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The Elephant in the Room

by Andy Monfried, Lotame Founder & CEO

The Elephant in the Room

The gestation period of an African elephant is 645 days. That’s about as long as Lotame has been working on the data quality solution we’ve recently introduced.

In the fast-changing world of MarTech, companies have the attention span of an Opossum pregnancy — approximately 12 days.

Lotame has stuck with this data quality initiative for an unusually long time and staffed it with many outstanding employees — from data science and software engineering to product management and data operations.

Why has Lotame made this long and large commitment to addressing the data quality problem?

U.S. companies spend over $20 billion each year on third‐party audience data and data activation services. Lotame has been a proponent and beneficiary of the explosive growth of the data business.

When things are going well, there’s a tendency to ignore problems, like the quality one facing the data industry. Today Lotame is pointing out the elephant in the room. We’re not only shining a light on the issue, but we’ve invested meaningful time and money to address it.

What’s more, we’re encouraging the entire industry to do the same. I commend the IAB for forming the Data Quality Working Group and thank Lotame’s David Justus for serving as its co-chairman. Initiatives like this will assure the data industry continues to grow and further help brands and publishers achieve their goals.

The parable of the elephant and blind men comes to mind, to illustrate the challenges data buyers and sellers face when assessing data quality. Just as each blind man has his own biased view of the elephant, each market participant — publisher, data compiler, media trader, brand manager, etc — sees the issue through their own lens with exposure to just a part of the whole. The definition of data quality is not the same across the board. The situational nature of data efficacy compounds the problem.

The elephantine nature of the data quality problem makes me especially proud of Lotame’s efforts. Our solution calls on resources few competitors can marshall — data science expertise, Lotame Data Exchange scale, long-standing business partnerships, and a finely honed validation process that took years to perfect.

The result is a data set that is demonstrably superior: Tests show performance is as much as +100% better than industry benchmarks. It’s a rare claim in a market crowded with undifferentiated products.

I don’t have an elephant’s memory, but I will remember with gratitude my team’s work on data quality. In the months and years ahead, so will Lotame clients.

Read more about Lotame’s Precision Audiences here.

Join me at AdWeek Europe, March 19-22 in London: Gain industry perspectives on the issue of data quality during Lotame’s panel session, The Elephant in the Room: Why Data Quality Should Be Part of Every Conversation, taking place on March 20th at 12:55PM. Location: The Guardian Stage, Picturehouse Central. Add it to your agenda.