Are your eggs free range? Your coffee Fairtrade? Were the makers of your T-shirt well paid? Do you trust your news source? How do you know?
Provenance forms an integral part of a product’s selling story. From food and drink, to consumer goods, from facts to ‘fake news’, it’s never been more important to us to be able to trust the origins of what we consume.
If you’re in the market for good data, knowing how it is produced and collated should always be top of mind when choosing a supplier. So how can you be sure you’re making secure, well-informed choices?
When it comes to data provenance, there are 3 key questions you should be asking.
1. Where did it come from?
It always pays to look beneath the surface. Trusting the provenance of purchased data goes much deeper than simply knowing the name of your supplier. It’s important to feel comfortable with the level of transparency you experience with your provider. Can they tell you which part of their core business the data product comes from and how it was derived or produced?
2. What’s in it?
The less you know, the higher your exposure to risk, so be clear on what’s in the data. Is the product based on observed trades or verified data? Is it produced by the supplier or sourced from third parties? Is the supplier co-mingling with other sources of data and could there be any potential risks as a result of that? If the data is synthetic, produced from combining or co-mingling data, you may need to have access to the raw data or to see the analytics in depth. If this isn’t possible, you need to assess where the risks are within that data: is there a consistency risk or a quality element to consider?
During extensive investigations for our clients, EOSE have found examples where supplier data sets include underlying sources that recycle data between entities. Although one entity produces the data, it is sometimes common for others to use the data and for the resulting data from these sources to then be merged back by a vendor and sold on. This can result in giving uneven weight to the end data from one synthetic price source.
3. Who owns it?
Make sure everything’s on the level. Be sure that your supplier owns the data, and every single component, and check they have the correct licences in place to derive or co-mingle the data, if it’s not entirely generated in-house. Be sure the provider has collected, managed and distributed the data in full compliance with industry standard terms.
There can be no cutting corners.
It always pays to dig deep into the provenance of your data before you purchase, to prevent problems downstream. As bespoke data-sourcing experts, EOSE work together with data producers to provide the reliable, robust and tailored data you need, packaged and licensed, and with clearly defined terms for usage. Because we know, when it comes to buying good data, it’s all about trust.