Paying for data is a contentious issue, and in this brief we analyse the arguments for and against.

While focused here on data in the financial markets, these issues are just as relevant for all data usage, and becoming ever more important as financial institutions, companies, and other entities realise their proprietary data could have real value and more importantly can be turned into long term revenue flows, which means someone is going to have to pay.

The internet has thrown the whole question of paying for data into play and has resulted in regulation, law suits and people simply ignoring Intellectual Property Rights. The marketplace for data is driven by commercial and transactional data backed by the ability of source owners to police their IPRs. In markets where the consumers are financial institutions and corporates, which usually tend to prefer a rule based environment, the issue tends to be the cost of data rather than the principle of paying.

However as the consumer base expands, and the amount of data produced explodes (See the infographic below) the debates are likely to get more heated. So what questions should be asked and answered?