ComScore: The Art and Science of Big Data, From the Inside

A recent CISR report details how the market researcher creates internal value from big data.

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Competing With Data & Analytics

How does data inform business processes, offerings, and engagement with customers? This research looks at trends in the use of analytics, the evolution of analytics strategy, optimal team composition, and new opportunities for data-driven innovation.
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While comScore, Inc. can rightly take its place among the world’s biggest data purveyors — the digital measurement and analytics company has collected about 14 petabytes of online data from around the globe, at a rate of about 20 terabytes a day — it still has to execute on all that data internally to create valuable insights its customers can actually use.

This, it turns out, is where a lot of organizations stumble: Capturing the value in big data.

A recent report by MIT Sloan’s Center for Information Systems Research (CISR) details how comScore does just that. The secret lies in how comScore organizes its assets to create value from big data, so that it can easily generate big data insights for its clients. (Hint: it has as much to do with culture as it does technology and talent.)

ComScore delivers insights on web, mobile and TV consumer behavior that allows its more than 2,000 clients — advertisers and marketers across a range of industries, from CPG to energy to health care — to understand the performance and value of their digital investments. It bases these insights on measurement data it gathers from 172 countries in 43 markets. It captures 50 billion events a day, and well over 1.5 trillion (yes, with a “T”) interactions monthly — equivalent to almost 40% of the monthly page views of the entire Internet.

The company consistently turns its data into insights, releasing about 150,000 reports a day (output that peaks at about 45 reports per second), according to CISR’s research.

Like any analytics (or product or service) company, how well comScore gets the right insights to the right client depends, to no small degree, on how well it functions internally. But it’s also a function of how well the company is aligned around data as a core asset.

That’s what comScore is doing.

CISR’s research details how comScore achieves value creation from big data through three distinct levers: a cost-efficient, scalable platform; an analytics-savvy workforce; and a deep understanding of its clients.

Tech Strategy: Build, Then Buy

Data to fuel comScore’s reports are culled from four main sources: panel data collected from 2 million online users; census data gathered from sensors placed (with permission) on about 90% of the top 100 U.S.

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Topics

Competing With Data & Analytics

How does data inform business processes, offerings, and engagement with customers? This research looks at trends in the use of analytics, the evolution of analytics strategy, optimal team composition, and new opportunities for data-driven innovation.
See All Articles in This Section

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