Amazon today announced a new addition to its growing stable of cloud products: Amazon Web Services (AWS) Data Exchange. It’s pitching it as a way for AWS customers to “securely” find, subscribe to, and use third-party data from “category-leading” brands including Change Healthcare and Foursquare. On the data provider side of the equation, it in theory eliminates the need to build and maintain infrastructure for storage, delivery, billing, and entitling.
More than 80 data providers have contributed over 1,000 products containing data at launch, Amazon says. Reuters is making available its curated selection of over 2.2 million unique news stories in multiple languages, while Dun & Bradsetreet is opening up its corpus of more than 330 million global business records.
“Customers have asked us for an easier way to find, subscribe to, and integrate diverse data sets into the applications, analytics, and machine-learning models they’re running on AWS. Unfortunately, the way customers exchange data hasn’t evolved much in the last 20 years,” said AWS Data Exchange general manager Stephen Orban. “AWS Data Exchange gives our customers the ability to quickly integrate third-party data in the workloads they’re migrating to the cloud, while giving qualified data providers a modern and secure way to package, deliver, and reach the millions of AWS customers worldwide.”
To this end, AWS Data Exchange enables customers to select from third-party data sources in AWS Marketplace. Once subscribed, they’re able to use the AWS Data Exchange API or console to funnel data directly into Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), and each time a provider publishes a new revision of their data, AWS Data Exchange will notify them via a CloudWatch Event so that the revision can be propagated to applicable data lakes, apps, and AI models.
Data subscription costs are consolidated in existing AWS invoices, and customers can ask data providers to deliver existing subscriptions to them using AWS Data Exchange at no cost. As for data providers, they’re able to publish free or paid products under terms they specify, or they can issue private offers with custom terms for specific AWS customers. Alternatively, they can opt to approve each subscription for compliance or to review intended uses cases.
AWS Data Exchange delivers daily, weekly, and monthly reports detailing subscription activity to providers, and Amazon imposes restrictions on the sort of data that can be made available to customers. Perhaps unsurprisingly, sensitive personal data (like health information) and any information that’s not “already lawfully and publicly available” is prohibited from the platform.
“Being a provider for AWS Data Exchange enables companies to directly access Foursquare’s audiences and places datasets — which is derived from our understanding of 220 million unique consumers, 100 million devices, and 60 million global commercial venues — in order to strengthen customer intelligence, build context-rich applications, and assess category & chain trends,” said Foursquare senior vice president of product Josh Cohen. “AWS Data Exchange provides us with secure access to customers at incomparable scale, while also serving as an easy data ingestion and activation vehicle for data usage.”
AWS continues to be a growth driver for Amazon, albeit to a lesser degree than in years past. Amazon revealed during its most recent quarterly earnings that the cloud computing division accounted for about 13% of Amazon’s total revenue for the quarter, growing 45% in sales to $9 billion.