Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Although researchers have discussed big data for years, they have thus far has scarcely touched on directly selling and monetizing data assets. This aspect has particular relevance given recent concerns about data privacy and security and the simultaneous explosion in the use of data for marketing and service-development purposes. In this paper, we describe an empirical study on companies’ initiatives about selling and monetizing data. We categorize the relevant business models based on several customer-refinement and scalability dimensions. We found several constraints (organization type, business type, data characteristics, privacy, and security) that companies should address to move from internally using data and supporting existing customers to generating new business through selling data. Based on the findings, we propose ways for practitioners to benefit from the data. For researchers, we provide directions for future studies that include developing strategies that foster compliance between companies’ aspirations and consumer/societal restrictions and that facilitate data-based innovation and revenue generation.





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