Big Data is the new buzzword in the startup world. As with “social” and “real time” a lot of investors and entrepreneurs are betting big on this trend. These new companies are not only about Big Data, but about data in general. We can separate these startups in two categories:
Data marketplaces: Companies that sell datasets and enable people and institutions to trade their own datasets.
Data analysis tools: Companies that make brand new data analysis tools to handle big data problems or to make data analysis and visualization more easy.
What we are not seeing a lot are products for the end user.
Data products deliver insights not data
There a lot of products that contain a lot of data but aren’t data products.Twitter produces huge amounts of data, but their core is communication not data, the same can be said about Facebook. Not everybody wants to analyze data. People want insights not data. The next step we need to take in ”data science” is create more end user applications. How can we use data to make these products ? I can list four main themes:
Help people discover new things
Amazon product recommendations and Netflix movie suggestions are the most common references of data products to end users. However, we live in a world of information overload and saturation. Recommending movies is just a small step.
Help people learn about themselves
People love to know more about themselves and their friends. Mint can help users learn more about their finances and find patterns in their expenses. We can improve health, work and education by letting people find patterns and learn what works and doesn’t work.
Help People make decisions
Our decisions shapes our lives. We can’t make good decisions without the right data. FlightCaster alert people about flight delay hours before the airlines do, with this information people can take action and make more informed decisions.
Help people save time and money
Price comparison engines are everywhere. Instead of visiting a bunch of websites and collecting pricing and specs you can find what you want in seconds. What other kinds of information can we curate and deliver to our users to help them save time ?
I am excited to see what kind of products will emerge from the new breed of data startups. What kind of products do you want to see ?