In an analytics context, a data consumer is the individual for whom a report or dashboard is made. In the context of a data exchange, a data consumer is the person or organization that wishes to receive data.
Data consumers simply want to consume reports and dashboards created for them. Some only view the content, while others interact with it, searching, drilling, sorting, pivoting, and creating snapshots for later viewing.
Data consumers represent by far the largest portion of self-service users. They rely on tools such as dashboards to find answers to business questions. They can interpret visualizations and put data in context but don’t build any data products for themselves. Executives and decision makers often fall in this group. For them, time comes at a premium, so they need clean, easily digested visualizations that help them find what they need to know fast.
A data consumer is any individual or company that wants to collect or purchase data. Note that we don’t call them “buyers” and “sellers” because many share data freely or execute payments (i.e., subscriptions) outside of a data exchange.