Marketing data. It’s a $20 billion industry composed of hundreds of companies, most of which gather, shape and sell consumer targeting data to brands and agencies. Very few of those companies, however, take steps to ensure or disclose any level of quality. There’s no methodological disclosure, no quality standard and no way to know how the flawed data may be negatively affecting campaign results. While it’s certainly available in abundance, it isn’t always solid, and it’s almost never proven.

In other industries, scientists reveal details and methodologies in academic journals, for peers to review and critique. That’s not the case with marketing data science. Why is that?

Jake Moskowitz from the Emodo Institute argues it’s less about our ability to understand what’s behind the data and more about companies’ efforts to veil data science, and he gives us six reasons why.

  1. Competition
    It’s only natural that if vendors develop a methodology that fuels their business, they’ll want to keep it under wraps. If it gets out there, someone can steal it, and when it’s the essence of your business, that could be risky.
  1. Sales Cycle
    This is a business, after all, so closing the sale is pretty much the top priority. The deeper you get into the nitty gritty details of the methodology