OSS Bureau of Statistics

If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment [ed. unless it’s a marketing experiment 😉 ].”
Ernest Rutherford.

Assuming that yesterday’s hypothesis was correct and many of a CSP‘s customers are looking for data to identify marketing opportunities, what valuable service can we make of that?

Government-based Bureaus of Statistics (BoS) have long provided stats such as population, demographics, etc that have been used by product and marketing teams. But much of that data is quite stale by the time it reaches their audiences, having been collected via census and similar primary research.

OSS BoS have the advantage of being much more real-time and thus are actionable immediately… but only if they’re collecting and disseminating useful (but de-personalised) data sets.

Given that the likely customers of this service will be dependent on electronic communications for key aspects of their business model and/or supply chain, CSPs are more ideally placed to gather these metrics than most. This isn’t ground-breaking stuff though. People have been speaking of data / analytics as a service (DaaS / AaaS) as a potential revenue stream for CSPs for some time.

The part that I’m curious about is whether there’s sufficient strength in the revenue stream for an OSS vendor to actually give their OSS to a CSP for free (or loss-leader) in return for a revenue stream from the AaaS. Perhaps even a BOO (Build-Own-Operate) arrangement in return for a big slice of ongoing cash-flow?

That would be pretty attractive to any CSPs that don’t want the hassle or the expense of managing an OSS stack (thus leveraging John Reilly’s Value Fabric). But do the potential revenues justify the risk for the vendor?

This is where I would love to get your help. Do you, have any thoughts on how to go about testing these ideas or gauging customer appetite for such products? Are you aware of any precedents or any data sets that have already been collected?

After all, if there’s no need (demand)… there’s no need (to supply).

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