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You don't need more data. You need more insight, argues Nexage's Victor Milligan

Opening up information to drive liquidity
You don't need more data. You need more insight, argues Nexage's Victor Milligan

"We're all living in a big data world, but big data isn't a goal": that's the view of Victor Milligan, chief marketing officer of Nexage.

Given that the US outfit tracks over 13 billion ad impressions a month through its real-time bidding exchange, he should know.

The argument is subtle, but one which seeks to unpick what's become standard policy for many data and analytics companies in the mobile space, as they release regular high level data to impress potential clients, as well as gain profile among a wider audience.

"High level comparisons between platforms aren't insightful in terms of how the industry is developing," Milligan says.

"Companies need results they can trust, and that means data they can use to optimise their decision-making right now."


Nexage's play in the sector is to roll out what it calls a 'different type of analytics' to its publishers and its advertisers.

This will provide granularity down to the level of how many people are bidding for inventory and at what pricing levels.

"It's a play-by-play view so both sides can see how demand behaviour changes," Milligan explains.

Of course, Nexage has to ensure both side of the exchange get equivalent information. It's no good artificially boosting the price of inventory if advertisers aren't also getting better value.

"Our aim is to use analytics to drive overall liquidity in the system," he says, pointing out that such transparency ensures both sides are likely to be more active.

Up the ante

As the mobile advertising market continues to mature, with rich media inventory such as video ads coming to the fore, this focus on quality over quantity will only become more important.

Milligan claims this change is already happening, as companies such as Nexage become better at extracting more relevant data from each impression; albeit something balanced by tighter privacy concerns.

"We can see that we're providing more advertising value than six months ago, but we need to become a real market, not just part of the device growth story," he ends.

"That's the step change we're working towards."