Facebook’s apology for their incorrect reports in video viewing numbers has been discussed at multiple panels throughout the week but the Measuring UP panel brought up some real answers about third party analytics, big data and the future for analytics. The panel commended Daniel Slotwiner and Facebook on the way they handled the issue which affected large and small businesses alike. Slotwiner explained that Facebook wanted to correct the issue right away and provide clear transparent metrics. He continued to say that the speed at which data is expected and requested is what can cause mistakes and makes things difficult. It is important to find the balance between providing comprehensive data at quick speeds.
Data has three main pieces that must be defined to understand the importance. Andrew Appel, President and CEO of IRI, explained that there is a need to know what consumers are exposed to. The second part of data understands the cost of all exposures. Lastly, when analyzing the data it is important to ask and find out what behaviors the advertisement changed. The professionals on the panel want to be able to measure the impact of the advertisement itself. Appel realized that there is a lot that advertisers and companies can do with the data that they simply don’t. They are using the data to help expose which audiences are being correctly reached. This is all-important work when deciding which medium and message to go with.
Joan FitzGerald, VP product Management & Business Development at TiVo, shared that we need to build data into our decision making to help targeting with more depth. She said we companies are doing the basics but there are even more avenues to get data that should be incorporated into the process. New systems need to be created to use more of big data to add to the systems that are already in place. Companies like Facebook are already using third party sources to incorporate data sets together.
Third parties sources can be used in combination with a platform’s analytics system. Partnering with outside research companies can keep platforms accountable for sharing transparent analytics with their users. Appel made the point that when partnering with outside research companies they look for companies with high standards. Especially because working with Facebook, there has to be a responsibility taken to keep the privacy of users. Right now the use of third party companies and private analytics is the way but the future looks bright for advancement.
Currently, some companies are beginning to build in data science and moving from purely media research to using big data as well. The platforms with data science sections are coding the analytic algorithms straight into their platform. The next generation of data scientists will be coders. Within the algorithm data is being filter through predictive measures related to events, weather, etc. Developments need to be made in the speed of pulling together data sets and the panelists see that coming for the future. Data is headed in the right direction.