A Business Model Based on Data

Selling data, pure data, can prove to become a new business model for companies and sites who are struggling to make money or increase their revenues.

Since aggregate numbers about interactions are highly valuable in giving insights on user behavior, the data gives tools for better decision-making for business and marketing people.

Just like the advertising-driven model, where you make money if you have enough traffic, a similar model can be applied for selling data about usage, if you have enough traffic.

The great opportunity is in the fact that the same data can be useful to different clients in different ways and different geographies. Some clients might be interested in behavior related to certain content, and some others might be interested in purchasing patterns as they relate to certain geographies.

Just like market research companies collect one set of data, analyze them, and produce a report which is sold several times, so can websites if they can provide the data in a structured and segmentable way.

Infochimps is a great example of a platform that allows you to sell and buy data, you can even post data for free and share it with the world. This inevitably leads me to think about micro data (personal data) of people. Will a person be able to make a smalll monthly income by just plugging in her own data? Market research companies have always wanted to pay money and collect data about certain types of people, why not automate it? 

Another form is the corporate model. My friend Waseem updated me on the latest generation of viruses that don't do any immediate harm to your computer, but just lie there trying to find patterns of behavior, loopholes in a system, and ways to steal or destry on a larger scale than computers.

Why not a friendly virus? A software that is installed on the company network and collects anonymous data about the behavior of employees. The company collecting the data will have a lot of companies from which they aggregate data and sell them in a structured useful way to various clients. This way you can make money from your employees' "wasting" their time on social networks and chat applications!