Build or Buy: The Business Case for Connecting the Dots with an Industry Partner

Mar 28, 2019

Build or Buy: The Business Case for Connecting the Dots with an Industry Partner

As the media world evolves at an unprecedented pace, it’s increasingly challenging for publishers to leverage the volume of customer data at their fingertips. The growing scale and scattered nature of metrics can overwhelm media owners’ ability to consolidate numbers into an actionable form.

But within this web of disparate data — all captured by different platforms, screens, and sources — lies the key to a competitive edge in a new media landscape. If companies can find a way to untangle and analyze these numbers through one clear process (rather than in siloed systems such as Google Ad Manager, Rubicon and AppNexus), they put themselves in a much stronger position to maximize the value of their inventory.

This isn’t news. Given the monumental importance of data in the digital age, best-in-class publishers are already integrating data management technology into their workflows — sometimes, with mixed results.

That’s because transforming big data into valuable insights is easier said than done. What exact method will yield the biggest impact on revenue growth? Should publishers invest in a purpose-driven platform or build their own data management solutions in-house? Here, we’ll give you our take on the best way for publishers to transform their data into business intelligence:

Calculating the true cost of ownership

It’s easier than ever for companies to develop an internal data management solution thanks to open source solutions and the availability of cloud services. Some publishers take this path because it seems the simplest. You exercise full control over the functionality of the system. You can prioritize and adapt the solution to your distinct business goals. You can build the infrastructure with the talent of internal developers.

But a DIY solution means you’re building out a system that’s limited by the technology of the moment. Your system is static. Continually transforming the system to match industry developments requires significant resources — and the work is never done. Additionally, engineers need to develop a huge amount of domain expertise to be effective.

Given the rate of change in the industry, tapping data engineering support for every single change request can also balloon into a nightmare for teams. You need full-time support from developers throughout the life of the product. A simple backfill, connector update, or a new report become an ordeal without a dedicated resource. Because in-house technical talent is always in high demand, there’s no promise that your company will be able to prop up what may already be an outdated system.

Likewise, the power of data depends on the consistency and accuracy of reporting. With an internal solution, you have to build a formal framework for assessing discrepancies and monitoring issues. Designing the solution, plus the exorbitant time needed to adjust the system as technology and business priorities change, can waylay teams who require real-time data to optimize ad sales in the present moment.

4 benefits of a third-party data analytics solution

Leveraging a third-party solution gives leading publishers the advantages of an evolving platform that they couldn’t build in-house, no matter the resources, talent, and time at their disposal.

At Burt, we've designed a platform that balances publishers’ in-the-moment needs while continually adapting to a volatile media market. It's this balance — implemented with AI-powered technology and an intuitive user experience — that makes us different.

Here are four ways that Burt works for our clients by driving intelligent growth every day:

1. Accelerated time-to-value

Our team has spent the last decade building technology that accelerates sales productivity for leading publishers. Because our platform already acts as a strong foundation for our clients, we can dedicate our resources to an immediate integration with your publication. We guarantee the timeline and cost early in the sales process — a faster ramp-up accelerates time-to-value and strengthens team productivity.

2. Rapid evolution with industry trends

Many publishers make the troubling assumption that an analytics solution is a set-it-and-forget-it project, but the opposite is true. With our platform, Burt’s engineers manage API changes and ever-evolving reporting needs quickly. As the industry continues to change at a breakneck pace, you’ll benefit from a partner and a platform that accelerates faster than your competitors.

3. Automated, intuitive mapping of data

Data is only as powerful as it is accessible. With the automated mapping of advertisers, our platform pulls data from thousands of systems into a machine learning engine. Integrating millions of data points, it creates a clear visual map that empowers internal teams and doubles as a valuable source of sales intelligence.

4. Intelligent insights for sales optimization

Beyond integrating and connecting different sources of data, Burt drives publishers forward with intelligent insights. Through an intuitive visual interface, you can explore data and quickly identify trends at a granular level. Easy navigation yields immediate business insights that translate directly to the bottom line. Combined with performance benchmarking, AI-powered analysis brings precision to your business functions.

Although building an in-house solution may seem like a simple, straightforward approach to data management, the limitations of the system and long-term maintenance requirements mean your system may take more than it gives. By partnering with a third party, you can leverage cutting-edge technology and external engineering support in a custom solution that drives your ad revenue forward.

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