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TV Data Summit: Data Transparency Still a Hurdle For Industry

The future success of audience research could be defined by the industry’s ability to offer data transparency, but reaching that lofty goal might be difficult to achieve in the short run, executives said during a panel session Wednesday at the TV Data Summit.

Executives speaking at the Data Analytics: TV's New Table Stakes panel, said that while there’s a lot of TV data available, deciphering what through the numbers to determine the most efficient data remains difficult.

“When we look at TV data we see retaining ID’s that couldn’t possibly be the same ID’s over and over again,” said Beth Logan, chief data scientist for dataxu. “I think what we really have to do is be really vigilant about checking those metrics.”

Added Ben Tatta, co-founder & president of 605, a television data and analytics company“We need to do more on the transparency side. It takes a lot to make a data set representative, whether its representative nationally, or representative of the household. Blending the data sets together to get a more holistic view is essential, but I also think the method by which that happens needs to be disclosed.

Dativa CTO and chief data scientist Tom Weiss also said that its extremely difficult to be transparent given all of the information available. “We have to be transparent but we’re not mature and stable enough where we can expect everyone doing this to be at the same level of understanding," he said.

Added Tatta: “Its wonderful that there’s as variety of data sets that are available, and there’s a lot of companies with really smart people managing that,” Tatta said. “In the past there’s been a hesitancy to reveal [methodology] that because that’s our secret sauce, but at the same time I think it’s really important to have full transparency with clients.”

Read More: Complete Coverage of the TV Data Summit

With regard to analytic transparency, Roku’s head of ad and programming research Dan Robbins said the industry is “getting better at” but still has a ways to go. "I don’t think we’re there yet but we spend a lot of time trying to be diligent and rigorous about making sure that folks that we partner with have a good sense of what’s going on,” he said.