What’s the Difference Between Data and Measurement?

 In Audience Measurement

This seems like a simple question with a simple answer, right? Perhaps, but I’m left wondering why in a digital industry awash with numbers, clickstream analytics, download estimations, and countless other statistics, very few business decisions are made based on the measurement of what’s actually happening in the market or what real people are actually doing on their connected devices. This information is vital for making tactical and strategic decisions about audience acquisition and engagement, product development, marketing, and advertising—all things the digital industry relies upon.

I’ve been working in the media measurement industry for a number of years, trying to reinvent the way the sector measures digital audience and the performance of industry players and how it spots emerging trends. For me, 2007 was a real milestone with the flourishing of mobile-centric properties such as apps and gaming companies. Those players needed data on their performance and position in the marketplace, so they sought solutions such as analytics tools to understand the number of people who were using their services and how they were using them. But analytics tools can only tell you so much. Yet years later, many companies are still relying on this data and missing out on the opportunity to profile and understand the people behind the numbers.

It’s hard to point to milestones in a sector that evolves so quickly, but another undeniably significant change came three years later, with the evolution of the digital landscape into multi-screen usage and multi-channel advertising. It became clear then that with the proliferation of devices that consumers could use to access the Internet, and the routes publishers could use to push content, the media landscape was going to become much more complex. Today, 33% of US online users own at least one smartphone, one tablet, and one computer, and soon there will be more devices and wearables added to the device mix. To provide a truly global perspective of digital consumption via mobile, it’s vital to have a single-source approach that incorporates these devices in one place—and does so quickly and in detail.

At Verto Analytics, we see ourselves as pioneers of digital media research. Verto was established to address the obvious lack of a single, industry-standard measurement solution that would provide reliable, timely, and comprehensive information in today’s multi-screen digital marketplace. Because we have that single-source solution, we are in the unique position of being able to provide brands, advertisers, technology companies, and publishers with one figure that reflects their net reach in the marketplace across all devices, apps, and sites.

We’re studying how people use their devices and spend time with content and services across smart TVs, e-book readers, computers, and other devices. But we’re also going deeper, looking at how these devices interact with each other now and with the car and home entertainment systems of the future. For example, we think about questions like, will these systems have any impact on media consumption?

We’re not interested in tracking every connected device—yes, your microwave might have a screen, but until you’re watching NBC or playing Angry Birds on it while cooking your dinner, it isn’t something we’ll be measuring!

Our measurement solution enables clients to play with real-time data in order to obtain market insights that will not only benefit them in the present but will help them to future-proof their businesses, too. Success today and tomorrow!

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