Better Ad Value Begins with Better Tools: Why Ad Tech Needs a Real-Time Anomaly Detection Solution

An expanding component of today’s online advertising industry is Ad Tech: the use of technology to automate programmatic advertising – the buying and selling of advertisements on the innumerable digital billboards along the information superhighway. When millions of pixels of digital ad space are bought and sold every day, bids are calculated, submitted and evaluated in milliseconds, and the whole online advertising pipeline from brand to viewer involves several layers of interacting partners, clients and competitors – all occurring on the gargantuan scale and at the hyper speed of the global Internet.

In this complex, high speed and high speed industry, money is made – and lost – at a rapid rate. Money, however, isn’t the only thing that changes hands.

It’s the data – cost per impression, cost per click, page views, bid response times, number of timeouts, and number of transactions per client – which is as important as the money spent on those impressions because it’s the data which shows how effective the ad buys really are, thus proving whether or not they were worth the money spent on them. Therefore, the data is as important as the cost for correctly assessing the value of online marketing decisions. That value can fluctuate over time, which is why the corresponding data must always be monitored. As we’ve pointed out in previous posts, automated real-time anomaly detection is critical for extracting actionable insights from time series data.

As a number of Anodot clients have already discovered, large scale real-time anomaly detection is a key to success in the Ad Tech industry:

Netseer Breaks Free from Static Thresholds

Ad tech company Netseer experienced the two common problems of relying on static thresholds to detect anomalies in their KPIs: many legitimate anomalies weren’t detected and too many false positives were reported.

After implementing Anodot, Netseer has found many subtle issues lurking in their data which they could not have spotted before, and definitely not in real time. Just as important, with this increased detection of legitimate anomalies came fewer false positives. Anodot’s ease of use, coupled with its ability to import data from Graphite is fueling its adoption across almost every department at Netseer.

Rubicon Project Crosses the Limits of Human Monitoring

Before switching to Anodot, manually set thresholds were also insufficient for ad exchange company Rubicon Project, just as they were for Netseer. The inherent limitations of static thresholds were compounded by the scale of the data Rubicon needed to monitor: 13 trillion bids per month, handled by 7 global data centers with a total of 55,000 CPUs.

Anodot not only provides real-time anomaly detection at the required scale for Rubicon Project, but also learns any seasonal patterns in the normal behavior for each of their metrics. Competing solutions are unable to match Anodot’s ability to account for seasonality, which is necessary for avoiding both false positives and false negatives, especially at the scale needed by Rubicon Project.

Like Netseer, Rubicon Project was already using Graphite for monitoring, so Anodot’s ability to pull in that data meant that Rubicon Project was able to see Anodot’s benefits immediately.

Eyeview: No More Creeping Thresholds and Alert Storms

Video advertising company Eyeview had to constantly update its static thresholds as traffic increased and variability due to seasonality continuously made those thresholds obsolete. Limited analyst time that could have been spent on uncovering important business events was instead diverted to updating thresholds and sifting through the constant flood of alerts.

Eyeview’s previous solution was unable to correlate anomalies and thus, unable to distinguish between a primary anomaly from an onslaught of anomalies in the alert storms. After switching to Anodot, the alert storms have been replaced by more concise and prioritized alerts, and those alerts are triggered as soon as the anomaly occurs, long before a threshold is crossed.

Ad Tech needs real-time big data anomaly detection

Anodot provides an integrated platform for anomaly detection, reporting, and correlation which you can leverage from a simple interface your whole organization can access. Whether you’re a publisher, digital agency or a demand-side platform, better ad value begins with better tools, and only Anodot’s automated real-time anomaly detection can match the scale and speed required by Ad Tech companies.

Written by Anodot

Anodot is the leader in Autonomous Business Monitoring. Data-driven companies use Anodot's machine learning platform to detect business incidents in real time, helping slash time to detection by as much as 80 percent and reduce alert noise by as much as 95 percent. Thus far, Anodot has helped customers reclaim millions in time and revenue.

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