Data Transaction Platforms (DTP) will affect many different areas of our lives in the future - from visiting a retail store to driving a car to a trip to the doctor. As companies get to grips with big data and how to use it, a new uncharted frontier has emerged and this is where DTPs are growing in importance. In this article we discuss whether they will become the next Big Data frontier.
The rise of the Data Transaction Platform (DTP)
Business leaders understand that becoming a data-driven enterprise requires significant change. This has led to discussions around enterprises own data quality concerns and statistical approaches as businesses become more aware of their own data. Author and former editor of Wired John Battelle discussed the power of transaction platforms with consumer data in a blog post where he suggested that real-time bidding (RTB), a recent innovation that is transforming digital advertising, may be the prototype for many other transaction platforms that exchange information on consumer intents in sectors ranging from grocery to dating sites.
DTP in action: How Real Time Bidding is revolutionizing digital advertising
In a recent study in Hong Kong, GfK found that a flight booking was preceded on average by five hours of online research. Obviously not only were corporate travel service web sites visited, but a host of blogs, social media, Facebook fan pages and deal web sites were also browsed during the research and booking phases.
On this five hour purchase journey, the digital consumer leaves a digital trail which can be interrogated and repurposed for real-time bidding (RTB) platforms. What RTB allows advertisers to do is target precisely those consumers who are interested in their products or services on a broad range of technology-enabled websites. Publishers can maximize their inventory to achieve the highest return for their content and space. Some publishers have fully integrated themselves into these exchanges, for example, weather.com, which now calls itself a "marketing engine" rather than a publisher. This complex approach, entirely reliant on the availability of big data, has been rapidly adopted by the digital advertising giants, many of whom are acquiring RTB assets in order to bring more parts of the overall advertising value chain and technology into their control.
How will transaction platforms evolve?
We see three different scenarios.
Firstly, a future where the current innovative, yet fragmented, DTP environment continues to grow, with newly funded startups continuously inventing even smarter algorithms and technologies. We call this scenario the "Wild West."
The second is the "Data Fortress," where consumer transactions are controlled by a few, powerful companies who transcend the traditional advertising business model and become the new guardians of many purchase journeys.
The third scenario, as advocated by the “Customer Commons” movement, is that consumers take the initiative and control the platforms entirely from their side. “Customer Commons” is only one of these exciting initiatives, the topic is being discussed around the world by privacy advocates and others
Perhaps what will actually happen is a combination of all three. Innovation will continue to change the market, the big players will consolidate much of this innovation, and end customers will increasingly demand privacy and control over their data.
One thing is certain: Data privacy is a commitment shared by businesses and consumers. Where that responsibility is taken seriously, the data collected and transformed can truly make life easier, safer and more convenient.
Data Transaction Platforms (DTP) have the potential to be the next Big Data frontier. But what does the future look like, and more importantly, how can the interests of advertisers, technology companies and consumers be balanced?