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HomeCloud ComputingBuilt with BigQuery: Making data activation and monetization accessible with Optable

Built with BigQuery: Making data activation and monetization accessible with Optable

Editor’s note: The post is part of a series showcasing tech companies and data providers that are Built with BigQuery.

In recent years, changes in consumer privacy regulations have created disruption within the media and advertising ecosystem. Publishers have felt some of the biggest impact, needing to change the way they think about ad monetization so they can continue to respect user privacy, reduce reliance on third parties, and build sustainable revenue growth. 

Key to helping publishers navigate these challenges is their data management and collaboration technologies, which enable them to utilize private identity data, extract meaningful business insights, and safely scale data activation. 

Optable is the maker of an end-to-end data clean room platform for the advertising industry that integrates with BigQuery and enables audience activation and insights through connections with downstream systems.

Optimizing data management for monetization 

The methods and systems that support audience-focused ad planning, activation, and measurement have undergone a massive shift. As a result, publishers are needing to reevaluate their data strategies, shifting their investments to cloud computing and big data. Unfortunately, a lack of innovation in data management platforms (DMPs) for publishers has stifled revenue growth and created inefficiencies in operations. This lack of ROI in legacy DMPs comes from the following challenges:

Platforms can’t deliver insights across known users, anonymous traffic, and ad data. A shift across the media landscape to subscription-based approaches and user consent has meant publishers have an influx of first-party data from their audiences. This change means they need new types of privacy-centric tools to not only manage this data, but also combine it with other datasets to derive insights for both internal business operations as well as advertising partners.
Identity management can consume the limited resources of modern publishers and media companies. As media consumption has continued to fragment, identifying your audience to deliver relevant media and advertising has become a struggle. Many customer data platforms (CDPs) and legacy DMPs rely on systems that are too rigid and profile-based. This makes it difficult to understand true audience reach and attributes, and leaves analytics teams with incomplete or error-prone data sets.
There’s a lack of privacy-centric data monetization tools and integrations for publishers. Given the rapid onset of privacy changes, many publishers are navigating a reduction in addressability, signal loss, and programmatic revenues. Current technologies lack interoperability with second-party datasets, advertising ID providers, and ad delivery systems to support direct sales growth.
Legacy solutions are not extendable and interoperable across a growing cloud ecosystem. Data management solutions have not kept up with innovation in the cloud computing ecosystem. This makes data extensibility into native cloud tools for things like modeling, custom queries and data visualization is difficult without cumbersome data copying. Additionally, most data management platforms lack native functionality with cloud-based clean room capabilities, such as data analysis rules and egress restrictions, across all major cloud providers. 

Privacy-safe addressable ad products for publishers

Optable is a next-generation data management and collaboration platform that is privacy-focused by design and built to harness the power of today’s big data and cloud computing ecosystem. To achieve this, Optable focuses on three key areas of innovation.

1. Composable identity 
The Optable platform simplifies the complexities of processing and analyzing audience identity data in the age of privacy. By creating a flexible identity system, publishers can shape their audience graph for maximum accuracy and addressability. Optable also makes it easy to connect alternative identifiers such as UID 2.0 or ID5 to your audience data so that you can understand the full spectrum of advertiser demand and maximize revenue. It’s also straightforward to enrich audience data through connecting to second-party data sources, such as True Data.

2. Interoperability focused on monetization
Optable makes monetization easy. It’s built the tools and integrations needed to keep up with programmatic ad-tech ecosystem changes. Audience data is fully interoperable through the Google Cloud ecosystem (and beyond), which means it’s easier to activate through ad servers like Google Ad Manager (GAM) or Google DV 360, or use pre-built clean room applications within BigQuery. This combination means that direct sales and ad operations teams can quickly and easily move from ad partner planning, to audience building and insights, to actual campaign activation.

3. Audience insights across all known users and event traffic 
Audience building and analysis with Optable provides a comprehensive 360-degree view without the massive upfront engineering that’s usually required. By allowing audiences to be created, synthesized, and managed using both known user data as well as anonymous events (such as page visits or ad serving events from GAM), operational teams can glean meaningful insights, service unique requests from ad partners, and optimize campaign performance. For example, in the image below, Optable Insights shows customers key information about the size and makeup of their private identity graph as well as the makeup of Traits across their audience.

One of Optable’s early customers, a major North American news publisher, developed a digital-first publication strategy in 2017. As part of this they built an ad-sales strategy focused on privacy-safe first-party data monetization. A key pillar to their strategy is data collaboration through Optable. Through this investment they achieved a 9% annual increase in ad revenue in 2022.

How Optable creates growth and efficiency

Optable on BigQuery empowers publishers to monetize their data assets, even if they lack engineering resources. Optable provides the right tools and integrations so teams can use their data to create ad products. For example, audience data can be exported directly into Google Ads Data Manager for easy activation.

The data clean room is one of the most important technologies in the media and advertising space. The Optable platform gives publishers pre-built applications that are powered by BigQuery data clean room primitives and APIs. These can also easily be extended to power secure data collaboration across other cloud ecosystems using Optable’s ‘Flash Nodes’ and ‘Flash Connectors.’ Flash Nodes allow companies to invite partners to easily onboard their data into a limited version of Optable simply for the purpose of collaborating with that partner; this reduces the friction of setting up a whole new collaboration platform. Likewise, ‘Flash Connectors’ give companies a set of primitives that can be shared with partners who use AWS, Snowflake, and BigQuery so that Optable users can collaborate directly with partners who house their data in those environments without moving any data.

Rather than just focusing on moving data in and out, Optable’s platform is built for a data-warehouse centric world, so publishers can extend their capabilities. Identity graphs can be shaped and custom modeling easily deployed directly in BigQuery. Additionally, the capabilities of the Google Data Cloud enable custom use cases such as data visualization in Looker. To help navigate data security compliance, Optable has built ‘Bring Your Own Account’ functionality to allow customers to utilize a Google BigQuery instance that’s fully controllable.

Optable partners with Google across many areas, including a new integration with the Google Privacy Sandbox APIs that enable publishers to easily onboard and activate audiences as well as enabling marketers to run campaigns via Privacy Sandbox. An early access program enables these capabilities directly through the Optable platform. You can learn more here.

Later this year, Optable is announcing enhancements to its audience data management and collaboration capabilities, including support for ad serving events through Google Ad Manager and the release of the Google BigQuery Connector to allow for zero-copy partner collaboration. For more information on these and other capabilities please visit the Optable website

Optable also recently became a Google Cloud Marketplace vendor, so Google Cloud customers can now purchase and implement Optable’s platform directly. Following the recently announced general availability of BigQuery data clean rooms, the Optable and Google teams are working on an integration to unlock more planning, activation and measurement use cases for the media and advertising ecosystem.

The Built with BigQuery advantage

Built with BigQuery helps companies like Optable build innovative applications with Google Data Cloud. Participating companies can: 

Accelerate product design and architecture through access to designated experts who can provide insight into key use cases, architectural patterns, and best practices. 

Amplify success with joint marketing programs to drive awareness, generate demand, and increase adoption. 

BigQuery gives ISVs the advantage of a powerful, highly scalable unified AI lakehouse that’s integrated with Google Cloud’s open, secure, sustainable platform. Click here to learn more about Built with BigQuery

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