The flip side to using data to drive your business processes is using data to enhance the functionality of the products you make (which doesn’t apply to all products, for example, toothbrushes and pillows!). Some companies accomplish this by packaging data into a useful, insightful product they can then sell to other companies.

Twitter, while not a data product itself, licenses its data to providers like DataSift, who then go on to create a data product that companies gobble up for the insight it provides them. Some media companies package up their audience viewership data into products they turn around and sell to channel programmers and content creators. And so on.

The majority of companies building data-driven products, however, don’t create and sell pure data products. Rather, they use data to make their existing products more efficient, more intelligent, or more insightful in some way that directly or indirectly generates additional revenue.