Clarity And Independent Confirmation Is Needed On How Off-Platform Data Is Collected And Disseminated

Interview with Taresh Mullick, Senior Audience Analyst at TEGNA Media


Taresh is the the Senior Audience Analyst for TEGNA Media (the largest independent station group of major network affiliates in the United States’ top 25 markets). In his role, he is primarily responsible for consumer focused insights across all of TEGNA Media’s digital, social and emerging platforms. He has over 15 years in the media industry serving in multiple editorial, programming strategy, acquisitions and analytics positions for companies including Gannett, CBS Radio, Vox Media and ESPN, where he was part of the team that launched WatchESPN. 

We sat down with him ahead of his presentation at the Social Media and Web Analytics Innovation Summit, taking place in Chicago this November 29-30.

What do you see as the key trends impacting the world of social media measurements and web analytics in 2016?

We still find that analytics are separated by platforms (social, apps, TV etc.). One of the big trends moving forward is a seamless integration of consumer insights across platforms. Right now, those insights are still formulated by extracting disparate data sets. Some of the big measurement platforms have still not fully unified across multiple platforms with standard measurement and behaviors. As digital and social measurement evolves, we have more players and providers which spurs innovation. Yet at the same time, it is creating increased fragmentation because there are no common sets of standards and measurement. The digital audience measurement system needs full transparency to ensure full industry confidence. As an end user we need a better way of understanding quality. The only way to measure quality is true transparency.

Are there any particular developments that will make it more challenging for marketers and analysts to derive insight from social/web data?

The barriers to access and usage of web and social data are lower than ever before meaning various departments have access to data without the knowledge to effectively understand and act upon the data. These low barriers also create pressure on limited existing resources within organizations. As the world of content distribution becomes more intertwined, off-platform distribution channels such as Facebook become a vital part of our ecosystem and impact our performance. The industry needs clarity and independent confirmation on how off-platform data is collected and disseminated.

What are the developments that will make it easier to derive insight and enhance business value?

As mentioned in the previous question, there are lower barriers to entry than ever before. This is both a challenge and a tremendous opportunity for businesses. Other departments beyond the core analytics team now have access to data and interfaces-designed with the non-power user in mind-are now easier to use. Organizationally there is an increased level of interest in making data driven decisions.

Are there any obvious winners or losers as the social media & web analytics and optimization markets continue to mature and evolve?

Startups and innovators have more access to data than ever before. Analytics teams are benefiting from an industry that is rapidly evolving. We have more better, sophisticated data than ever before. Unlike audience measurement of traditional media which seemed to be stuck in the mid-1980’s until recently, the digital audience measurement continues to progress. While we are obvious winners though, we are also losers as the speed of innovation is not met with an equally rapid rate of governance and accreditation. We find ourselves spending more time wading through analytical options and attempting to confirm their validity that it has become part of the job description. A common set of standards and measurement with full transparency across the industry will allow for better understanding of the data leading to actionable insights, making our consumers the ultimate winners.

What do you intend to talk about in your presentation?

We will talk about how we use the multiple layers of consumer data from one platform (i.e. social media) to engage in a dialog with our consumers and help serve them on a daily basis across multiple platforms.

You can hear from Taresh, along with other experts in data analytics, at the Social Media and Web Innovation Summit. View the full agenda here.

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