Oakland A's Billy Bean Talks Big Data at Internet Week

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Big Data, the new, all-encompassing term for the plethora of data that needs to be wrangled to effectively manage an online campaign took center stage at Internet Week this morning. Billy Beane, manager of the Oakland A's and made famous in the Brad Pitt movie, Moneyball, spoke to a full house about his discovery of the importance of data in managing a baseball team.

Before the use of statistics as a guiding force in the management of a baseball team, many decisions were based on emotion and other less-that-scientific modes of decisions. Much like the early days of advertising when everything was based on a gut feel and a big idea, baseball management didn't believe in the power of data. That has changed in the past 12 years and is now an institutionalized form of management in baseball.

Beane's advise to the advertising industry is that mathematics will always work if you trust it. Now, we can hear a great many of you groaning right now and asking, "How the hell does data help me develop cool creative?" It doesn't directly but it sure does indirectly and has been doing so for decades.

With the advent of online advertising, data has become an even more important factor in decision making influencing everything from site selection to banner position to ad rotation to real time bidding. Though for all the hype surrounding big data, it would seem we have quite a long ways to go. Things are still quite confusing in the online space with many overlapping technologies creating unnecessary layers of confusing between advertiser and consumer.

Current ad space confusion aside, Beane's premise, which he has proven over the years, is that the numbers, properly examined, will always point you in the right direction.

Perhaps also contributing to the lessening of confusion with big data in online advertising was the launch of Yahoo! Genome which followed Bean's keynote. Genome is the result of Yahoo!'s acquisition of Interclick an in an online advertising solution that will "provide marketers with the most complete custom audience solution in the industry." Hold your snickers, please.

The offering, which will be available in July has five key features:

- Data setata set: In order to provide a multi-dimensional view of consumers, Genome provides access to a data set comprised of Yahoo!'s proprietary data - including registration, search and behavioral data - as well as integrated advertiser information, and data from industry-leading partners.

- Premium media footprint: Genome allows marketers to directly access Yahoo!'s guaranteed and non-guaranteed premium inventory, as well as inventory available from the Yahoo!, AOL, and Microsoft partnership announced in November, and comScore Top 1,000 publishers in, as they say, a "brand-safe" environment.

- Actionable insights and analytics suite: From predictive modeling techniques to information design, Genome's analytics will help marketers sort big data. The suite use campaign and user analytics to anticipate, optimize, and measure audience performance helping to direct media executions.

- Technology: The proprietary data valuation technology is designed to work with massive data volumes, real-time marketplaces, and multi-vendor solutions efficiently to help meet advertisers' marketing goals. Genome's core technology is OSM, an interconnected technology that manages diverse data sources to provide an insightful approach to uncovering optimal audiences at scale.

- Privacy: Yahoo! will provide transparency about its data collection and use practices and will have several tools for consumers to manage their experience, such as a global opt-out, Ad Interest Manager for visibility and control over specific interest categories, and we're now among the first in the world to support Do Not Track.

And with that, we shall see how this all changes to vast landscape of big data and its role in fueling the online advertising space.

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by Steve Hall    May-14-12   Click to Comment   
Topic: Industry Events, Online   

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