1010data builds a big data bartering platform in the cloud

If you’re in the market to buy and sell data sets, or maybe to track down some particularly useful analytics applications, 1010data thinks it has just the thing for you. The company, best known for its cloud-based analytics service that lets users quickly analyze huge amounts of relational data using a spreadsheet-like interface, has launched a new platform on which users can build their own applications and buy, sell and mashup their data sets with the rest of the community.

Called the Analytical Dataspace, 1010data’s new offering is like the Walmart (s wmt) of data marketplaces in that it brings together everything you need for valuable analytics — data, applications and even some customer service. Or maybe it’s like the Goodwill of data, in that the data sets are used, but not used up. However you choose to characterize the Analytical Dataspace, though, it’s probably a good idea and probably a sign of things to come.

When people talk about the three Vs of big data — volume, velocity and variety — the latter can be more of a benefit than a challenge to overcome, although finding the right blend of data sources isn’t always possible. We’ve seen data marketplaces pop up and succeed to varying degrees, but their products tend to target application developers wanting API access to data, and the data sets themselves can be of questionable utility for many enterprises. In theory, 1010data’s new platform should help solve these problems because its customers are typically larger businesses with data that could actually be valuable to other organizations. Already, the company hosts a number of data sets covering everything from home prices to financial markets to weather.

It also doesn’t hurt that these data sets reside on a platform that also includes applications to analyze them. There’s 1010data’s general-purpose service, but also forthcoming¬†industry- or application-specific services from software partners that will sit atop that. After all, all the data in the world is only useful if you know what to do with it, and 1010data thinks a collection of analytics applications will take away any guesswork.

The Analytical Dataspace is just a step in the evolution of data-centric communities, however. While it advances and puts an enterprise spin on the work of companies such as Factual and Datafiniti (and even Google’s (s goog) Fusion Tables, to a degree), it’s not quite the nirvana that Cisco (s csco) envisions with data infomediaries serving as the hubs for all the big data needs of entire industries. It’s not quite clear where, or whether, these types of communities or brokerages will catch on, but one has to expect there’ll be some traction if there’s a profit to be made.

Feature image courtesy of Shutterstock user JeremyRichards.