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How the Ad Industry Encourages Poor Data Quality

Emodo Institute - 10/31/18 10:39 PM

Jake Moskowitz, in his latest Street Fight article, examines the ways in which data stores are exacerbating the problem of data inaccuracy in advertising...


Next time you’re selecting targeting data for a digital ad campaign, be sure to pick segments that have won awards for quality, received five-star user ratings, or have rave reviews by data aficionados. Makes sense, right? Data decisions guided by true quality indicators tend to yield better results.

Unfortunately, you can’t do that—there’s no such indicator.

Audience segments are sold through a data store akin to a modern retailer. A single DSP may offer over 130,000 data segments through its data store without providing a single clue whether the merchandise is good or bad. Imagine if data sets were physically packaged and sold in a brick-and-mortar store. You’d find yourself standing amidst aisles and aisles of brown paper grab bags, trying to decide which generically packaged product you should buy to drive the growth of your business.  

Claiming that they “must remain independent,” data store proprietors intentionally provide neither guidance nor differentiating details and leave the choice up to the user. Consequently, marketers end up having to decide between long lists of options that look alike. Data store operators actually benefit from putting every possible product on their virtual shelves without any description, discretion, or liability because the more data they sell, the more money they make. The less information they provide, the fewer reasons buyers have to rule out segments.

This is a problem for data buyers who want to make informed purchases… 

Read the Full Article


The Emodo Institute’s Jake Moskowitz is a contributing writer for Street Fight. The articles in his ongoing series provide data-supported perspectives on issues that impede the effectiveness of mobile advertising.

Topics: Research- Mobile Advertising- Industry trends

Emodo Institute

Emodo Institute

The Emodo Institute is wholly focused on the research, education and resolution of the mobile data concerns that challenge the effectiveness of mobile advertising. Through the application of data science, analysis and mobile marketing expertise, we push location data issues out of the shadows and toward a resolution. Our team conducts studies, publishes papers, and teaches courses to help media buyers, sellers, and solution providers master and apply practices that dramatically improve data accuracy.

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