What Goodhart’s Law Can Teach You About Performance Data

Posted in Audience Series, Blog

PlaceIQ’s Audience Series sets out to highlight the importance of segments in the advertising world. As the pioneer of mobile’s application to location intelligence, and leaders in the mobile audience field, PlaceIQ has the knowledge you need. Key audience experts from each PIQ department — from engineering, to data science, to sales — will tackle topics to give a 360-degree view on this vast, ever-changing industry. The following article ran in AdExchanger’s Data-Driven Thinking series.

Roman Shraga
By Roman Shraga

Is there a metric you use to evaluate the effectiveness of something critical to your company’s success? What about a metric used by your company to evaluate you?

If so, it is essential that you understand what could go wrong in the evaluation of performance data. Your job depends on it!

Performance data is the information that is used to assess the success of something. It’s how you evaluate the effectiveness of an ad campaign, the throughput of an engineering organization, or the business attributable to a specific salesperson, for example. Because performance data is directly tied to the key goals of both individuals and organizations, it is a sensitive – and even contentious – topic. It is ripe for obfuscation and abuse.

Goodhart’s Law

A critical insight into how to deal with performance data comes from Goodhart’s Law: “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.” In other words, when the measure being used by decision-makers to evaluate performance is the same as the target being optimized by those being measured, it is no longer a reliable measure of performance.

The most cited example of this law in effect is the case of nail factories in the Soviet Union. The goal of central planners was to measure performance of the factories, so factory operators were given targets around the number of nails produced. To meet and exceed the targets, factory operators produced millions of tiny, useless nails. When targets were switched to the total weight of nails produced, operators instead produced several enormous, heavy and useless nails.

The above example is absurd, but illustrates the point: When a measure of performance is the same as the target, it can be abused to the point of no longer being useful in measuring the desired outcome.

Advertising Implications

This happens all the time in the modern world. For example, when CTR is both a measure and a target, ad companies have a perverse incentive to optimize for clicks with absolutely no regard for whom is doing the clicking. An ad campaign for Ferrari with CTR of 15% sounds amazing — unless the majority of people who clicked the ads are teenagers looking at pictures of cool cars.

Similarly, when cases closed is both the measure of performance and target of customer service organizations, employees might choose to close cases without fully investigating and resolving them. When page views are both the measure and the target of news sites and blogs, editors have incentives to post shocking and controversial content to optimize for the target. In the long run, of course, this behavior degrades the quality of the site and the page views measure is no longer a useful indicator of the desired outcome of an engaged user base.

Mitigation Techniques

Examples of Goodhart’s Law can be found in every industry and every department of an organization. Fortunately, there are several approaches that can be taken to mitigate its harmful effects.

  1. The first approach is also the most difficult. By thinking deeply about what is being measured and what the constraints are, it is possible to formulate better measurements. A body of knowledge known as the theory of constraints can be used to guide your thought process as you try to come up with a better measure.

    For example, as an alternative to relying on cases closed as a measure of customer service, a company can learn from Zappos and strive to quantify and reward good experiences as reported by customers. Still, it must be said that there is debate about whether it is even possible to find a single measure that is immune to the effects of Goodhart’s Law.

  2. A second approach could be to create a “balanced scorecard” of several different measures instead of relying on one. With this strategy, you reduce the risk of a single measure being gamed by looking at multiple measures that evaluate performance from different angles. For example, CTR can be supplemented with a measure of traffic quality, such as bounce rate or conversion rate.

    When you add multiple measures to your overall performance evaluation, you not only reduce the opportunity for abuse, but you begin to get a more nuanced understanding of the inherent tradeoffs being made. This is similar to the dual metrics of precision and recall used in machine learning classification problems. Together they measure how often the machine gets the right answer and what proportion of the total right answers the machine is able to get.

  3. A third way to mitigate the effects of Goodhart’s Law is to simply use human discretion. This means poking and prodding a reported performance measure until you develop a true understanding about what it is actually indicating. You need to ask questions that ensure the measure relate to the ultimate goal.

    Additionally, think about whether it would be possible to get a perfect score on the measure, and if it would be possible, to do so without adding any value. This line of reasoning will allow you dissect a measure until you understand whether or not it is doing a good job of indicating performance.

In the end, a mix of all three approaches to mitigation is the most judicious thing to do. You should strive to create the best possible measures that look at performance from multiple angles while always maintaining skepticism and inquiry.

PlaceIQ’s Audience Series sets out to highlight the importance of segments in the advertising world. As the pioneer of mobile’s application to location intelligence, and leaders in the mobile audience field, PlaceIQ has the knowledge you need. Key audience experts from each PIQ department — from engineering, to data science, to sales — will tackle topics to give a 360-degree view on this vast, ever-changing industry.

PlaceIQ’s Top Picks for SXSW 2014

Posted in Blog, PlaceIQ

In advance of SXSW, PlaceIQ searched high and low for the best of the best in Austin. Here are our picks for food, drinks, and everything in between! Check out some of our favorites if you’re lucky enough to make it to Austin for this year’s festivities.
PlaceIQ_SXSW-Map


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PlaceIQ Partners With TRUSTe to Enhance Existing Consumer Privacy Protection

Posted in Blog, Most Recent

NEW YORK, NY – PlaceIQ, the company building more accurate audiences with location, time and real-world behavior, today announced that its patented audience insights technology is linked with TRUSTed Ads, part of the TRUSTe Data Privacy Management Platform. By teaming up with the leading global privacy management solutions provide, brands and agencies leveraging PlaceIQ’s capabilities can deliver privacy safe, interest-based advertising to consumers on their mobile phones and smart devices.

“As this market rapidly evolves we believe that receiving messaging that is more contextual, timely and relevant to their interests is of tremendous benefit to consumers, and PlaceIQ continues to strongly support the industry’s efforts to respect consumers’ privacy expectations,” said Duncan McCall, CEO of PlaceIQ. “Our relationship with TRUSTe is the latest example of that commitment and it ensures that when our offerings are leveraged by our customers, they are in line with today’s standards.”

PlaceIQ brings together the tremendous and growing amounts of data about and from location to better understand the way consumers physically behave in the real world. It then leverages these insights to help advertisers and agencies better reach, target and message to their ideal audiences. While this data has always been opt-in and comprises non-personally identifiable information (PII), the partnership with TRUSTe enhances PlaceIQ’s ability to ensure consumer control and transparency are central components within its offerings, helping its customers comply with online behavioral advertising (OBA) best practices.

“At the forefront of a significant shift in how agencies and brands understand consumers, PlaceIQ has signified that it recognizes the responsibility of all parties to work together to respect their privacy,” said Rich Qiu, VP of Mobile Business Development at TRUSTe. “We are pleased that they have chosen to integrate their platform with ours, recognizing the additional safeguard this will provide to those using and being engaged by their technology.”

What We’ve Learned: Navigating an Event-Driven Mobile Campaign

Posted in Audience Series, Blog

PlaceIQ’s Audience Series sets out to highlight the importance of segments in the advertising world. As the pioneer of mobile’s application to location intelligence, and leaders in the mobile audience field, PlaceIQ has the knowledge you need. Key audience experts from each PIQ department — from engineering, to data science, to sales — will tackle a new topic to give a 360-degree view on this vast, ever-changing industry.

Joeseph Ranzenbach
By Joseph Ranzenbach

PlaceIQ CEO Duncan McCall has long said that “location is the biggest indicator of intent since search,” and both brands and advertisers have seemed to agree in kind. Mobile, the media format that enables the greatest degree of accuracy in identifying a user’s location, has witnessed a growth in advertising dollars that outpaces every other media format, and much of this spend is going to location-based targeting.

And why not? Not only are there more Android devices activated each day than there are babies born, but users are spending increasing amounts of time on their newfound electronic lifeblood, which is rarely more than three feet away from them. Add in granular location data on each impression, combine that with a sophisticated understanding of the space and time in which consumers travel, and you have an incredible platform for audience development, targeting, insight and attribution.

But in order to build and execute on a successful campaign, particularly for the impending phenomenon of holidays over the coming weeks, it is imperative to develop a well-planned, event-based advertising strategy.

The Challenges of Event-Driven Targeting in Mobile

Targeting a successful location-based advertising campaign on a day like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or any of the hectic shopping days before Christmas can prove to create an enthralling set of problems to solve. In our experiences running event-driven mobile campaigns in the past, including a particularly relevant, large-scale campaign that targeted in-store customers on Black Friday 2012, we’ve learned to fine-tune our execution strategies to account for a few potential challenges:

  1. Supply Scarcity

    Whether you’re a big box retailer with 1,000 brick-and-mortar locations across the country or a regional consortium of auto dealers, it’s important to note that there is a limit on the market of available impressions out there for your in-store customers. (Khoa Pham wrote an excellent post on Fermi problems and ad targeting).

  2. Increased Competition

    Increases in consumer purchase intent on days like Black Friday are met with increases in advertising demand, meaning that the competition for consumer attention on limited available impressions is much higher than usual and, despite increased shopping activities, supply will not rise to meet demand in many cases.

  3. Scalable Infrastructure

    The increasing rush of ad demand to RTB, which has consistently outpaced research firm projections in recent years, has led to an increased supply in ad impressions and, consequently, an increased requirement for ad buyers to develop scalable infrastructure. The increase in consumer activity and competition for impressions brought on by holidays and large-scale events makes scalable infrastructure even more important. In order to capitalize on as many of those limited, relevant available impressions and beat out competition for them, it’s imperative to support seeing as much of the pool as possible. Unfortunately, due to the innate scarcity of addressing in-store audiences, the law of diminishing returns applies to supporting increasing pools of inventory and infrastructure.

  4. Atypical Behavioral Patterns

    Large-scale events effect consumer behavior and require algorithmic adaptation and iteration. What works on a typical Friday will not likely produce the same levels of accuracy or success on Black Friday or the Super Bowl when it comes to targeting, analytics, and performance (Rachit Srivastava wrote a great post on this topic).

Making Location Scale & Constructing Successful Campaigns

So given the known limitations, how do you make location scale to most effectively reach your audience and meet your campaign goals?

  1. Build a Strategic Audience Portfolio

    In building your campaign, it’s important to develop a targeting portfolio that not only helps you to achieve your goals, but also hedges your risk and offers opportunities for some home runs. For instance, while targeting consumers that are in your brick-and-mortar locations is an exceptional component to any campaign, it shouldn’t be your entire campaign, as it may limit your scale and reach. As supplemental audiences in your portfolio, why not try conquesting those who have visited a competitor’s location in the past and also targeting locations that consumers are likely to visit before reaching your stores?

    Additionally, it’s worth noting that growth in mobile commerce is outpacing both e-commerce and in-store sales. Why not build that into your campaign strategy as well? Given that not all consumers will be doing their shopping in-store this year, adding line items for in and out-of-home audiences with affinities for your products can help capture mobile or online commerce in addition to helping drive brick-and-mortar traffic.

  2. Utilize Data Intelligence, Not Data Sets

    There are a lot of flawed and incorrectly attributed location data sets out there and unfortunately a lot of folks are using the same ones. When dealing with large amounts of spend, especially over short periods of time, invest in a partner who invests their own time and resources in data aggregation, intelligence, quality, and analytics. There’s a reason why Apple’s initial mapping foray met so much criticism – location is a lot harder than it seems.

  3. Plan Ahead & Close the Feedback Loop

    At PlaceIQ, we’ve plotted billions of points of information against our patented location analysis platform to derive an intuitive, audience based understanding of the world around us. In preparation for large-scale, event-based campaigns, we reference previous campaigns and data sets with billions of data points and comparable conditions to adapt our expectations, rather than, say, a panel of a few thousand users (Extra Credit Reading: Why We Need to Do Better than Panels, Focus Groups and Surveys).

The holidays can be a very stressful time for many brands and advertisers, but they really don’t have to be. Significant scale and profitable results can be achieved by intelligently targeting your ad spend through strategically built audience compilations and being flexible with iteration. When it comes to event-driven targeting in mobile, thoughtful planning and leaning on data-driven insights can make the difference between celebrating an innovative and successful campaign and standing still while your competitor does.

PlaceIQ’s Audience Series sets out to highlight the importance of segments in the advertising world. As the pioneer of mobile’s application to location intelligence, and leaders in the mobile audience field, PlaceIQ has the knowledge you need. Key audience experts from each PIQ department — from engineering, to data science, to sales — will tackle a new topic to give a 360-degree view on this vast, ever-changing industry.

PlaceIQ to Participate in New York City Industry Events to Kick Off December

Posted in Blog, News

NEW YORK, NY – PlaceIQ, the company building more accurate audiences with location, time and real-world behavior, announced today that members of the company’s leadership team will be speaking at two upcoming events in New York, NY on Tuesday, December 3; the first for chief financial officers of New York City-based technology companies and the second on how retailers can more effectively leverage mobile and location data to engage their audiences.

Scott Casey, PlaceIQ’s chief financial officer, will lead a discussion during the Silicon Alley Technology Roundtable, hosted by J.P. Morgan, for New York technology companies’ chief financial officers on Tuesday, December 3. An invite-only event for a select group of chief financial officers, the conversation will revolve around the opportunities and challenges facing fast-growing technology companies, including key tax planning considerations for tech executives and the 2014 IPO climate. In addition, participants will also have the opportunity to hear from J.P. Morgan Investment Bank and Chase Commercial Bank representatives about trends in the rapidly-changing sector.

The afternoon of Tuesday, December 3, Drew Breunig, PlaceIQ’s VP of strategy, will participate on a panel at 4:30 PM ET during Mediabistro’s Inside Mobile Apps Conference — “Mobile Apps: Transforming the Shopping Experience.” Breunig will draw upon his decade of experience working with agencies and their clients specializing in big box retailers and national brands to share insight into how retailers can more effectively leverage mobile and location data to define their audiences. Inside Mobile Apps is taking place at The New Yorker (481 Eighth Avenue) and brings together leading developers, industry luminaries, and thought leaders for two days of in-depth insight, analysis, and opinion on the key areas defining the mobile and social app ecosystem. To register for this event, please visit: www.mediabistro.com/insidemobileappsconf/.

PlaceIQ Patent Validates Innovative Approach to Mobile Targeting

Posted in Blog, News

PlaceIQ’s Audience Series sets out to highlight the importance of segments in the advertising world. As the pioneer of mobile’s application to location intelligence, and leaders in the mobile audience field, PlaceIQ has the knowledge you need. Key audience experts from each PIQ department — from engineering, to data science, to sales — will tackle a new topic to give a 360-degree view on this vast, ever-changing industry.

Steve Milton
By Steve Milton

For the past four years, PlaceIQ has been immersed in the emerging world of the “mobile consumer.”

Smartphones and tablets are being adopted at a mind-boggling rate, resulting in a large percentage of the population carrying these devices with them throughout their day. Most importantly to us here at PlaceIQ, these devices have a growing set of sensors that record user activity with amazing detail – location being one example.

The potential of this data set is what sparked the idea for PlaceIQ to contextualize the relationship between places, time and people, and more specifically, behavior, preferences and intent. From the beginning, we set out to respect individual privacy while developing meaningful insights. We were recently awarded our first patent for our efforts in creating audiences from location histories.

It is exciting to validate some of the many innovative approaches we have developed. Reading patents can be very laborious, so I’ll summarize the nature of our invention below.

PlaceIQ has developed one of the most detailed and accurate GIS databases commercially available. We ingest hundreds of millions of data points describing a huge diversity of places in our North American data set. Each location is contextualized with a large, varied set of data, ranging from business name and type, to event listings, to TV viewing preferences, and so on. Our raw database contains more than half a trillion data points.

All of this information is mapped into one billion 100m x 100m tiles, allowing us to create rich profiles for specific places. Tiles are our method for providing structure to this very large and complex set of data. Without this structure, it would be very difficult to identify valuable relationships among the various data sets.

Though a reasonable data set for computation, it is still a daunting task for quality assessment and ultimate prediction modeling on top of the data. So our next step is to classify tiles.

We have built hundreds of rules to draw out each tile’s characteristics. Finally, we use resolution to refine these models.

Regardless, some tiles remain noisy and are filtered out for downstream use. As you can imagine, this is a continual process as we onboard new data sets and evaluate the quality of our predictions. The result is a powerful product we call PlaceContext.

Our early experiences using PlaceContext to serve mobile ads demonstrated the power of location in reaching consumers effectively on mobile devices. Our data science team was able to quickly create heuristics to predict specific audience affinities to given tiles, days, and times. The results were consistent and compelling.

The next step for us was to try to understand broader consumer behavior. Through our work in mobile advertising we have been exposed to huge location data sets that identify unique devices without exposing personal information related to that device. This allows us to build anonymous location, day, and time histories for each individual device.

We ingest over 20 billion signals each month, and this is growing quickly. By intersecting these data sets with our PlaceContext database, we are able to rapidly augment the location histories of these devices.

From these data histories, we found that most people are creatures of habit, and that over the course of several months, we can identify primary demographic and psychographic characteristics with very high confidence. The types of characteristics we predict range from “avid golfer” to “chief household officer” and beyond. We have now developed hundreds of these characteristics for marketers to utilize in targeting and analytics. And, most importantly, we are able to develop these without understanding or collecting personally identifiable information.

This capability provides a very accurate and robust way for our customers to understand and reach their mobile audiences with confidence and relevance. We currently have over 100 million devices with high confidence segmentation, and the number of devices and attributes are growing daily.

We are working on several other groundbreaking technologies to further enrich and complete our understanding of consumer behavior, such as connecting the mobile audience to other digital mediums.

We are also starting to expose our PlaceContext product to customers so that they can build their own predictive models for their proprietary data.

The most exciting and rewarding thing about working at PlaceIQ is the opportunity to work with highly innovative customers and some of the brightest software and data technologists in the industry.

PlaceIQ’s Audience Series sets out to highlight the importance of segments in the advertising world. As the pioneer of mobile’s application to location intelligence, and leaders in the mobile audience field, PlaceIQ has the knowledge you need. Key audience experts from each PIQ department — from engineering, to data science, to sales — will tackle a new topic to give a 360-degree view on this vast, ever-changing industry.

Black Friday: The Ultimate Test

Posted in Audience Series, Blog

PlaceIQ’s Audience Series sets out to highlight the importance of segments in the advertising world. As the pioneer of mobile’s application to location intelligence, and leaders in the mobile audience field, PlaceIQ has the knowledge you need. Key audience experts from each PIQ department — from engineering, to data science, to sales — will tackle a new topic to give a 360-degree view on this vast, ever-changing industry. The following article was featured as an AdExchanger “Data-Driven Thinking” column.

Rachit Srivastava
By Rachit Srivastava

Thanksgiving is around the corner, meaning great food, family and, of course, Black Friday.

Mobile ad targeting and strategy have advanced significantly this year, and mobile marketers are reaping the rewards of proven, solid algorithms and enjoying consistent uplift in success metrics. They should be feeling pretty comfortable with being able to target audiences efficiently on this crazy shopping weekend, right? Why would their algorithms fail them now?

Black Friday is like no other time of the year, and it may require marketers to step out of their comfort zones. This is no time for autopilot. If you want to pass the ultimate test, preparation is key.

Major Challenge 1: Infrastructure

On Black Friday, consumers are more inclined than ever to shop, and advertisers want to take extra advantage of this. This means that overall there will be more competition for targeted ad impressions served that weekend than on other days of the year. Advertisers will funnel an increasing number of ads towards these limited impressions in order to cash in on the intent of consumers and channel them toward stores.

To read the rest of this article, please visit Adexchanger.com.

PlaceIQ’s Audience Series sets out to highlight the importance of segments in the advertising world. As the pioneer of mobile’s application to location intelligence, and leaders in the mobile audience field, PlaceIQ has the knowledge you need. Key audience experts from each PIQ department — from engineering, to data science, to sales — will tackle a new topic to give a 360-degree view on this vast, ever-changing industry.

PlaceIQ Expands Leadership Team Following 370 Percent Overall Employee Growth in 2013

Posted in Blog, News

NEW YORK, NY – PlaceIQ, the company building more accurate audiences with location, time and real-world behavior, today announced that it has named Jason Shao as VP, engineering, Elise Neel as VP, data and insights, and Jim Ryan as RVP, sales. Shao, Neel, and Ryan are three of the latest additions to the PlaceIQ employee roster, which has increased by 50 names in 2013 — an overall growth rate of more than 370 percent. Each has been tasked with the efficient management of internal teams and processes that are responsible for successful customer campaigns. PlaceIQ currently has more than 30 positions open across sales, operations and engineering. In 2014, the organization plans to increase headcount further, doubling in size by year-end.

In his role as VP, engineering for PlaceIQ, Shao will manage the company’s engineering talent, technology, and systems. Previously, he served as VP, technology for PulsePoint, where he oversaw the creation and launch of one of the market’s first real-time bidding (RTB) exchanges. Shao and his team also integrated PulsePoint’s proprietary audience mapping technology across the company’s programmatic offerings, as well as led the development and adoption of the OpenRTB standard. He spent the early years of his career engineering technology solutions for CampusEAI and his alma mater, Rutgers University.

Neel, a highly respected industry expert with more than 12 years of executive leadership experience, will ensure PlaceIQ’s clients have the resources and tools that they need to transform marketing intelligence into global business results as VP, Data and Insights. In her previous position as SVP, sales for comScore’s Big Data platform, Digital Analytix, she and her enterprise sales team significantly expanded the business analytics revenue on behalf of top media, publishing and technology clients. Over the course of her career, Neel has managed and grown global accounts, expanded product lines, built businesses and managed P&L all while driving the type of client satisfaction that results in lifetime customers.

With a background in sales and identifying opportunities for brand advertisers with the mobile and wireless industry, Ryan joins PlaceIQ as RVP, sales in Detroit, Michigan, where he will supervise the sales team and customer service in that region. Previously, as RVP for Millennial Media, Ryan was responsible for multi-million dollar revenue generation across the company’s top-100 advertiser client base while overseeing the opening of a Detroit office. Prior to that, Ryan held customer, media, and partner-facing roles across agencies including Publicis, Starcom Worldwide, J. Walter Thompson, and Carlson Marketing Group. As an advocate of mobile advertising, Ryan was an early adopter of technology as a means to quantify advertising investments.

“PlaceIQ has scaled significantly as more major brands have begun to work with us this year to better understand and engage their target audiences by leveraging our technology,” said Duncan McCall, CEO and co-founder of PlaceIQ. “Jason, Elise, Jim, and all of the valuable employees whom we’ve brought on represent our inside-out approach to ensuring that we continue to deliver for our clients and are prepared for an even more successful 2014.”

To learn more about available positions at PlaceIQ, visit: http://www.placeiq.com/careers/

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PlaceIQ Introduces PreVisit and PIQ Analytics, Delivering Deeper Insights Into Consumer Behavior

Posted in Blog, News

NEW YORK, NY – PlaceIQ, the company building more accurate audiences with location, time and real-world behavior, today announced two powerful new analytics capabilities — PreVisit and PIQ Analytics. Part of PlaceIQ’s newly patented location technology platform, both offerings provide marketers with an unprecedented understanding of their consumer audiences by deriving behavioral and demographic signals from the location histories of millions of unique devices.

Since 2010, PlaceIQ has focused on building a unique and detailed platform that enables powerful location intelligence for brands and agencies alike. The company was awarded a patent this past summer for its unique methodology that is key to understanding audiences from location. PlaceIQ continues to add to its robust product platform focused on targeting and analytics.

As additions to PlaceIQ’s suite of advanced reporting solutions, PreVisit and PIQ Analytics go beyond ad delivery and top-level campaign reviews. PIQ Analytics metrics provide a multidimensional, deep understanding of mobile audiences’ behaviors across location and time by analyzing their movements in the real world. As an example, PIQ Analytics can identify which competitors a brand’s audience is most likely to visit, the restaurants where they typically dine, the type of device they use, and the stores that they frequent. These insights go far beyond singular place and time measurements and provide a window into the consumer journey.

PreVisit determines where consumers were before arriving at a brand’s physical location. Providing this visibility and context into location histories adds a truly differentiated and realistic depiction of audience behavior that is indispensible to brands. For example, marketers can utilize PreVisit to target ads to the places their visitors travel from most often. Therefore, brands can encourage more frequent visits from existing consumers, as well as visits from new customers.

“Our platform allows marketers to use location intelligence to deeply understand the consumers with whom they want to engage,” said PlaceIQ CEO & co-founder, Duncan McCall. “Such visibility into and context around the consumer journey is highly valuable for brands seeking a truly differentiated and realistic depiction of consumer behavior.”

When coupled with PlaceIQ’s Place Visit Rate™ (PVR™) metric, PreVisit and PIQ Analytics allow marketers not only to understand whether their campaign successfully drove audiences to their store locations, but how visiting devices were different from those that did not visit. With this nuanced understanding, clients can discover successful audiences they may not have previously targeted, and optimize their campaign based on real-world behaviors.

“PlaceIQ believes that businesses are better served by glimpses of the actual, real-world tendencies of their target consumers,” said PlaceIQ CTO and co-founder, Steve Milton. “Having now received a patent for our technology, we will continue to develop innovations that strengthen marketers’ ability to understand and reach relevant audiences across and even beyond screens, at scale.”

PreVisit and PIQ Analytics for PlaceIQ clients by vertical:

Technology client discovered that audiences who were exposed to advertising and visited key retailers were 20 percent more likely to be Millennials than those that did not visit.

Consumer electronics brand learned that 6 hours prior to visiting the key retail locations, consumers were 3x more likely to be observed at other consumer electronic locations — revealing that visitors had cross-shopping habits among consumer electronics enthusiasts.

Automotive client discovered that home goods and grocery shoppers made up a significantly larger share of audiences exposed to advertising who then visited dealership lots versus those that did not visit.

Big Box retail client looked at devices that visited their stores and learned that they were 50 percent more likely to be low-income families with young children, versus all other audiences.

Technology client uncovered that audiences who were exposed to advertising and visited key retailers were 33 percent more likely to be in the highest income bracket earning $200k+.

About the Patent

The patent is for a process of profiling a user of a mobile computing device, the process including: obtaining a location history of a user, the location history being based on signals from a mobile computing device of the user; obtaining a location-attribute score of a location identified in, or inferred from, the location history; determining, with a computer, a user-attribute score based on the location-attribute score; and storing the user-attribute score in a user-profile datastore.

Patent granted July 16, 2013, U.S. Patent 8,489,596.
For more information, visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s website.

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6 Reasons Why Data Science is an Art

Posted in Audience Series, Blog

PlaceIQ’s Audience Series sets out to highlight the importance of segments in the advertising world. As the pioneer of mobile’s application to location intelligence, and leaders in the mobile audience field, PlaceIQ has the knowledge you need. Key audience experts from each PIQ department — from engineering, to data science, to sales — will tackle a new topic each week to give a 360-degree view on this vast, ever-changing industry.

Juan Huerta
By Juan Huerta

If Michelangelo were alive today, what would he do for a living?

He would be a data scientist, of course.

Sure, crunching massive data sets on multi-thousand core clusters using algorithms that were once the exclusive domain of the scientific elites might not seem like an obvious career choice for the famous Caprese maestro, but I firmly believe that he would make quite the data scientist.

Here’s why: Behind the name, data science is a transformative craft, which shares a number of similarities with art.

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www.freakingnews.com

  1. Transformative Synergism: In both disciplines, the final total is much greater than the sum of the inputs. In data science our prime raw material (data) goes through the process of transformation through cleansing, parsing, and normalization, followed by iterative optimizations where incremental value is distilled out of the raw material, and where a final result emerges in the form of new information. As point in case, imagine the workshop of Antonio Stradivari systematically transforming a generic block of wood into a unique piece of acoustic excellence.
  2. Technique and Apprenticeship: Art, like data, is based on mastery of technique. A painter takes pride on technical skill the same way a data scientist takes pride on the techniques he or she can bring to the table. And, in both cases, while fundamentals are learned through formal education, true technical mastery is only developed over periods of time and through hands-on experience. Data organizations are essentially workshops where technique is constantly emphasized, transferred, and codified in the form of best practices, intellectual and proprietary information, and techniques.
  3. Experimentalism and Innovation: As piano technology evolved during the 18th and 19th century, composers of the era quickly assimilated the innovations to the instrument and dutifully reflected these into their music. One can imagine the excitement of a young Beethoven when noticing the expressive range of the new pianos of the time. Data scientists have the same curiosity and adventurous spirit as we constantly assess every new technology that promises to produce improved outcomes and workflows.
  4. Creativity, Imagination and Hacker-spirit: Anybody who has worked on code, models, algorithms, or building data pipelines knows that in our line of work, inspiration and creativity are crucial. Sure, we still need the proverbial 99% perspiration, but if you haven’t got the inspiration, no amount of perspiration is going to get you out of your predicament. An online definition of “hacker” refers to a person “who enjoys the intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming or circumventing limitation.” Creativity is a strategic weapon in the hacker’s arsenal. One story tells us of Paganini occasionally breaking his violin strings during performances to demonstrate his virtuosity. Creatively overcoming these self-imposed limitations earns Paganini the honorary title of “hacker.”
  5. Specialization and Differentiation: Nobody disputes that Leonardo’s art is distinctive. Mozart never said “my music is awesome because it sounds just like Bach’s.” Nobody mixes their Dali’s with their Picasso’s. Every data organization strives to achieve a differentiation in technique and approach in order to produce characteristically distinctive results. Like artists, top data science organizations typically operate within their own niches excellence, reflecting the way we think of and approach a problem, our domain of expertise, as well as the resources we leverage and techniques we bring to the table.
  6. Persistence and Detail-orientation: Those of us who have seen architectural marvels like La Alhambra in Spain have inevitably wondered how many thousands, if not millions, of man-hours were spent creating such extensive and magnificent works. Likewise, data science is done through careful persistence and fastidious attention to detail. The true data scientist will understand that the difference between a tight model and a sloppy one is the belief that no detail is too small to matter and that in the end, this obsessive persistence is what makes all the difference.

We can go on listing many other similarities, but the ones mentioned should illustrate the main parallels between data science and art creation. I have no doubt a latter-day Michelangelo would definitely relinquish his chisel and mallet for some Hadoop and NoSQL.

PlaceIQ’s Audience Series sets out to highlight the importance of segments in the advertising world. As the pioneer of mobile’s application to location intelligence, and leaders in the mobile audience field, PlaceIQ has the knowledge you need. Key audience experts from each PIQ department — from engineering, to data science, to sales — will tackle a new topic each week to give a 360-degree view on this vast, ever-changing industry.