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Three steps to leveraging the data swamp: turn data overwhelm into revenue control

Roxanne Borra ()

Good reporting is the life blood of any effective organisation. Clean data, clear reporting insight and right strategy are points on a continuum to maximum revenue. But today reporting has evolved to a swamp of endless possibilities, and not exactly a clear one. Add the fact that everyone uses different metrics and the frustration is complete.

This article is authored by Roxanne Borra, international yield manager, Improve Digital

So, how do you keep focus on the right metrics and translate data into actionable insights? How can you leverage data to support all stakeholders in clearly identifying the right yield optimisation strategy?

The challenge: water everywhere, but not a drop to drink

The current overflow of data is the result of both increased quantity and complexity: the volume of data is growing exponentially, and data sets are becoming more complex. This results in anything but a uniform view. On top of that, the degree of granularity adds to the reporting puzzle. The deeper you dig, the harder it is to distil that information into a meaningful metric. To overcome these challenges, a systematic approach to data and reporting is key. The solution: compass points to help you navigate the swamp. 

Turn data into insight

When it comes to yield management, without access to clean, reliable data, you’re stuck. To build insightful reporting, data should both come from a transparent source and be extensive. Effective yield optimisation not only requires you to trust in the quality of your raw material, but also requires a flexibility of insight. You need quick, easy and complete access. Only when these three factors are in place, can you start making informed decisions about what metrics you will need to increase yield and revenue for your organisation.


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Turn insight into strategy

To make the step towards actionable, strategic insights, you need to invest in people: people armed with the right business intelligence knowledge, supported by the right tools. This allows the data to support decision-making across inventory management, pricing strategy, ad stack optimization and financials. When reporting is aligned to reflect the needs of different stakeholders, data can drive more fact-based decision-making across the entire organisation. 

Depending on your needs, you can either build a team in-house, set up a team with your adtech partner(s) or a combination of the two. Collaboration between teams, both internally and externally, and the sharing of knowledge are key to not only defining the right metrics for the insights you need for your organisation, but also to develop and evaluate them. This way your yield strategy moves with your revenue goals.

The right team, with the right knowledge will select the best tools for you, such as inventory forecasting, real time dashboarding or calculating the opportunity cost. These kinds of tools help content providers value their inventory correctly, with hard facts and insights rather than soft cautious predictions. Subsequently, they allow to adjust your pricing strategies to improve your revenue.


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Conclusion: turn strategy into revenue, for buy- and sell-side

While navigating through the swamp of data, which is growing every day, turning a blind eye will cause you to drown in the data possibilities. But with taking these navigational steps you’ll break out the potential of your data and use it to your advantage. Ensure you have:

  • easy access to clean and complete data;
  • a team in place: whether this is your own, an external partner’s team or a combination of both;
  • the knowledge from these people to determine the insights that you need for your organisation’s most effective yield management;
  • built up this knowledge to select the most efficient and appropriate tools to harvest these insights.

The more transparent you can work with your technical partners, the easier these navigational steps are. More transparency brings new visibility and openness and brings you a greater possible value for your assets and new liquidity into the programmatic advertising market. Moreover, it encourages the freer sharing of data and metrics beyond the limited considerations that we currently see in the industry. Call me idealistic, but any way we can move to a more uniformed system of tools and metrics is something that would greatly help our industry, and boy do we need this after GDPR will be implemented end of May. Time to get your compass out and start your navigation.

More like this

Everyone seems lost on how to best use their data

Prisma’s Philipp Schmidt on ‘the big data myth, keys to industry transition’

Hearst and Condé Nast build their data teams, as data becomes increasingly important to publishers

Media Voices podcast: New Scientist's head of data science Kimberly Karman on paywalls, GDPR and best practice

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