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5 Benefits of Automating Your Programmatic Reporting

Spring cleaning season is right around the corner, and tidying up is on everyone’s mind. Despite what you may think, decluttering doesn’t begin and end with personal possessions—in the office, it extends to processes, too. As the programmatic field has widened, so too have the variety of demand partners that publishers are expected to work with. This can make your programmatic reporting a messy endeavor. It’s time to reevaluate how you work for your data and how your data works for you. So publishers, here is a question:

Does your current programmatic reporting solution spark joy?

For many—if not most—the answer is a resounding no. Yet, despite the dissatisfaction, a great deal of publishers are still sacrificing their time to manual data collection, draining their IT resources with ad-hoc solutions, and utilizing generic BI tools that aren’t suited to ingesting or managing media-data.
Our recent survey of publishers showed that 66% are working with four or more demand partners and a large majority, 86%, rely on manual or custom in-house solutions for their reporting needs.

Publisher Programmatic Survey Results

Automated programmatic reporting tools are new to the market and offer a bevy of features designed with the needs of the digital advertising industry in mind (our biased favorite is ProgrammaticIQ). These tools automatically aggregate and normalize your data so you don’t have to, streamlining your whole reporting process so you can reap the benefits. What benefits are those, I hear you asking? Read on to find out what you can gain when you upgrade to an automated reporting solution.

1. Confidence in Your Insights

When any of the data-gathering steps in your reporting process involve manual effort, you open yourself up to inaccuracies in your data (to err is human, after all). The possibilities for manual errors are endless: dates not matching, fields mapped incorrectly, rows combined, incomplete campaign data… the list goes on.
An automated reporting tool will gather, transform, and normalize your data across multiple platforms for you and then aggregate it into one complete data set. Automating these steps provides the transparency you need to easily audit the process and confirm that connections are live and fields are mapped correctly. With a complete and trusted data set, you and your team can have greater confidence in your optimization insights. No more second-guessing your analysis or double-checking your source data before moving forward with improvements.

2. Organization-Wide Data Accessibility

The entire advertising industry is the product of intense collaboration—on a macro level between supply-side and demand-side, and on a micro level between internal teams. You rely on teamwork to accomplish your business’s goals, so it’s tremendously important that your team operates off the same set of data in order to interact with it in the most productive, insightful ways. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case when you use manual reporting processes in any part of your workflow. Having to translate data from multiple sources manually delays the line of communication between stakeholders and hinders effective workflow. Add to that, a team’s natural reaction to guard their data, and you’re left with siloed data in across various departments.
Once steps are automated, teams can access the data they need and perform queries as needed. Updating to automation assures that you will be able to communicate findings faster, provide data access to all stakeholders, and develop better insights from greater participation.

3. Focus Resources on Revenue Generators Instead of Cost Centers

As we mentioned, and astounding 86% of publishers are attempting to manage their data and reporting manually or with custom in-house solutions. Do you fall into this bucket? Some larger publishers even require whole teams to manage their homegrown reporting software (estimates put the cost of building a home-grown reporting solution from scratch at $1M, with ongoing maintenance of $740k/yr).
Choosing to adopt an automated reporting tool not only gives you reliability in reporting, but enables you to recoup labor efforts that would otherwise be expended in the building, fixing, and maintaining of temperamental one-off solutions. With this time and effort saved, you can focus on your core competencies like yield optimization and user experience—not building reporting solutions or maintaining connections to constantly-changing APIs.

4. Scales to Meet Your Needs

Programmatic technology and operations are some of the fastest growing areas in the industry, with an estimated revenue growth of 19.3% between 2017 and 2023. As such, many businesses have found themselves (or soon will) in need of flexible, scalable solutions to manage their connections. Processes often seem manageable on a small scale, but become unmanageable as more connections are added and more data types are infused. With growth comes change, and your needs—whether technological or based on client expectations—will shift, and your reporting must be able to adapt. Automated reporting tools manage connections and mapping for you and can accommodate the customization and flexibility you need to keep pace with industry expansion.

5. Maximize Programmatic Revenue

To conclude this list, we should acknowledge the best and most compelling reason to make the switch to automated reporting—its effect on your bottom line. With savings in labor, redistributed effort, and high quality insights being communicated quickly across teams, you stand to gain a boost to your revenue stream.
We’ve created an ROI calculator that captures the labor savings, productivity improvement, and eCPM and fill rate increases that come with upgrading to an automated reporting platform. For example, one publisher that does $4M/yr in programmatic revenue saw productivity increase by about 35% along with revenue lifts of 30% and 10% to eCPM and fill rate, respectively. Adopting an automated reporting solution had a positive net effect of $1.8M per year.
After reading all the potential benefits of an automated programmatic reporting tool, it’s clear that it’s time to thank your current system for all its efforts and adopt a more streamlined solution that will save you time, effort, and money while providing enough flexibility to scale with your company’s future.
If you’d like to discuss options and strategies for programmatic reporting, we are happy to help. Contact us today!