How do you foresee big data changing your industry?
While big data is meaningful as a concept, it is also a cliché. There is nothing new about data getting bigger. The value comes from the synthesis of data through the minds of data scientists and the processing of data at speeds previously unimaginable. As the world inexorably goes digital, the amount of data available for analysis expands exponentially. In the old days, data meant basic demographic information like gender, education and income. Now, we have the explosion of consumer-generated data from social media and mobile phones. Where does this trail of activity lead us? To lots of very messy data, and more importantly, data that is now available to us for activation. This means even more granularity into our audience insights to allow networks to serve even better targeted ads at the right time, on the right device, to the
How is your competition using big data?
While everyone is using big data, not everyone is using it to find non-obvious insights. They are typically building audiences off modelled data. We, on the other hand, don’t use data that is clean, aggregated, visualized, altered or audited. When somebody cleans the data, it loses the vital details that help identify all the potential issues, and we can no longer “debug” the data. The result, typically, is that you end up missing something and limiting the full potential of the data. We have access to the original, event-driven, time-stamped, gritty details because we use first-party data from marketers, publishers and app companies. What’s more important is having the right data. Five terabytes of the wrong data is nothing more than a headache for your systems administrator and finance department. The popular emphasis on size can distract one from the necessary critical process of questioning whether the data is appropriate for meeting a particular objective.
What commercial advantage do you believe big data brings to your business in practical terms?
Focusing on demographics and behaviour is the old way of marketing. Consumers don’t fit neatly into pre-defined buckets. People have always been complex. The only thing that has changed is what we know about people, and technology’s ability to harness this knowledge. We are increasingly able to measure the complexity of audiences, consumers and media. We’ve reached a point where the only real way to manage the complexity is to look at a data scientist’s analysis. We’ve pioneered the use of massive quantities of atomic data to provide powerful marketing solutions by targeting and optimizing audiences in real-time with surgical precision.
What challenges do you face when working with big data?
Data is indispensable in understanding if something caused something else to happen, but it is not responsible for the effect. Data can measure effects, but it doesn’t cause them. It’s a subtle, but important point. It’s our actions that cause interesting things, such as conversions, to happen.
How have your customers been delighted as a result of the insights you have gained?
We distil billions of available impressions across all screens to identify the precise moments and media for a brand’s message. We buy an impression only when the right prospect is scientifically proven to engage with the product. By capturing a rich multitude of location, device and mobile data to generate brand signals, Dstillery connects physical and digital worlds, capturing the full array of signals that drive relevance for brands. We then activate campaigns on nearly any platform, including display, video, mobile, native and soon TV.
Marketers across industries including tech, telecom, retail, auto, CPG, travel, education, media and entertainment have benefited from partnering with us. For example, we helped a software analytics company increase conversion lifts by 195%. A SaaS client showed a 45% lift in engagement in a campaign we worked on together. We delivered an 88 per cent video completion rate for a major movie studio. In addition, a supermarket food brand client that we work with demonstrated a 0.42% click-through-rate, 36% above the industry average.
How has or will big data change the way you lead?
We recently acquired EveryScreen Media, which allows us to incorporate location and device data into our decision engine to provide a whole new level of scale and efficacy for marketers. We’re continuing to explore other innovative sources to augment our rich consumer data, so we can bring even more relevance to marketers.
Today, we live in a world where we can collect terabytes daily and still access some tiny slice of data from May 4, 2010, in about a minute. This possibility opens the door to much more elaborate analysis and, more importantly, allows every analysis to start from the raw data rather than starting with the curated aggregated summaries.