Does data equal business intelligence?

Measurement is one of the biggest challenges facing advertisers today. With a plethora of customer data available and tools to help measure every aspect of it every minute of the day, the question remains: what deserves to be counted, and what doesn’t?

In the third of three videos in a series produced by The Drum in association with Taboola, associate editor Sonoo Singh sat down with Taboola chief executive officer Adam Singolda and CBS Interactive senior vice president and general manager of global programmatic revenue, Jason White to discuss how data can be used to generate business intelligence.

“For so many years, DMP as a category of companies which charged publishers to store data in a centralized way. It was a cost centre. Publishers would pay for it and it was an important part of the ecosystem, but there wasn’t enough know-how about what to do with it, or even courage to do something with it,” says Singolda. “We’re at the beginning of a new era where publishers take risks, with user experience, they understand their concept of relationship – and we are at the point where the data might make sense. But I do think up until now, a lot of [measurement] was a fad.”

Effective measurement of data can lead to building a more loyal audience with customers. Publishers in particular face increased challenges in achieving loyalty and earning revenue for their product, in a world where free content is at our fingertips.

“Publishers are at a slight disadvantage, because they have their analytics company and their ad stack company - which are two different systems and they don’t speak to each other,” says White. “You have to unite those and that’s where business intelligence comes in. We invested a significant amount to understand what that looks like organizationally.”

Structurally, change is needed within organizations not just to ensure that the right people are speaking to each other and insight is shared, but that teams are built from people that understand the tools and technology available and can analyze data in a way that is relevant and valuable to the business. For example, in addition to tools that analyze marketing data, CBS Interactive leverage a reporting tool to understand what’s topical and what people are looking at across their network in order to help their content creators and writers generate content that will resonate with their audience.

“We are [now] able to tell publishers, when looking at their loyal readers, what they are reading across the internet. As an editorial organization you can say you’ve noticed what your super loyal fans really like to read about. We have cases of publishers that have used this tool and chose to launch a new section on their site or create more content about topics they would never have thought [to write about].

“That helps create more search traffic, more discoverability for their site, by using data within the editorial environment to drive audience growth and engagement.”

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