Digitisation of the media has made advertising a highly data-intensive industry. This has pushed media agencies, which advise businesses on which advertising channels to use and execute their campaigns, to the forefront of data analytics. MediaCom, the UK’s largest media agency is no exception, with CTO Nadine Thomson overseeing an agile working transformation to help the agency deliver insight to its clients faster and more effectively.

The most valuable data for MediaCom and its clients is anything that describes the reach and impact of an advertising campaign. “For example, if the advert is a video: is it getting watched to the end? If the ad is a call to action: is it getting clicks to the advertiser’s website? We basically measure if people are engaging with the ad,” explains Thomson.

However, every campaign includes a unique mix of channels, from outdoor advertising to social media. And clients all have their own “business logic”, Thomson says, meaning they each have particular objectives and metrics for tracking them.

This means the agency’s business intelligence (BI) team contends with a wide range of data sources and reporting requirements. Every instance of a digital advert carries its own string of metadata that allows its individual performance to be monitored. A typical campaign report combines at least 12 data sources (such as ad performance data from Google, Twitter or Instagram) – some have up to 50.

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