23
Oct
2019

Advancements in Location Intelligence and Insights: Why Location Data Matters in 2019

10/23/2019

Location data has been a hot topic in the programmatic industry over the past few years. There is a lot of discussion in the marketplace about the quality of location data, ambiguity about how it is used, and debate about whether this data needs to be verified. Thanks to recent advancements in location intelligence and insights, we at Simpli.fi would like bring clarity to the conversation and demonstrate to marketers why high-quality location data matters in 2019.

High-quality location data is a must-have for successful location-based targeting. And with mobile and OTT/CTV-based impressions firmly rooted as the primary growth drivers for digital advertising, location data is an incredibly valuable asset for advertisers today. Let’s dive in and see how Simpli.fi’s use of only the highest quality of location data ensures that the right users are targeted and that conversion tracking is as accurate as possible across all of our location-based targeting solutions.

 

Where Our Data Originates

Bid Stream Data

At Simpli.fi we get our data from two sources: the bid stream, and third-party providers.

Simpli.fi collects approximately 300 billion bid requests a day from our exchanges.

After filtering out derived and duplicate data, this results in over 2.5 billion lat/long records and about 500 million unique lat/long coordinates. This is a huge source of information that allows us to target users across tens of thousands of applications.

However, not all bid stream data reaches the high-quality standards we demand in order to be used with our various geo-fencing products. This is why Simpli.fi employs a number of filters and checks to ensure only high-quality lat/long data is used (see more on this below). Simpli.fi uses what is referred to as “actual” GPS data, rather than derived lat/long data such as IP- or cell tower-derived data. Rigorous data science methods and filtration are applied to remove partially complete or duplicate data, and also to remove location points commonly associated with IP- or cell phone-derived lat/long data.

Third Party

Simpli.fi works with high-quality third-party data partners to expand the number of valid lat/long data even further. Currently, our third-party data doubles the amount of actionable lat/long data available to Simpli.fi, forming a powerful combination with bid stream data. This number will continue to grow as we onboard more third-party data partners. Here are a few of the key quality components of our third-party data:

  • Does not use derived lat/long data, such as IP- or cell tower-derived data.
  • Data comes directly from hundreds of mobile applications.
  • All third-party data is reviewed internally by Simpli.fi’s Data Science team to further find and filter out pattern-based data that is deemed to be low quality.

 

How Do We Assure Data Accuracy?

Our dedicated Data Science team is constantly analyzing GPS data in order to filter out patterns of data that we deem as low quality, or that are fraudulent or bot-driven. For example, we identify large hot spots where apps are incorrectly sending in location data and we also analyze users for erratic lat/long patterns.

And what’s more, Simpli.fi conducts additional scrubbing and filtering of all third-party location data we receive. This ensures that all of the third-party data we utilize meets our rigorous quality standards.

All of our existing platform-wide fraud filters exclude any users or data sources that have been deemed as fraudulent or suspicious — such as a particular user sending thousands of lat/long data bid requests. Even after this huge amount of filtering, Simpli.fi still sees over 3 billion high-quality lat/long data points each day. Ultimately, access to this bid stream data doesn’t
restrict our reach to users that are using specific apps commonly used in third-party data sets, allowing us to reach any user across any app displaying ads on mobile devices and across all OTT/CTV devices.

 

How Accurate Can You Get?

In general, modern cell phones can be accurate up to 4.9 meters under open sky. However, not all users have the latest and greatest GPS devices. Whether lat/long comes from the bid stream or from third-party data from apps, the source of that data is still the same: the GPS receiver on a cell phone. Simpli.fi cross-references our GPS data with beacon/Wi-Fi data, which tightens the accuracy from 4.9 meters to mere inches (if the device is capable).

As cell phone devices continue to improve GPS receivers and the investment is made in the GPS infrastructure around the world, accuracy will continue to improve in the lat/long data being collected through the bid stream and from third-party data sources. And thanks to Simpli.fi’s cross-device matching capabilities, the accuracy of our mobile GPS data can be leveraged in our OTT/CTV targeting as well to reach users across both the big screen in the living room and other small screen devices.

 

Why Does Accurate Location Data Matter for Advertisers?

In a world where people are mobile-obsessed and increasingly inclined to stream OTT/CTV content rather than watch linear TV, location-based targeting is one of the most effective ways to reach the right consumer at the right time. But location-marketing is only as good as the location data being used to target an audience. Ever hear the expression “garbage in, garbage out?” If inaccurate location data goes into your campaign, you can expect the campaign’s performance to be subpar.

When actual (not derived) GPS data is vigorously scrubbed and filtered for accuracy, the resulting location data can:

  • Provide more granular insights into audience behavior and preferences.
  • Help advertisers gain an understanding of what drives people to physical locations.
  • Inform marketers what programmatic strategies are and are not working, and allow for optimization in real-time.

This is why the unparalleled accuracy of Simpli.fi’s location data makes such a huge difference for advertisers. To see the benefits of using the highest quality location data available today, contact us at hi@simpli.fi.