Today, companies have more access to information about their customers than ever before. But just because you have data doesn’t mean you know how to use data. Processing, and organizing data so it’s useful for driving business decisions is no easy task. Especially for a company collecting massive amounts of data – to the tune of 20 billion records per day. 

Clear Channel Outdoor (CCO), a leading out-of-home (OOH) media company, turned to Aqfer in 2022 to help develop the data processing mechanisms to organize and activate data about its inventory of 70,000+ billboards and digital displays across the US. 

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Clear Channel Outdoor RADAR, Powered by Aqfer

AT A GLANCE

20,000,000,000

Records Processed on an Average Day

70,000+

Static and Digital Billboards and Displays Measured

80+

US Metros with CCO Operations

Activating Billions of Mobile and Location Data Records

Long considered a digital-first company revolutionizing out-of-home, data processing and activation wasn’t new to CCO when we began working together. Their revolutionary RADAR solution was actively assisting in campaign planning and measurement for their advertiser customers. But due to the complexities and cost associated with managing the massive amounts of data required to power RADAR, it was only available in a handful of markets. 

Our challenge was to work together with CCO to build a data engine that could process billions of mobile and location data records to supercharge RADAR. This complex task consisted of making sense of all data to accurately process it with confidence, and to design the technology stack to ensure optimal coverage with minimal overlap. To right-size the tech stack, Aqfer worked with CCO to determine the right mix of vendors to contribute third-party data and technical support.

How Aqfer Built the Data Processing Engine to Supercharge RADAR

RADAR works by leveraging aggregated and/or anonymous mobile location data to analyze OOH campaign performance.

In the course of an average day, a single person (and their mobile device) may drive to and from work or school, run a variety of errands, etc – thus passing many individual billboard displays. Our goal is to stitch together the entire activity of that mobile device (in an aggregated and anonymous manner) to determine when that device exposed (viewed) individual displays and billboards. In this example, there may be 20B mobile data records available – our task is to sort through those records to identify and provide contextual insight like audience segment affinities or attribution of sales/conversion of the people that actually viewed the billboard.

Aqfer helped CCO scale and streamline this work to make RADAR more sustainable and efficient. We worked together to accomplish the following.

Define Ad Viewership

Creating a definition of who would count as a viewer, taking into account the direction of travel and the angle of the billboard.

Enhance Reporting

Creating audience reports and surfacing the data to a front-end UI.

Connect to Third Parties

Once “traffic” data is known (by panel & by DMA), layering in audience data from other trusted providers (Bombora, Nielsen, etc.).

Establish Proximity, Time of Exposure, and Directionality

Based on the geographic location of the device and the latitude and longitude of the billboard display.

Select Vendors

Helping CCO determine which third-party partners have the “best” data – meaning the most coverage that fits their needs, while also considering the cost of acquiring and processing the data.

Plan for Effective Data Management

Determining the types of technical jobs required to manage the data effectively. Particularly, we needed the ability to aggregate data at the individual panel level and individual DMA level.

Improve Collaboration

Making it possible for the CCO team to directly evaluate data, create customized reports and work with Aqfer to fine tune data models and processing methodologies. None of these direct hands-on capabilities were previously possible.

THE RESULTS

Processing Higher Volumes of Data with More Confidence

After the successful implementation of Aqfer’s data processing, CCO saw dramatic and immediate improvements to RADAR.

Reduction of Data Volume and Streamlined Data Processing

Over the first 90 days, we processed nearly 1.8 trillion records. Each day, we continue to process roughly 20 billion records as new data continues to come in. Today, these jobs run much more quickly and efficiently when compared to the pre-Aqfer baseline. 

For example, RADAR can now run a daily data ingestion job consisting of 20B mobile location records, with a 640GB file size in 121 minutes. Before Aqfer, a job like this would have taken 6-8 hours. Moreover, while a job like this may have started with 20B records, Aqfer streamlines and stitches the data together to reduce the record volume to less than 20% of its original size.

Increased Confidence in and Ownership of Data

Importantly, Aqfer was able to help CCO take control over their data. Previously they relied heavily on third-party vendors with a vested interest in selling more data to CCO. Aqfer’s solution empowered CCO to take charge of the processing and management of their data, ultimately improving their confidence in the quality of the RADAR product.

Gone are the days of data locked away in a vendor’s ecosystem. CCO can now run custom, ad hoc, and self-serve processes for QA, while all data is accessible to the CCO engineering team at all times.

BEYOND DATA

Clear Channel Outdoor Pushes The Boundaries of OOH

CCO is the only OOH company that integrates with data clean rooms, and it shows how they continue to innovate. CCO has revolutionized the OOH industry with RADAR, and Aqfer is proud to power this industry-leading capability.  The ability to improve the planning, measurement, and reporting of OOH campaigns is bringing traditional digital ad measurement and attribution techniques into the physical world – something that was previously unattainable in the OOH industry at this scale.

RADAR’s measurement metrics are backed by best-in-class methods for accessing, measuring, and reporting on real-world activities. And, they’ve taken it one step further by matching those metrics to buyer behavior patterns like monitoring in-store visits for retail or automotive for exposed audiences vs control groups.

RADAR gives CCO advertisers previously unheard-of campaign planning and optimization toolkits. They can now hit the right audiences with the right displays in the right locations while minimizing investments with locations that have a lower propensity to deliver the desired target audiences.

Ready to build your own industry-disrupting solution? Reach out to learn more about how Aqfer built RADAR, and how we can help your company push the boundaries of what’s possible in your industry.