Big Data: source data as a tradeable commodity 

Big Data business builds on data as THE key input. This raw material, data sets, a new commodity, has received less attention from the Economists than raw material, called commodity. What can we learn from Commodity Trading? Market Places for Commodity, produced by farming or extracted by mining for instance, provide for a longer Economic History span than primary or source Data.
Cocoa has been studied by Economists, from the early use as a currency in pre-Colombian America, then an energy drink used by Spanish explorers, brought back to Europe and enjoyed as a precious drink from XVIth to XVIIIth century, then mixed with milk in a Swiss process from XIXth century.

Minerals extracted through mining give a good analogy for data coming from sensors. By the way the Schlumberger brothers were forerunners in exploratory big data targeting mineral resources.
The data quality, the authenticity of the source, the availability of data, are common features with raw minerals.

What can we learn from Commodity Industries and Commodity Trading? Extraction costs? Mechanisms determining their value?

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