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Author's profile photo Corrie Brague

Managing Third-Party Data Providers in the Cloud: a guide for Chief Data Officers (CDOs)

What Do CDOs Need to Consider?

This blog was developed from a Thought Leadership whitepaper written by Maria Villar.  Managing Data in the Cloud is a guide to help Chief Data Officers (CDOs) manage data sources, quality, processes, analytics, and more.  This is Part Three in a three-part series.

In managing your third-party data sources in the cloud, what type of things should you consider?  Acquiring, storing, and using third-party data sources have been requirements for CDOs since the 1980s, especially in the financial services and telecommunication industries.

Third-party data has commonly been used to enable and enhance internal master data content for data quality management and to supplement business-led research and analytics.

 

What have we learned over time?

  • Finding suitable third-party data providers is time-consuming and often requires using unconventional (and perhaps outdated) sources, such as industry magazines, domain experts, and country residents. Often the same or similar data is purchased separately by different business units.
  • The process to integrate third-party data into your internal infrastructure is often lengthy and complicated, not to mention the need to ensure the data is used legally across the corporate ecosystem.
  • Third-party metadata is often missing or incomplete, requiring internal data teams to perform metadata remediation manually.

Yet, there is an ever-growing need for more and different third-party data.

 

Trends we see:

The growing trend is for third-party data to be provided as add-on features to SaaS, PaaS, and BPaaS cloud solutions, such as the AWS Data Exchange or a data exchange network from SAP like SAP Asset Intelligence Network or the data marketplace for the SAP Data Warehouse Cloud solution. Also growing are data marketplace solutions such as Datarade, which offers buyers thousands of data source options, as well as data-sharing exchanges such as CDQ, which offers data-sharing and collaboration services.

Today, data marketplaces typically connect buyers to sellers, with little data quality assessments provided. The “fit for purpose” evaluation is left to the buyer, with some limited help from select providers.

Another emerging trend is for data marketplaces to match willing buyers with sellers based on specific requirements and target price, similar to what is available in other marketplaces. Remember to think through ownership rights, end-of-term actions, and pricing models, among other factors.

 

Planning your strategy:

CDOs (regardless of industry) need to address the requirements for third-party data. It starts with explicitly including third-party data management in the overall enterprise data strategy as a way of doing business.

To meet this challenge, designate a senior team member to be your Head of Data Acquisition, reporting to the CDO. No longer a fragmented or part-time assignment, this senior role includes defining and driving the data acquisition strategy and partnering with IT, stakeholders, and legal to facilitate the integration of third-party data.

Important questions to ask:

  • Should the acquisition of each datatype be centralized or localized?
  • Where will new data come from, for example, from a marketplace or a sole provider? Where will it be integrated?
  • Who will use it? For what purpose?  Who pays for it?
  • Are there usage restrictions?
  • What data format is required?
  • What service-level agreements are needed to ensure solution efficacy?
  • Does the data require anonymization?
  • What happens to the data if or when the third-party data contract expires?

 

This concludes our three-part series. 

 

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