The IAB’s new Data Center of Excellence recently released the data maturity framework that we at Sparrow helped develop. Frameworks, while necessary, normally aren’t terribly exciting to discuss, but this one is for one very simple reason: when we talk about data across the industries we often times aren’t talking about the same things.
What drove this point home for me very vividly and largely inspired the need for a maturity model just so happened to be another IAB project - the design of the data certification program. There we were, from companies representing all sides of the adtech and martech ecosystems, tasked with drawing up a common set of skills and required expertise for data professionals today. We hit upon the realization very quickly that even the very definition of data and certainly its commercial implications vary greatly depending if you’re on the buy side, sell side, or a tech intermediary.
This is where the maturity model comes into play. As with any emerging and rapidly evolving discipline there’s limited information on where a specific company is on the scale of data adoption maturity and even less concrete advice on what specific investments should be made to systematically increase a company’s data capabilities. While several traditional data maturity models exist in other industries, the scale, variety and pace of change of data sets that are generated across digital channels warrant the design of a specialized data maturity model that can evolve as new channels and uses of customer data become apparent. The aim of this effort is to aid senior executives in understanding where they or their clients and prospects rank and help guide further investment, implementation, and strategy. To put it simply: the model will help you consistently identify which efforts will translate to the biggest return on investment.
So with IAB’s sponsorship and early participation from companies like Facebook, Pandora, Google, BuzzFeed, Xaxis (to name a few) we’ve come up with a flexible framework for evaluating data maturity. If you are a publisher, agency, brand, or data provider you can take the self-assessment here.
What’s next? We’re thinking of ways to flesh out recommendations and ROI tradeoffs of increasing maturity, creating an industry-wide maturity index broken down by vertical (this was the #1 request during the project’s pilot phase) and regional versions for international markets. Drop us a line if you have a question or an idea how to take this further - we’re very excited that it’s live, in use, and welcome any anecdotes you’d care to share as you leverage it in the market.