The media company wanted to unify its huge datasets, and analyze them with greater speed and accuracy. Importantly, it needed to ensure that all of the information remained on-premises in order to comply with strict national data-sharing regulations.
Switching on new analytics services
RSG Media knew that its Media Mantra platform offered an ideal solution for its client’s challenges. Media Mantra uses advanced audience signal intelligence (A2SI) to help media companies gain unprecedented insight into how subscribers consume content, advertising, and promotions. The platform is powered by IBM Cloud Data Services solutions, including IBM® dashDB®—a cloud-based data warehouse service that is purpose-built for high performance, advanced analytics at scale.
“This particular client had years of incredibly fine-grained set-top-box data to be analyzed,” recalls Shiv Sehgal. “We knew that IBM dashDB could provide the extreme performance we needed to deliver fast answers to even the most complex queries.”
However, the client’s key requirement to keep its data within national borders meant that RSG Media couldn’t use its standard Media Mantra architecture, fully-managed in the public cloud. Instead, the company made the pioneering move to deploy Media Mantra in a client managed, private cloud configuration offered by IBM dashDB Local.
Shiv Sehgal notes: “This project was the first time that we used dashDB Local, and it couldn’t have gone more smoothly. With dashDB Local we get the same high performance and flexibility that we have always enjoyed in the cloud, with the added bonus of ensuring that our client retains full control over their data and applications within their own data center.”
With help from RSG Media, the company has brought all of its data together under one roof, creating a golden source of data on subscribers and viewership. The company is taking advantage of Media Mantra applications to dig deep into this treasure trove of information, unlocking new insights about its audiences.
Seeing the big picture
Taking advantage of powerful in-memory columnar processing technology, coupled with in-database analytics, users are able to explore and analyze data faster than ever before. Additionally, there is little tuning involved, as simple to complex queries across large data sets run optimally, out-of the box. The media company is now able to dramatically accelerate time-to-insight with proven technologies that work as promised.
“Whereas in the past it could take months to put together a complete picture of viewing patterns, today our client’s analysts can get the same results in less than a day,” states Shiv Sehgal. “They now have a close to real-time view of how subscribers are watching their programming. And with this insight, they can uncover fast and accurate answers to questions like, ‘Will bundling a certain set of channels have a negative or positive impact on retention among this segment of subscribers?’ or ‘Which genres are most popular with viewers in specific regions?’”
In addition, a faster and more flexible way of managing information helps the company to stay in tune with shifting viewing trends. This helps it shape a more accurate picture of how audiences are engaging with its content.
Shiv Sehgal explains: “Not everyone watches live TV—more and more people are choosing to watch content hours and days later—which means that live viewing figures only tell part of the story. This makes it very important to look at viewing patterns over time and across different platforms when making scheduling and marketing decisions—and having all your data in one place is the first step to achieving this.”
He concludes: “Media Mantra and IBM dashDB Local give our client the ability to unlock new insights from massive amounts of media assets, all while maintaining full ownership over that data. They can see the full picture of how audiences are watching programs, and use that knowledge to create schedules, promotions and programming bundles that maximize viewership and ad revenues.”