In his latest Street Fight op-ed, Jake Moskowitz compares the need for data verification to essential media verification initiatives like viewability and fraud…

Verification benchmarks prove that data quality is as threatening an issue as non-viewable impressions, and a much larger problem than fraud. According to Nielsen’s most recent DAR benchmarks report through 1Q’18, digital ads that are age- and gender-targeted to an audience 16-30 years in size (which Nielsen defines as “Medium” level targeting, not “Broad” or “Narrow”) result in an average 42% on-target percentage across all digital. To be clear: that’s 58% of ads being served to the wrong age/gender audience.

The Emodo Institute has analyzed more than 100 data set studies and found that, on average, the lat/long location data in bid requests are incorrect about 57% of the time, and 45% of location-targeted audience impressions are inaccurately targeted.

The below chart shows the relative scale of media-related quality issues vs. data-related quality issues (pulled from readily available data). Clearly, data quality is a major issue. It causes significantly more waste than fraud. In addition, it can negatively impact traditional brand metrics like affinity and preference when the wrong messages are delivered to the wrong people.