fund by cranking out some analysis.

      So just curious how you’re working with/around this? Or maybe naming those companies was just to point out that there’s money in data? But again, I think there’s money in CREATING data – not in distributing data per se. I think this is where the other companies Nathan mentioned have fallen down. But like Nathan, I’d love to see you succeed – so just curious as to how your approach is different.

      • Sorry for a late reply. Been busy with all the great things happening at the Strata conference (http://strataconf.com/)

        First of all: Glad to hear you have millions of dollars to spend on data. We should talk ;)

        While I believe that the models used by Bloomberg, Reuters, etc. are a bit of a dinosaur, we’re not going to be competing with them in the deep, vertical, down-to-the-microsecond data that the financial markets demand. We believe that pretty much any business could be run better if they made use of all the best data available to them. There is a lot of good data out there – more than most people realize – from public and private sources alike. Helping these people find and use the data that matters to them will release a lot of value.

        As a matter of fact I believe that what we already have on DataMarket.com can (and is) releasing significant value to a lot of people.

        Now the question remains: How do we tap into that? Well, our model is two-fold:

        1) While data that is open and free is still open and free, just easier to find and use on DataMarket.com, we do sell pro subscriptions which give subscribers access to additional features on top of the data, making their life even easier in gathering, analyzing and keeping an eye on the data that matters to them, regardless of the origin.

        2) Reselling of data from premium sources. No doubt, there is money being made in creating data, but under the current model, data is incredibly fragmented: it is located in many different places, in many different formats, there is no single point of search, etc. This is something we plan to solve for statistics and other quantitative data, making it easy for data providers and data seekers to meet each others’ need.

        As a matter of fact, I would challenge your statement that Bloomberg, Reuters and MarkIt are sources of data. Think about it a little bit harder, and you’ll realize that they are in fact almost exclusively distributers of data from 3rd party sources. We want to do the same for businesses outside the financial sector. The premiums won’t be as high, but the market is far bigger.

        Feel free to drop me a mail if you want to discuss further. Address here: http://datamarket.com/p/about/team/ (Hjalmar)

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