Data is the new currency of the information age, which means that if you’re a developer, you can use data monetization to earn more from your app. Advertisers, marketers, and data analytics companies are prime customers for any developer who has data to offer.

And if you don’t have any to offer, simply integrate some tracking tools into your app or add some code to monitor and collect data.

Data Monetization: What to Collect and Monetize

For best results, collect as much as you can: the more connections you can make between data and customers, the better.

Here are just a few types of data you can collect and then sell to third parties.

Demographic Data – Age, economic status, educational background, ethnic background, gender, and location are some examples of demographic data that is critical to effective marketing and advertising. The more you can collect, the more valuable it will be for your marketing efforts.

Interests – With the rise of social networks such as Facebook, it has become easier and easier to find out what interests individuals and groups of people. Previously, much of this information was gleaned through controlled studies, surveys, and indirect inferences. Today, “likes,” search behavior, surfing behavior, and app usage behavior can provide detailed information that is very useful to marketers.

Geo-Location Data – While a person’s address, region, and city of residence may be considered demographic data, smartphones and GPS allow apps to track specific movements. Apps such as Foursquare, for instance, can provide detailed information about people’s movements and physical locations, which can also be used to inform advertising and marketing programs.

Health Data – Smartwatches such as the Apple Watch are invaluable tools for advertisers, because many are being designed with the capability to track physical movement, such as the amount of time spent sitting, walking, or working out. Fitness apps, therefore, can potentially earn a steady stream of income by providing this data to marketers and advertisers.

App Usage Data – How people use your app can also be useful for marketers. The type of data, how useful it is, and who you sell it to, though, would depend greatly on the nature of the app.

Turning Data into Information

What’s the difference between data and information?

Data is discrete, disconnected numbers or facts, while information forms the connections between those numbers that allows us to act.

For instance, we can receive data that tells us individual test scores for a group of students. We can turn that data into information by averaging test results to find out how well the class does as a whole. And we can take that further and generate actionable results from that information, by evaluating the students’ progress, the study materials, or the teacher’s methods.

When you look at it this way, you should be able to figure out which data your potential customers would find useful.

Figure out what your customers are looking for in order to provide them with the right data. Data, by itself, is useless. By finding out the information and results that you target customers want to glean from their data, you’ll know what data you should be gathering and providing.

Provide information instead of raw data. If you do your customer’s job for them, you can make yourself that much more valuable. For instance, let’s say that you have designed a diet app: if your customer is a marketing company that wants to find out how many people over a certain age are eating certain types of popular diets, you could provide them with raw data about the foods they eat, or you could do the legwork for them and provide them with information about eating habits.

Design your product around a data monetization strategy. If you decide to use data monetization as your primary monetization strategy for a product, you may benefit from designing your product with this strategy in mind. In other words, take a look at your niche industry, your target customers, and the target audience, then design an app that collects data and solves the end user’s problem.


We live in an information economy. And despite all the hype around big data, it’s really the information that’s important. Data technology and big data are simply tools we use to help us generate that information.

While advertising is certainly one of the most popular monetization strategies – because it works – data monetization is also a good way to add another income stream. With a little creativity and research, you’ll be able to find the right customers for your data.