Understanding How Panels + Big Data Provide Better Audience Measurement

At a time when smartphones, digital devices and connectivity are aspects of everyday modern life, there’s no shortage of data for marketers to tap into for insight into consumer behavior. Not all data, however, are created equal, and it’s critical to understand that when it’s used for measurement perspective, data is only as good as its root source.

In the media industry, device and audience fragmentation are rampant, but everyone is a potential customer. In the U.S., adults 18 and older spend almost four-and-a-half hours each day with live and time-shifted TV—that’s more than half a traditional work day. And to ensure that networks, brands, advertisers, agencies and other market participants have accurate, representative measurement of TV audiences, we use panels made up of real people to backstop our TV measurement. That’s why our data is the currency that the TV industry uses for buying and selling advertising.

To get a better understanding of the role that our panels play in TV measurement, we spoke with Natalie Coser, vice president of data science, who provided insight into the importance of panels, the hallmarks of a good panel and the future of panels amid the growth of big data.