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Data clean room: what’s the future?

  • LiveRamp
  • 3 min read

RampUp 2022 brought together the best marketing and technology specialists face-to-face after a 3-year absence due to COVID. The event took place at hotel Salomon de Rothschild, in Paris. In order to unite and collaborate to move forward together, the day was interspersed with conferences and workshops.

Forrester at RampUp 2022

Enza Iannopollo, principal analyst at Forrester, spoke to LiveRamp about the future of data clean rooms. At one of the world’s most influential research and consultancy firms, she works specifically on privacy, security and risk. She collaborates with colleagues who specialise in marketing practices and data governance for research on the data clean room.

Why do we need data clean rooms?

To level the audience’s knowledge and to explain exactly what the term ‘data clean rooms’ actually means, Iannopollo went back to the term “data clean room”; data that is clean, pure, unpolluted, free from interference. It is an ambitious promise for a market proposal. The need for data clean rooms arose from the real depreciation of data, she explains.

Iannopollo stated that some market dynamics are contradictory. She stated, “we want more data, but certain dynamics keep us away from it”. This is particularly the case with privacy and other regulations. Today, gathering, using and sharing customer data has become far more complicated for companies.

On the one hand, customers have become much more aware of their privacy rights. They easily express their dissatisfaction, if the cookie banner is not displayed properly, etc. She specifies: “40% of the French consumers take stringent measures to limit the amount of data they share with applications and websites”. However, companies like Google, Facebook or Amazon continue to gather a considerable amount of data.

Third-party cookies on the other hand are due to disappear. However, it is cookies that allow for measurement and personalisation. It is going to become increasingly complicated to understand consumer decision-making. “Clean rooms” provide alternatives to this data depreciation.

How do data clean rooms work?

Advertisers and publishers need to work together to agree on what they want to know about the data collected and shared, and how it can be used. That is where identity resolution comes in. Advertisers and publishers will create anonymous data, which can be used in data clean rooms.

Data clean rooms are a solution to boost collaboration. A cosmetic brand uses them currently to analyse the entire consumer journey and understand how consumers make certain decisions.

What are data clean rooms?

“We define them as a secure privacy environment in which two or more parties can share sensitive company data, including customer data, for various use cases of collaborative marketing, analysis, products, sale, etc.” explains Iannopollo.

Security and privacy control are fundamental in these environments. There should be no misuse of data. Everyone has technology to understand who actually enters the room. Each party agrees with the others on what will happen in the clean room. It allows everyone to be sure that the algorithm will work exactly that way, so that it will only act on the process and it will be difficult to go back to the actual data of individuals.

Transparency vis-à-vis customers is fundamental. 

Iannopollo also spoke about the “self-service experience”. It is important that functions are built into data clean rooms, so that they can explore the data without human intervention.

The 3 principal characteristics of a data clean room are:

  • Connectivity
  • Consumability
  • Portability

A few recommendations for your own use

Iannopollo ended the session with some advice to companies on whether to use data clean rooms. This includes taking into account their marketing spend with different publishers and media partners.

She reminds us of the importance of identifying the people who should be involved in each company for this to really work. Collaboration between colleagues and especially between different departments within the same entity is essential.

The methods have changed over the years to effectively target consumers and optimise the use of data. Now, it is the turn of data clean rooms to take over on the path of business collaboration and data anonymisation.