Data Collaboration Platforms represent a new product category. Membership to that category requires that the product follow certain essential tenants.
Not all data is created equal. Data Collaboration Platforms strive to simplify the data supply chain. Wells Fargo's definition of data fidelity is:
Data fidelity means that as data travels from the point of origination to consumption, it retains its granularity and meaning. While format might change for data in transit, the goal is to ensure that its meaning remains unaltered
Data Collaboration Platforms focus on making sure the data that is available is high fidelity and meets the principle of the data retaining its granularity and meaning. In fact, Narrative only alters the data under two conditions:
- Narrative's Data Collaboration Platform normalizes data into a common schema across providers. While the data is being altered it retains its granularity (it is never aggregated) and meaning (none of the underlying attributes are created or destroyed)
- A Narrative customer may dictate that the data be altered to meet their internal business rules. For example, a buyer may not want to receive records with a full IP address for privacy reasons. The buyer may direct Narrative to remove the last octet of the IP address. Narrative only makes the change for the buyer making the request and only at the buyer's request.
Markets operate most efficiently when they have transparency and data markets aren't an exception to this rule. Transparency comes in many forms when working with a Data Collaboration Platform:
- Supply Chain: Buyers know who is selling the data, how the data was collected and is able to build a relationship with their counterparts. Sellers know who is buying their data and how it is being used. Further, both buyers and sellers are free to cultivate relationships with one another to create long term strategic partnerships worthy of the importance of data being moved between parties.
- Pricing: Data Collaboration Platforms need to operate with transparent pricing. The goal of the platforms is to make the data ecosystem more trustworthy and to not be an active participant. Opacity in the pricing structure only hurts this objective.
- Product: Customers using a Data Collaboration Platform should fully understand how the mechanics of the platform work for themselves as well as their counterparts using the tools. Again, trust is paramount in any market and eliminating black boxes as part of the product offering needs to be a priority.
Data Collaboration Platforms were created to give control back to organizations as their data strategies mature. Empowerment, in the form of allowing customers to act autonomously, is the key to giving that control back.
It is vital that a Data Collaboration Platform not be considered an agent of only buyers or only sellers. Data Collaboration Platforms are stewards of the broader data ecosystem and need to be a neutral, trusted entity. This neutrality includes a balanced set of product features supporting buyers, sellers, consumers, and third-party developers as well as a philosophy of not participating in any form in the buying and selling of data.
Data Collaboration Platforms support across a variety of industries, data types, use-cases, and solutions and are built without making assumptions for how the underlying data usage. Narrative's approach to creating a generalized solution is to treat different types of data as separate products, called data types, and each data type has an associated schema, sometimes referred to as a data dictionary.
Narrative defines each schema, and they include both required and optional fields. Suppliers' data is normalized into these schemas to treat a single definition of a given data type, making it easier for buyers to work with multiple parties without having to worry about the intricacies of each supplier's file format.
Data Collaboration Platforms are often confused with data marketplaces. A data marketplace is focused solely on the data transaction -- the buying and selling. A Data Collaboration Platform is focused on the larger problem, of which the transaction is a part of. Narrative's Data Collaboration Platform does include a marketplace that offers instant liquidity to both buyers and sellers and while that liquidity is an important part of our value proposition, we think it is only a small piece of the puzzle. Narrative also believes that data marketplaces will be ubiquitous and that Data Collaboration Platforms should interoperate across marketplaces and avoid limiting liquidity to their internal marketplace.