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Study Outlines Questions to Ask Third Party Data Providers in Media Data Integrations


NEW YORK – June 2, 2015 – The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) today introduced a whitepaper on “Enriching Media Data: Quality is Key Requisite for Maximizing ROI.”  It presents guidelines for assessing the data quality of various data enrichment providers that are increasingly delivering purchasing, demographic and lifestyle data for matching to digital and TV usage behavior. The report recommends greater disclosure and transparency to improve data quality and standardization of nomenclature and metric definitions to support the expected growth of programmatic media transactions.


The study was undertaken by Gerard Broussard, principal of Pre-Meditated Media as an in-depth report on how data integrations are being used to plan and test media targeting, how to measure ROI, and an evaluation of how best to understand and use emerging data sources in media planning and buying. The report covers several key questions that end users need to ask of data providers to insure they understand the quality and accuracy of the data.


“Asking the vital questions about data quality through an amplified lens of transparency will likely reset data quality standards across the advertising and media industry.  The power of this disclosure should inspire data suppliers to view data quality as a competitive point of distinction that drives the level of quality across all data firms,” said Broussard.


The whitepaper and research was commissioned by CIMM.


“The growing number of consumer data sources and complexity of integrations across multiple consumer touch points has increasingly posed a challenge for end users to assess data quality,” said Jane Clarke CEO and Managing Director, Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement.  “CIMM commissioned this research as a very large first step towards identifying how to evaluate and require data quality so our industry can be better informed on how to best to deploy resources for advertising and marketing decisions.”


Several prominent advertising industry leaders had immediate reactions to the whitepapers findings, including:


  • Howard Shimmel, Chief Research Officer, Turner Broadcasting, said: “Buying and selling TV advertising based on a richer set of audience metrics is now a reality made possible by integrating audience data and TV viewership from multiple sources.  This is an exciting advancement that provides a leap in value to advertisers and should lead to higher ROI for TV campaigns; however, we must be vigilant about the quality of the data.  With scores of data suppliers out there, CIMM’s research will empower data users to ask the right questions of data suppliers so that we can evaluate its power to inform decision-making.”


  • Rick Erwin, President, Audience Solutions, Acxiom, said: “Being able to explain the provenance of the consumer data to our media partners is the only way to provide a sustainable decision-making process for them. Transparency and control are the common themes we hear when working with both the media partner and the advertiser. The CIMM report is a leap forward for the industry because sharing the vocabulary and criteria for what successful consumer marketing data is, does, and comes from will help everyone work better together and have the data to prove it.”


  • Andy Fisher, Chief Analytics Officer, Merkle, said: “Merkle is pleased that CIMM has undertaken this valuable study to help understand and improve the quality of data, especially since the number and breadth of consumer data sources is accelerating at such a rapid clip. While the effort of combining data from multiple sources is well worth the improvement in advertising performance, it is essential that there is transparency and credibility in that process.  And it’s also critical to the industry that we have clear detail on the techniques and methods used for consumer profile models, lookalike segments and data validation.  The CIMM study provides critical questions to ask about data quality as well as a high-level view of how some data suppliers are providing quality assurance.”


The whitepaper was based on interviews with 22 advertisers and agencies, multichannel video programming distributors, media networks, and data providers.  Overall the findings highlight that there is vast room for data quality improvement and that the growing number of consumer data sources and complexity of integrations across multiple consumer touch points poses a challenge for end users to evaluate data quality.   The recommended steps to be taken by the marketing and advertising industry include:


  • Establishment of principles of data quality disclosure
  • Creation of a roster of items that must be asked of data suppliers
  • Request for transparency among data firm disclosures including consumer authentication procedures, multiple data source descriptions, model target techniques and testing results, recency of data, integration techniques and data labeling
    • Creation of best practice standards including acceptability guidelines for prepping and integrating multiple data sources and recruitment of third-party members to participate and shape guidelines

The full study whitepaper is available at


About CIMM

The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) is comprised of leading video content providers, media agencies and advertisers that aim to promote innovation and foster efficiencies in audience measurement for television and cross-platform video. CIMM explores and identifies new methodologies in audience measurement and verifies these approaches through a series of pilot tests and studies conducted with independent measurement companies. CIMM’s primary focus is on two key areas: the current and future potential of television measurement through the use of return-path data, and new methods for cross-platform media measurement.


Media Contact:

Joe McGurk


(212) 446-1874

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