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ClowdFlows Data and Text Analytics Marketplace on the Web

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CF-Web (ClowdFlows Data and Text Analytics Marketplace on the Web)

Reporting period: 2017-06-01 to 2018-11-30

The CF-Web project was aimed at opening the path for commercialisation of ClowdFlows, which is an open source cloud based platform for composition, execution and publishing of data analysis workflows in a Web browser. Data processing in ClowdFlows is managed in the browser by connecting processing components into an executable workflow, which is then executed in the cloud. Once constructed, workflows can be reused to process static data or high volumes of data streams. ClowdFlows is provided as a hosted service, but can be installed also on a private cloud. In the planned business model, ClowdFlows serves as a workflow publishing platform and a marketplace of ready-made workflows and data processing components, offering components for reuse to companies lacking the expertise and tools to perform data analytics. For the end users, the ClowdFlows marketplace allows to compensate the lack of internal developmental resources by crowdsourcing of needed analytical components. For the developers, the ClowdFlows marketplace represents a way to publish and monetize their work, and to connect to companies in need of easy to use cloud based data mining tools. The project’s overall objective was to analyse the market environment of the ClowdFlows marketplace and develop financial and business models and plans for its commercialization. Successful commercialization of ClowdFlows has the potential to establish new ties among the research and business communities and to strengthen the local and regional business community by enabling SMEs to better leverage their data for business intelligence and the researchers to easily monetize their work. The project results have a stimulating effect also on the entrepreneurial mindset in the FET research world through encouraging the development of new business skills and improving the market-facing awareness of the involved researchers and their academic community.
Through the work in the project and the outcomes of trainings and analyses, the commercialization idea for the ClowdFlows marketplace has been continuously developed, adapted and evolved. As a result, the ClowdFlows commercialization process has significantly advanced and is now also much more in line with the business reality.
The work in the project included the analysis of the market and competitive landscape for the ClowdFlows marketplace, acquisition of user needs, identification of likely market segments, development of product offerings tailored to the identified market segments and development of financial and business models.
In scope of market analysis we conducted studies of various resources (literature, Web, software documentation) and we analysed the feedback collected from the potential stakeholders during our public dissemination and outreach events and from dedicated interviews with the relevant representatives from the industry. This resulted in the identification of potential target customer groups, possible early adopters, market size estimations and analysis of main competitors, their products and pricing models.
We separately analysed the needs of developers of software components and the end-users of software solutions by conducting anonymous questionnaires and face-to-face interviews with end users, developers and potential clients. The resulting identification of user needs and expectations for each of the targeted user segments provided guidance for the product offerings and development of financial models.
The initial product offering specification was developed by formalization of platform components from the business aspect, identification of key features and functionalities that define each item in the product offering, followed by design of the ClowdFlows marketplace product offering that suits the needs of our target users and is in line with the business model. The business and financial models were based on the analysis of resources and information gathered throughout the project. Development of the business plan, however, required various additional activities such as a study of relevant IPR issues, identification of important legal aspects and the corresponding collection and preparation of documentation, analysis of investment strategies and establishment of presence at investment events.
We also exploited opportunities for training in commercialization of research results (e.g. FET2RIN workshops) and used several opportunities to present the project, its idea and the current product to potential partners and the general public. These included the presentations, posters, paper publications and meetings at business (e.g. the EBN Congress) and academic (e.g. the ECML PKDD conference) events.
The project and its corresponding activities significantly affected the ClowdFlows commercialisation plans and the business awareness of the involved research community. Through the project activities, the initial commercialisation idea of the ClowdFlows marketplace became more focused and refined. Activities, such as development of financial plans and first legal agreements helped to clear out the goals of the researchers involved in ClowdFlows and the ClowdFlows marketplace and their roles during commercialisation. The potential longterm impacts of commercialisation of ClowdFlows include strengthening of ties among the involved research and business communities and improved services for companies with limited internal resources to make use of their data for business intelligence.