It’s all in the data.

Yesterday’s announcement from Barchart about its new commodities data offering, called cmdty, is part of the drumbeat of new products and services that are designed to bring something new to the market participants they serve.

“We want to differentiate ourselves,” said Keith Petersen, head of strategy at  Barchart. “Aggregating and compiling new data sets and cleaning them so people don’t have to do that themselves and distributing that to them in easy-to-use formats, that’s our value-add.”

In many ways, this is only the beginning for data.

In Barchart’s case,  the cmdty product’s focus is on collecting and delivering data on grain production and OTC corn and soybean prices with a variety of proprietary grain indexes at the county, state and regional levels. It will then be delivered to its customers via cmdtyData and cmdtyNewswires. Next year, it will also be integrated into its data dashboard platform.

It’s one more example of how firms are turning to data, and data creation, as the next growth engine. Of course, Intercontinental Exchange has led the charge into the data and analytics space with several major acquisitions including the $5.2 billion purchase of Interactive Data Corp in December 2015. In Q2, ICE reported that “independent, realtime information and data” represented 73 percent of its $12.6 billion ICE Data revenues in the quarter.

Trading Technologies’ purchase of Neurensic shows how artificial intelligence and machine learning can be integrated with the massive cache of data. Customers will soon be able to not only search for data that reveals compliance or non-compliance, but perhaps identifies great trades and opportunities in new ways.

In a similar ballpark, TD Ameritrade offers the IMX, a sentiment index based on its customers’ trades. In other words, it’s using customer data to produce a proprietary index for those same participants. CME Group held an event last month featuring a conversation with John Han, head of research and analysis with Orbital Insight and David Potere, CEO and co-founder of Tellus Labs, both of which provide a host of new satellite-driven data. Tellus, which will be at the FIA Expo next week, combines satellite imagery on crop production and mixes in machine learning. Orbital Insight, which also utilizes satellite imagery, has raised $78.7 million to provide data on everything from cars in store parking lots to oil production and shipping data.

None of this is a newsflash for firms like Barchart. The host of the annual FinTech Exchange Conference revolved much of its 2017 event around big data. But this data explosion is now well supported by cloud providers, which are becoming increasingly agile and innovative about how to deliver all that data back to end users.

The trend has more room to grow.

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