Data Segments: Looking Under the Hood is meant to help media researchers understand the world of data. The purpose of this document is to provide clarity and transparency to a typical data Segment, such as ‘Auto Intenders’, ‘Golfers’ or ‘Women 18-34’. This document was created to illustrate the many options and decipher the data source origins that might be used to derive a particular segment by a particular company. Researchers are encouraged to ask their data provider which of these elements are used in defining a specific segment.
These data segments are significant to IAB member companies because their inventory is often bought and sold based on reaching these targets. This document serves to educate Research Council members on what is behind the segments that a data company might provide them. It further serves to illustrate the complexities
involved in targeting segments and how many points exist where the data could be misinterpreted. The overall benefit of this data sources one-sheet is to demystify the data behind the segments and thereby uphold data integrity and research quality while improving the bottom line for publishers.