Large data sets provide opportunities for entrepreneurs to create new businesses that help customers make decisions using data and analytics.. I’ve reviewed a couple of them previously: Solum (geotargeting fertilizer to increase crop yield) and Steetlight Data (optimizing retail store location) A recent article in Slate entitled Here Comes the Data Economy describes how startups like BrightScope are leveraging big data from government sources mashed up with other data to provide a rating/review service. the article also mentions Weather.com, Accuweather.com which is based on raw data mashed together and substantially cleaned up from NOAA. While the article focuses on government sources of data and their value in the economy, it begs the larger question of big data companies leveraging a wide range of data — government, private, publically available free data — to create businesses based on data. Examples would be Veromi (identity and people search), Pandora (music), and Health Grades (physician ratings).
What these businesses have in common are combinations of data sets and a derived metric to present the information to the user . We’ll likely see a lot more of these businesses in the near that make big data meaningful and applicable to customer needs. The challenge will be to combine the data in meaningful ways that accurately inform decisions and then to present the data in an accessible fashion.