Data is the most important product next year and in the years ahead. In the business world, companies are focused on one type as many feel it’s the secret to success: consumer data. But, although it’s not as “sexy,” the non-consumer data is what can actually help a business succeed and get a leg up on the competition. So, what types of non-consumer data matter? Nick Jordan, CEO & Founder of the world’s No. 1 data commerce platform Narrative (aka “The Shopify of Data”), revealed it’s everything from weather to pricing data that can make a huge difference.
First, what is considered non-consumer data? “I think of non-consumer data to be data that isn’t about any specific person,” said Jordan. “It could still be related to consumer behaviors or consumer trends, but it’s not ‘this person watched this TV ad at this specific time.'” Instead, it’s a historical analysis of other matters that affect businesses beyond the consumer. Here are some examples.
One of the companies Narrative works with actually collects pricing data on millions of products sold online. And they keep that pricing data up to date daily. So if you’re a company that sells products in the real world, in a physical store, you want to make sure that you’re pricing your products competitively vis-à-vis Walmart, Amazon, or any other online retailers.
“We have a bunch of companies that are effectively buying and pricing data about particular products or product categories, and it’s informing how they’re going to market, merchandise, and price their products in their brick and mortar retail stores,” said Jordan. “Arguably, if you have a business that makes money by selling things, making sure that you’re pricing it correctly is maybe the most crucial decision that you can get right. More and more companies are using data to do that more effectively. “
The weather is something we’re all affected by. And Narrative is seeing more and more companies use weather data to inform their strategy. For example, in agriculture technology, weather data can inform a company when it should harvest or cover up its crops because there will be frost. Or, they can analyze how the weather might impact consumer behaviors. So, more and more people are using that to make business decisions.
“I think it’s so omnipresent, and we all look at the weather so much every day that we don’t think of it as data,” said Jordan. “We think of it as I looked at my phone, and it was going to be 35 degrees today, so I put on a coat. Many organizations use that to make strategic, both short-term and long-term, decisions. And they very much think of it as data.”
From an entrepreneurship and funding perspective, financial transactions are interesting pieces of data. With the blockchain, every transaction, everything that’s ever happened across cryptocurrencies is essentially preserved in this ledger. Now, more companies are using that to understand global commerce.
“If you look at public markets, both commodities and equities, a lot of folks are using that data to understand, from both a macro and microeconomic perspective, the health of the economy,” said Jordan. “I think one of the interesting things we’ve seen over the last couple of years is companies like Robinhood who were opening up financial markets to folks that maybe weren’t historically serviced by the large trading houses.”
Yes, they offer this free product to buy and sell stocks and make all of their money because they take all of that transaction data. And they’ll front-run the information about who’s buying what at what price to high-frequency traders and hedge funds. So in many ways, they’re creating a product that allows people to enter an equity market where maybe historically they weren’t able to. But, the people that are using that product are actually being monetized.
“Again, it’s not data about the consumer per se,” said Jordan. “It’s not their demographics or their specific behaviors. It’s more financial market data that are then being traded as an asset and how Robinhood makes the majority of their money.”