Data as a service (DaaS) is a data management strategy that utilizes cloud-based networking to deliver data storage, integration, processing, and analytic services.
DaaS is similar to software-as-a-service, in which third-party organizations offer cloud-based software and services to decrease internal technology and server costs. The model is built to provide on-demand data for consumers, reducing the need for in-house data collection, verification, cleaning and analysis. These services collect, verify, clean and curate data so organizations do not have to worry about the accuracy of their data.
As cloud computing services have become better equipped to handle massive data workloads and the cost of cloud storage has decreased, data as a service models have risen in popularity.According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), US firms spent nearly $19.2 billion on third-party audience data and data-use solutions in 2018, a 17.5 percent increase from 2017.
Benefits of data as a service include minimal setup time, improved functionality, greater flexibility, cost savings, automated maintenance, and smaller staff requirements. While DaaS allows companies to offset key data responsibilities to third-party providers, it relies on server stability, can potentially limit data capabilities, and requires additional security and compliance.
Data as a service encompasses a range of data-focused technologies that can work separately or together in a software platform, including data aggregation, data marketplaces, and data scraping. Throughout these services, DaaS providers need to offer data modeling, replication, and transformation to suit and sell to their clients' needs. In addition, DaaS requires information lifecycle and content management systems to ensure their data is up-to-date, correct, easy to work with, and useful.
Data aggregation is the act of pulling data from web content, applications and other sources. Data aggregators curate the data, making it easier to use and read before reusing or selling it to consumers. Data as a service data aggregators are third-party businesses that offer their services for a subscription or volume-based rate, allowing organizations to utilize these aggregation tools without having to invest time and money into running their own congregation technology.
Data marketplaces are public, commercial, or monetized realms for sharing data. International Data Corporation (IDC) published a reference guide to data marketplaces in early 2021, defining data marketplaces "as a forum where multiple data sets or products are available for sale or license from more than one data seller."
Data sharing has been used for academic, research, and public policy for decades but has gained use in private enterprises including business analytics, consulting, and market intelligence. As data volumes have grown and businesses have shifted to niche markets, data consumers have grown to include newer industries (big business, analysts, market intelligence) and also traditional government, education, and financial institutions.
The earliest known and most prominent data marketplace is Bloomberg, a financial data company founded in 2014 that aggregates sales data from sources and suppliers and sells it to customers on a per-transaction or subscription-based model. IDC estimates the volume of data transactions via marketplaces to accelerate over the next two years, as these services become more efficient and effective for both buyers and sellers.
Data scraping, also known as web data extracting or data crawling, is the process of automated collection of structured data. Data scrapers are often used for finding and aggregating product prices, news, sales leads, and business intelligence. The process is valuable due to its ability to efficiently obtain structured web data from any public website. Web scrapers involve two parts working together: the crawler, which wanders the web and indexes page addresses, and the scraper, which pulls and saves the data from the page. Crawlers typically require more complex algorithms and technology to search and index pages effectively, with scrapers acting using more straightforward methods to pull and structure data.
The crawler, generally called a "spider," is an artificial intelligence program that looks through the internet in search of data. The crawler follows links and explores, searching for content and indexing website URLs.
Crawlers are important because while there is a massive amount of public information on the internet, not all of it is easily found or searched for through standard search methods. These crawlers need to work in a way that doesn't aggravate servers while still digging deep enough to collect the maximum amount of content. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are often used to teach crawlers how to find the most data they can without disrupting networks and raising flags on these pages.
The scraper is a tool designed to quickly and accurately extract data from a web page. After the crawler finds and indexes where the information is located, the scraper begins to locate and pull the data off of the web page. The scraper uses data locators to find the data, before extracting the data from the HTML code the website is built on.
Data as a service aggregators collect data from multiple databases, combining the various sources into one place to derive new insights, relationships, and patterns. Internal data aggregation is expensive and individual companies rarely have the resources to obtain a large amount of market share data, creating value in purchasing information from third-party data providers. Common data aggregation systems focus on specific industries, include finance, healthcare, marketing, and retail.
Data marketplaces are online transactional locations that facilitate the buying and selling of data. Data marketplaces can stand alone or be incorporated into data as a service providers' aggregation and analysis platforms. Data as a service marketplaces offer curated data, reducing consumers' time spent finding, collecting, and cleaning data.
Data as a service marketplaces are made up of numerous congregated stakeholders, which include the marketplace provider, data providers, analytics providers, data transporters, billing and payment processors, consumers, and regulation authorities.
Data as a service marketplace companies
Data as a service data scrapers offer third-party data scraping technology to customers. Organizations tell these DaaS companies their requirements, including what information they are searching for and how it should be structured. These services reduce the time it takes for organizations to clean data and the cost of developing and running their own web scrapers.
Data scraper, extractor and crawler companies
Companies in this industry
Data as a Service, Data Marketplace and
Data Lake – Models, Data Concerns and
New IDC Reference Guide Assesses the State of Data Marketplaces
International Data Corporation
January 25, 2021
The rise of big data marketplaces
October 27, 2015