Barriers to Democratising Space Data for Global Business

15th July 2021

Everyone is aware of the space sector as it relates to assets in space. If you say space shuttle, satellites, or mission operations – it’s likely that a clear picture comes to mind. One of aerospace engineers, astroscience experts, and astronauts working to make space applications a reality.

But this is only a small element of the ‘space’ sector. There are so many more ways that ‘space’ is being turned into a commercial asset.

The downstream space sector has absolutely boomed in the past few years. Encompassing “all activities based on space technology, or using a space derived-system” (ESA), there are hundreds of companies that are trying to find new ways to commoditise and productise space.

Take satellite data. Satellite imagery has become increasingly easy to access, and at a high-quality level.

That being said, where so many continue to fall down is using this imagery and using space data.

While there has been an explosion of sectors taking the plunge into remote sensing – such as finance or environmental – the disconnect between collection and application still exists in more established geospatial fields. We have the tools to collect the data, but we aren’t doing enough with it.

Because of this, the geospatial sector is at risk of stagnation.

Democratising space data

Moving from a product-oriented sector into the geospatial realm, I’ve recognised that this sector is facing huge data challenges. As a whole, geospatial companies are struggling to strategically commoditise data. They’re trying to sell data but aren’t providing their prospects with proper incentive or packaging.

In contrast, I’m leading 4EI to take a different stance. We have recognised the ‘accessibility’ gaps in the industry and innovated a niche position that combines geospatial, earth observation, and space to bring applied intelligence back to the forefront.

Our unique perspective has launched our growth. By prioritising genuine business use cases, we enable you not just to own data, but to use data.

This potential is there for the entire sector. That’s why I’ve created this series – to help our market collectively advance and evolve. In the next four blogs, I’ve put the biggest barriers to data democratisation and commoditisation that I’ve seen in this industry first-hand, down on paper.

The rest of the series will be published over the course of this week. Follow our insights page and our social accounts on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to stay up to date. 

Mariam Crichton

by Mariam Crichton

As Group Managing Director, Mariam provides organisational leadership as well as heading up the 4EI Product Innovation Hub.

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