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The internet is a source of vast quantities of data, both public domain and commercial content. Many organizations publish datasets in a wide variety of disparate formats, to which customers can subscribe. However, it can be difficult for customers to locate and subscribe to these datasets. Furthermore, it can be challenging to use these datasets in ways that add value.
Consider a business that has identified a need for a specific type of data, whether it is customers and their buying habits, products from suppliers, geographical information, population statistics, scientific research, political statistics, or entertainment information. An internet search will
locate several competing data suppliers. But how does the customer make a fair and direct comparison of the dataset features to select the one most suitable? (ÇÈÍÀ)
And this is just the beginning. After the company has located and chosen a suitable dataset, how do they integrate it into their business? The fact is, data is often available in a wide variety of formats. For example, many publishers use XML, but define their own schema, and may use SOAP, REST, or JSON to exchange information. As a result, the business must devote development time to integrate the dataset into its desktop applications, web sites, cloud applications, and other data-consuming software. This issue is multiplied across every single dataset that the company acquires from different sources.
After the dataset has been integrated into the company, users get their hands on it for the first time. Poor quality data only becomes obvious at this point—and if it is, in fact, not useful, the purchase and development costs have been for naught. And although many dataset suppliers promise a certain level of availability through their Service Level Agreements (SLAs), some suppliers are over-ambitious and may not meet their obligations. (ß)