Will comScore Data Validation Help Calm Advertisers' Fears?

comScore has begun to validate eXelate's audience intent data. Measuring the audience segments mean comScore compares the data to its panel and score it according to a five-point rating scale based on the accuracy of a brand's targeting assignments. A five-point score represents 85% to 100% audience accuracy.

It turns out comScore gave the company's auto, shopping and travel intent audience data its highest score. The intent data include more than 450 segments and 600 branded segments for the auto industry that can reach 20 million in-market buyers.

Travel intent data includes 100 segments targeting more than 100 million in-market consumers of travel and local services. And shopping comprises more than 100 segments, reaching about 60 million unique sources from shopping engines.

The move follows the validation of demographic data earlier this year. In summer 2011, eXelate commissioned comScore to test the accuracy and quality of its audience segments. The goal was to measure the accuracy in which eXelate's audience segment data reaches their audiences.



Mark Zagorski, eXelate CEO, said the company will likely have all its data validated long term. "We integrate the platform with comScore and deliver a set of data attributes to them, so they know what the cookies look like," he said. "They match the demographic data to the panel."

The independent validation should provide advertisers with confidence. It could start a trend among data providers to provide a scoring algorithm, a sort of a promise that the data should reach the correct audience. It's similar to validating traffic across search engines or video sites, or measuring click-through rates on advertisements online.

eXelate will release these reports quarterly. The company will likely follow by validating interest segments, going deeper down into the demographic pool, such as age and gender. "Think of it as the Good Housekeeping Seal for data," Zagorski said. "It takes away some of the concern [about] where data comes from and has a level of transparency. This should help the whole data-targeting industry, not just us." 

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