There is no question that people are buying things online in ever increasing numbers or that they are creating reams of data while they are doing it. What to do with the data--how to use it, how to turn it into something useful, that's a greater mystery.
Slice wants to solve it.
Born as a research project at Stanford Business School, the lesson plan turned app scans inboxes for e-receipts, makes them searchable and tracks package deliveries. Sometimes the data is interesting but weird--Slice's work with a baby products company found that its customers were spending a lot more money on flower delivery than their nearest competitor's, reports Forbes.
But why would consumers sacrifice so much of their data? CEO of DataCoup Matt Hogan suggests paying them for it.
“We are increasingly living our lives on digital platforms, creating treasure troves of data, yet we don’t appear to be making much headway towards controlling that data and being compensated in a more transparent way,” Hogan said. “I think it would make for a far more efficient market if consumers were consciously aware of the trade-off occurring with regards to their data and were able to participate in the value-chain of their data, beyond the opacity of a free app or service that appears unrelated to data sales.”
Rakuten purchased Slice earlier this year for an undisclosed sum.