Selling Big Data: Which Industries Sell Their Digital Data and Make Money From It?


Selling Big Data: Which Industries Sell Their Digital Data and Make Money From It?Not only do these industries differ widely by how much they spend on Big Data, the returns they generate, and the type of data they use, they also vary greatly in their practices of selling big data. Companies in certain industries – telecom and utilities in particular – are far more likely to sell digital data externally. Half the telecom companies we surveyed do so, along with 38% of the utility companies. (See Exhibit III-5)

Industries that are least likely to sell big data (digital data) are energy & resources (only 14% of companies do so), heavy manufacturing (16%), and life sciences (18%).

Exhibit III-5: Which Industries are More Likely to Sell Their Digital Data?

Q10: % of Companies by Industry That Sold Their Digital Data in 2012

Exhibit III-5: Which Industries are More Likely to Sell Their Digital Data? | Q10:     Percent of Companies by Industry That Sold Their Digital Data in 2012

So how do these industries compare in terms of how much revenue they generate from selling big data (digital data)? One industry – insurance – finishes far above the others. This is especially noteworthy given that only 23% of the insurance companies surveyed sell their digital data to third parties. The average insurance company we surveyed had $40 million in revenue in 2012 from the digital data that it sold. Telecom ($29 million per company) and high tech ($26 million) companies were a distant second and third. (See Exhibit III-6)

At the other end of the spectrum were energy & resources companies (averaging only $2 million in revenue for data sold) and travel/hospitality/airline companies ($7 million).

Exhibit III-6: Insurers Generate the Most Revenue From Selling Their Data

Q13-a: Mean Annual Revenue Per Company by Industry in 2012 from Selling Digital Data

Exhibit III-6: Insurers Generate the Most Revenue From Selling Their Data | Q13a:     Mean Annual Revenue Per Company by Industry in 2012 from Selling Digital Data

So what about the companies that didn’t sell their digital data in 2012? Which industries were most likely to change their minds by 2015 and sell their data? Media and entertainment (38% of those that don’t sell their data today plan to do so by 2015), telecom (36%), and energy & resources (32%), in that order. Only 22% of insurers that don’t sell data today plan to do so in three years – despite being the industry with the highest per-company revenue from selling digital data. (See Exhibit III-7)

Exhibit III-7: Who Plans to Sell Their Data by 2015?

Q13-b: % of Companies by Industry That Expect to Sell Their Digital Data by 2015

Exhibit III-7: Who Plans to Sell Their Data by 2015? |Q13b: Percent of Companies by Industry That Expect to Sell Their Digital Data by 2015



Big Data Study Findings: Industries
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