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IPA report provides practical advice on data integration

The IPA last night (30th January 2014) launched Data Integration Explained, a practical guide on how the different forms of data integration work, the best practices involved in producing a data integration, as well as how to prepare for it, how to evaluate the results, and what to bear in mind when using integrated datasets.


The report has been produced in response to the increasing use of data integration techniques particularly in audience measurement. This is being driven by the growth in the number and range of datasets available, both in terms of audience research and Big Data. By correctly integrating these various datasets, it is possible to leverage further insights from them.

Says Lynne Robinson, Research Director, IPA: “Undertaking a data integration is a complex task. We found this when the IPA began producing the TouchPoints Channel Planner dataset which involves several different types of data integrations. Following this experience, we decided to produce this guide which is designed as a best practice primer in undertaking data integrations of all types so that users can ensure that their merged data sets are as robust as possible.”

Says Steve Wilcox, Managing Director, RSMB Ltd: “Although data integration is a simple concept, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’, single best solution and the underpinning statistical theory is necessarily complex. I am delighted the IPA has given me the opportunity to help guide users through the key processes and complexities - in my opinion it is as important to understand the limitations as well as the benefits of any approach. “

Chapters within the report cover: an explanation of what data integration is and what it can be used for; a review of the available data integration techniques; how to plan and undertake a data integration – a check list; how to evaluate an integration; and a section on data integration involving Big Data.

The report was written by Steve Wilcox, Managing Director of RSMB Ltd and one of the UK’s leading media research statisticians, and was edited by Ken Baker. It is available to purchase here. (£35 for IPA members and £70 for non-members).

Last updated 31/01/2014

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