When you hear the word data, what do you think?
Do you think of the Star Trek character?
Do you think of something bland and boring, like…random numbers?
Within the context of web publishing and selling ad space, data can seem boring (unless you’re a mathematician or a numbers person). This is especially true when you have several pieces of data to weigh and base decisions on.
That’s because data, by its very nature, is exactly that: it is what it is. A piece of data is just a little, isolated thing, without reference to a wider whole.
And this brings me to why some say that storytelling is one of the best ways to teach and learn, because there’s a narrative and a moral that weaves data (plain, boring facts) into meaningful insights, actions, and outcomes.
Although the subject of this news item (Audience Explorer) isn’t necessarily a storytelling tool (unless you make it one), it does carry the promise of giving you insights that are hard to get from the plain old data points of the past.
Enter Audience Explorer
Today, Google announced the upcoming rollout of Audience Explorer, which will be a part of Google’s Audience Solutions (which itself is a part of Google Ad Manager).
Google’s Audience Solutions (which will encompass Audience Explorer) may not be something widely known to digital marketers. That’s because it’s a service for only a segment of digital marketers, specifically publishers who have large amounts of traffic to sell to potential advertisers, and who want novel ways to present those numbers–that data–to potential ad buyers.
That’s where Audience Explorer comes in: it provides a larger context for connecting pieces of data in meaningful ways–ways that, before now, were very difficult to do or required remarkable insight or technical skill.
Connecting the Dots
The best, simplest way I can describe this is to remind you of a drawing game you might have played as a kid: Connect the Dots.
That’s what Audience Explorer does for you: it takes separate, seemingly-unconnected bits of data, and connects the dots so that you see something meaningful: a picture.
So, to continue with this metaphor, instead of having to present your prospective ad buyers with bits of meaningless data, you now have a picture to present to them, with meaningful connections between the various dots (data points).
I hope my attempt at explaining this has given you an idea (a picture?) of the potential of Audience Explorer. Granted, I may have been a bit grandiose in my explanation, but I hope you get the point.
And maybe this type of advancement will make its way to other Google products, such as Search Console and Adsense. It’s always great when data can be visualized in creative, unforeseen ways.
If you’re a publisher looking for ad revenue, and you want better ways to present your offerings to potential advertisers (or even if you just want to understand your audience better), Audience Explorer might be something to consider.
Source: Google Blog