When working on a business intelligence (BI) project, I frequently heard "just give me the data". This meant that the end data consumer wasn't interested in having our BI team create special reports. Rather, the consumer wanted a less refined product that the could then be used in a manner compatible with the consumer's technologies, analysis, and business rules.
At the recent IntegratioNEXT conference in Austin, TX (November 2010), several speakers brought up "Data as a Service" (DaaS). DaaS builds on concepts advocated by Software as a Service (SaaS) vendors, most notably, Salesforce.com. Both DaaS and SaaS offer the user convenience, flexibility, and lower implementation and maintenance costs. These selling points are based on a a service being offered over the Internet which has become faster and more open and poised to be more popular in the future.
Read Data as a Service for a few examples of DaaS: Google Public Data and Wolfram Alpha.
This post is replicated from http://my.opera.com/walkerca/blog/show.dml/22405782.