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  • Writer's pictureDavid Shapiro

Get more from your data through analytics

I have written in the past about the importance of managing your broadcast metadata to increase efficiency, streamline workflows and enhance the end-users' experience. We also hear a lot about the topic of monetising your metadata to increase revenue. However, not many broadcasters are using their data correctly to understand trends better, analyse revenue and break down costs.

Many will say that they want to invest in this area, but only a few actually make the necessary steps in this direction.

One of the most common ways to analyse your data if through the means of data analytics using a BI (Business Intelligence) tool. Implemented correctly, a BI tool will allow the organisation to get a lot more out of their data, enable better decision making and of course, increase revenue.

Before we go any further, let’s explain what BI is and what it does. BI incorporates tools and applications that enable organizations to collect data from multiple data sources, both internal and external, prepare it for analysis, run queries against that data, slice and dice the data in any required form, create dashboards, reports and data visualizations to make the results available to management on all level, any other decision-makers and really, anyone within the organization. The beauty of BI tools as compared to standard reports is that it allows you to dynamically change parameters, filters and references for displaying different data sections.

OK. That's great. However, what does BI mean precisely in the broadcast world, and why should you be interested in implementing it? Here is just one simple example.

Imagine you are trying to understand better the performance of your airtime sales department. You know how much they are selling because this is your revenue. Easy. You probably can also quickly know how much income you received from each customer. A simple report will show you that.

However, what if you wanted something a bit more complicated, that involved cross-referencing data, and not necessarily from the same data source? For example, how much revenue did I receive from each customer for programs that showed more than 5% rating, when other competing stations were also showing similar rating, and what was my cost-per-point for each program vs revenue/cost ratio?

Sure. You could get your development team to come up with a couple of new reports, but that would be time-consuming (define requirements, set up a meeting, initial design, development, QA, beta version, fixes, QA round 2, rollout), and still the result will be a static report. The moment you wanted a new metric in the equation or wanted the information sliced and diced a different way, you would have to go through the whole process again. The development team would have to go back and make the changes. This entire process is time-consuming, and the bottom line is that all you will get will be a report with static input parameters and static output structure,

However, using Data Analytics, you can get a grasp on your data, gain control on what information you want to see and how you want to see it and receive brand new insight into your operations performance. This really gives you information at your fingertips.

BI can also be used to monitor business performance and KPIs, as well as uncover user errors related to incorrect input into your business systems. Whether you are keying the information into an Excel spreadsheet or a full-blown integrated broadcast management system, a simple mistake could be costly to the business. For example, if a user setting up an airtime sales ratecard makes an error with one of the price-per-points, the customer could end up receiving a very nice discount with every commercial spot that is aired.

By setting up KPIs, targets and even managing the terms and conditions for each signed agreement with your customers, a BI system will easily be able to alert you when something does not add up.

Bi systems for broadcasters would typically connect to numerous data sources, both internal and external. These data sources could include your Program management, Media Management, Airtime Sales, Promotion Management, Traffic Scheduling and Finance system. Now, what if you had all of this information from all of your data sources in the way you wanted, readily accessible to senior and junior management alike, with just a few clicks?

So why are more broadcasters not investing in this area? The answer is more straightforward than you think and boils down to lack of skill set or resources.

This is where 3B Media (previously DS Media Consulting) can assist. We work with our customers and assist them in gaining back control of their critical business data. Through this work, we offer comprehensive BI services for broadcasters, which encompasses all of your crucial business information. Using Qlik, one of the leading BI tools today on the market, we have constructed the necessary building blocks for being able to offer a BI platform that is mapped to your data sources and is customised to your own specific needs. Within literally a matter of weeks, you can start benefiting from powerful data analysis and information right at your fingertips, at an affordable cost. The ROI of such an investment is very high, and you will be amazed at how the new insights you will be receiving enable you to increase operations efficiency and improve workflows, that inevitably will lead to lower costs and increased revenue.

If you would like to learn more, drop us a line at, and we will be happy provide you with more information.

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