Data Fragmentation: The Challenges, Costs, and How to Solve for It

By Christopher Hession

Data is all around us. But the difficulty lies in how to use data to win.

In today’s digital world, data is the lifeblood of modern organizations. Companies that can successfully unlock and leverage data are driving innovations, creating workplace efficiencies, and driving strategic opportunities faster and better than their competitors. This is especially true for broadcasters, publishers, and advertisers, as the media landscape has rapidly evolved with digital technologies.

Today, audiences are demanding their content in new formats across a myriad of different platforms and devices. They expect seamless and highly tailored experiences that are also privacy-compliant when and where they want it. The sheer scale and variety of data has led to increased complexity, making data fragmentation all but inevitable while making the need to solve for ever-changing data requirements all the more important. Whether you’re a digital publisher striving to adapt to a new cookie-less world or a retail media company struggling to effectively inject first-party data into your business processes, business leaders need robust solutions and strategies to overcome fragmentation and its inherent challenges.

What is Data Fragmentation?

Data fragmentation is when data is scattered across various systems, platforms, and technologies within an organization. Media companies and publishers gather data from multiple sources, such as ad servers, content management systems, advertising order management systems, customer relationship management platforms, and analytics tools. Throw in the many offline platforms, and you get massively siloed data, making it a challenge for any organization to obtain a unified view and extract meaningful business insights.

The Real Costs of Data Fragmentation

Data fragmentation poses several challenges for media companies and publishers:

  1. Limited Visibility and Measurement: Siloed data restricts a comprehensive view of the audience, revenue, and performance metrics. This weakens the ability to make informed decisions and identify growth opportunities. This is especially true for publishers and media companies, as advertisement budgets and forecasting must consider the vastly different buying, selling, and measurement methodologies that exist across their disparate platforms and ad formats. 
  2. Inefficient Workflows: Manually consolidating data from disparate sources is time-consuming, error-prone, and hinders operational efficiency. Fragmented data can often lead to redundant data collection, as the various teams within an organization can independently collect and store data across a multitude of different systems. This duplication can increase storage and maintenance costs, and teams can run the risk of inconsistencies between the varying copies.
  3. Inaccurate Reporting: When data is fragmented, reporting inaccuracies may arise from inconsistencies and discrepancies between systems and multitude of copies that may exist. Organizations also run the risk of human error, with inconsistent data entry practices across different teams and the general lack of data governance.
  4. Missed Revenue Opportunities: This is the big one. The inability to truly understand and leverage operational and first-party data will weaken an organization’s bottom line. Specifically, media companies that can’t deliver target audiences and detailed measurement data – across all platforms – to advertisers will fall behind. Media companies that consider data part of their competitive advantage will win the day.

The Need for Omnichannel Interoperability

Leading media companies have already started charting the path. They require comprehensive solutions to overcome data fragmentation challenges – to turn data into a competitive differentiator.

They look for solutions enable organizations to streamline their data management processes, gain holistic insights, and maximize revenue potential.

Data fragmentation is an existential challenge faced by every organization in today’s digital landscape. Today — with Operative’s comprehensive solutions – many of the world’s leading media companies are beginning to conquer this obstacle and harness the power of unified insights. By centralizing & normalizing data, streamlining workflows, and providing advanced reporting and analytics capabilities, Operative solutions enable companies to drive growth, maximize revenue, and WIN in the competitive world of media.

Transform your fragmented data into an asset that propels your business forward. Speak with one of our experts to learn more about our solutions.


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