It's Not The Size Of The Data -- But How You Use It

Last week, there was a spate of articles written for TV Board about data, particularly the emancipation thereof, from the shackles of the distributors to be loosed upon the media community. As fellow Boarder Mike Bloxham noted: "a rousing call to action from Tracy Scheppach of Starcom, urging all sides of the media business to do their part in making set top box data an everyday part of the research, planning, buying and selling processes."

As we clamor for more data, shouldn't we concurrently be spending more quality time vivisecting what is presently available to plumb, connecting the seemingly invisible threads to create the Emperor's new clothes. I'd like to share two examples (TiVo and a USA Today "delegate" count) in hope that other fellow travelers might publicly follow suit.

TiVo Last quarter, a financial client of mine completed a one-week TiVo campaign:

The Set Up: A "Gold Star" listing on the TiVo Central page that linked to a "Showcase,"where my client's text, graphics and video assets were accessible.



The Data: Of the 4.1 million TiVo subscribers that could interact with the "Gold Star" application, 50,000+ chose to, with 7,000+ viewing a minimum of 35 seconds of the 30 seconds of the client's video asset.

The Request: We were pleased that 117% of the video was viewed on average (35 seconds of a 30-second video). However, what would have been helpful to ascertain would have been not the average but the percentage by quintile. As an example: did one person watch the video a million times with the remaining 6,999 imbibing for less than 5 seconds; or, more importantly, did a fair percentage watch the 30-second video 2 or more times? Directionally, we felt that financial messages, particularly video, might be more engaging (time spent) in an on-demand environment. Our TiVo campaign afforded us the opportunity to delve into this assumption. Unfortunately, upon reflection TiVo was not able to supply that data.

A delegate "count": Last week, USA Today listed the "latest account of delegates pledged to candidates actively seeking their party's presidential nomination. Totals reflect primary and caucus results and stated preferences among 795 Democratic 'super delegates' and 466 Republican delegates who aren't bound by primary or caucus results." The following chart delineated the Democratic tally:

Total Democratic delegates 4,048
Needed to nominate 2,025
Barack Obama 1,372
Hillary Clinton 1,274.5
Others/ Uncommitted 90

Of the 1,274 and a half Hillary Clinton delegates, where's the other half? Is the half a delegate designation meant to describe a physically challenged person -- i.e., attitude, longitude, mental vacuity? A new variety in the Tall, Grande, Venti motif.

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