#AdvancedAd 2016: Data Miners Strike Evolutionary Themes, Cautionary Notes

Vets debate lack of common currency while noting major recent strides

Complete Coverage: Advanced Advertising

The explosion of available data is directly correlated with the content boom and multiplatform viewing, but the quest for better metrics is better proceeding at a measured pace, lest regulators stick their nose into the TV measurement business.

Those were the core themes voiced by the five participants in the vibrant panel session “Data-Driven: How Big Data Is Boosting the Value of TV Advertising” during Tuesday's Advanced Advertising Summit.   

“Content everywhere is changing how consumers consume,” said Aleck Schleider, VP of data and analytics for Videology. “They get things on different devices, in different formats. They are skipping advertising. And this in and of itself is forcing us to have a greater level of understanding. When people are searching for a deeper level of understanding, they are looking for different sources of data.”

In fact, “we are swimming in data,” said Pankaj Shroff, founder and CEO of Psychability, “so from the perspective of a technology provider, the question is, once an ecosystem has access to data, how do you make that data actionable?”

Kim Norris, COO of Viamedia, said one action that has evolved notably due to data is targeting. “What’s been particularly interesting has been the introduction of vertical data sets,” she said. “You can look at things like voter registration data tied to viewing data to understand the behaviors of people who are falling into different categories politically. The appending of automotive data, pharma data, enables you to target.”

Lance Neuhauser, CEO of 4C Insights, said there is undue attention paid to standardization. Buyers and sellers in the market are inevitably going to reach different conclusions and make different strategic decisions based on the exact same piece of available data. “They’re going to transact off it,” he said. “That doesn’t mean you have to have standard measurement in order to make that decision.”

Schleider disagreed. “I would think standard measurement is necessary, especially because there’s a lot of data out there. We’re a lot farther along than we were 12 months ago or two years ago and that’s because of the work by Nielsen and comScore.… The market won’t continue to advance without some standardization.”

Neuhauser parried back, “Individuals have wildly different consumption patterns.” Only a handful of companies in the world—he cited Google, Facebook, Amazon, Comcast—have the capability to deliver insights into all that “identity management” information. “That’s why you have third parties. … I do think it’s ultimately going to be on the buy side to come up with the methodology they feel comfortable with.”

Helen Katz, senior VP and research director at Starcom Mediavest Group, argued, “There’s a difference between standardization and quality. I think what we need is some known and transparent quality to the data that we are using.”