In what ways can someone benefit from a peer-to-peer IoT data marketplace? - DataBrokerDAO

medium.com5y ago

In the IoT data marketplace ecosystem we have identified four distinct groups that can benefit greatly from participating in a peer-to-peer data marketplace. Sensor owners, data buyers, data processors and network operators all have a clear advantage. In this blogpost we will go into detail on each of them and try to give you a complete overview of these stakeholders

Stakeholders in DataBroker DAO’s ecosystem Sensor owners

Sensor owners are the stakeholders who have purchased IoT sensors and offer the data emitted from their sensors for sale via the DataBroker DAO platform. This is a diverse group that has generally purchased sensors in order to improve the efficiency of their operations. The key role of Sensor Owners in DataBroker DAO is to sell the data from their sensors on the platform.

Data buyers

Data Buyers are those stakeholders who will purchase data on the platform. The scope of this purchase could be to use the data in its raw form, for their own purposes, or to transform/enrich the raw data to be resold with added value via DataBroker DAO (see Data Processor below).

The use of the data purchased by Data Buyers can be quite straightforward, for instance purchasing temperature and rainfall data provisioned by a neighbouring office building to get accurate local readings, to the more complex, like purchasing data to train one’s AI.

Data processors

Data Processors are those Data Buyers who purchase data with the explicit intention of enriching the data and either reselling it or handling it for their clients. The enrichment may take many forms and Data Processors can be categorized by the level of insight provided:

Simple data services are the most common. Data brokers collect data from multiple sources and offer it in collected and conditioned form — data which would otherwise be fragmented, conflicted and sometimes unreliable.Smart data services provide conditioned and calculated data, with analytical rules and calculations applied to derive further insight from the collected data and aid the decision-making process.Adaptive data services apply analysis to a customer’s request-specific data combined with data in a context store. This is a more advanced form of service.

It is estimated that there are more than 5,000 data processing companies worldwide relying on a vast array of open datasets published by government agencies and non-governmental organizations (Moore, 2016) in combination with their proprietary datasets and algorithms to enrich publicly available data.

These range from specialised boutiques, such as CB Insights, Fico, Intelius, etc. to large global consultancies such as McKinsey, Deloitte, PWC. It is estimated that 75 percent of analytics solutions will incorporate at least ten or more data sources from second-party partners or third-party providers by 2019.

Network operators

The data emitted by the billions of devices deployed globally flow across a wireless sensor network (WSN) operated generally (but not exclusively) by large telecommunications companies in each country. This may be a traditional GSM network, a LORA network or an alternative such as SigFox.

Who “wins” in this story? Almost everyone…

Sensor owners (data providers) are able to directly monetise their data to generate passive income that will turn a sunk cost into a potential money maker and at least the opportunity to recoup some of their investments in IoT sensors (purchase, installation, maintenance, software licenses to interpret the sensor data). .   Data buyers and data processors get data as a service so do not need to make the upfront investment in hardware to get the data they require. Another advantage for both buyer types is that DataBroker DAO provides access to data that would otherwise be trapped in the data silos of sensor owners.   Network providers: gain scale and speed in the adoption of their network as the telecom connected to DataBroker DAO can present a win-back to their enterprise accounts, a clear USP. These network operators are the gateway through which the data flows to the DAO, and as such, they are also paid out immediately for each sale in the platform.

Who might “loose” in this story?

Sensor manufacturers: While manufacturers will increase sales in the short run due to the higher profitability of IoT projects. However, on the longer term, “sharing” sensors may reduce their day-to-day sales. This can be balanced by higher replacements due to the higher amount of sensors in the field.

However, hardware margins are in a “race to the bottom” and are already razor thin. Sensor providers already make most of their money via software and services. From this perspective, the producer can pull resources and capital out of unprofitable hardware manufacturing and allocate these to successful SaaS offerings. From our discussions with manufacturers, they are very enthusiastic about this prospect.


As you can see, there are unbridled opportunities for anyone involved in the IoT scene. In a follow up post we will highlight a few interesting use cases from both the buyer and seller side of the equation.