Hubspot Custom Styles
October 10, 2023
Bosko Milekic

Data Collaboration and Interoperability

We are seeing more data collaboration companies lean into the importance of interoperability, which is great. However, where many fall short is in the definition of interoperability, and what is meant by it.

Data Collaboration

At Optable we view interoperability first and foremost through the lens of digital advertising’s critical systems. And when you consider the systems used for ad campaign planning, activation, and measurement, you quickly realize that these systems were all inherently interoperable for a long time thanks to widespread data sharing. With identity and data sharing on their way out for a variety of reasons, new ways of interoperating within each of these systems are required. Clean rooms are a way to achieve data interoperability in advertising, and that’s why we have invested significantly in this area.

But, the trouble with clean rooms is that both parties have to agree to use the same one in order to interoperate. The central idea with clean room technologies is that two or more parties come together around a neutral compute environment, enabling them to agree on operations to perform on their respective datasets, on the structure of their input datasets, on the outputs generated by the operations and, importantly, on who has access to the outputs. Additionally, various privacy enhancing technologies may be used to limit and constrain the outputs and the information pertaining to the underlying input datasets that is revealed.

So, what does true interoperability look like for data collaboration platforms, built from the ground up for digital advertising? Here are three important pillars:

Integration with leading DWH clean room service layers. A DWH clean room service layer is the set of primitives (APIs and interfaces) made available by leading DWHes (Google, AWS, Snowflake, etc), that enables joining of disparate organization datasets, and purpose limited computation. Optable streamlines this by automating the flow of minimized data to/from DWHes, and by federating code to these environments. The end result? A collaborator with audience data sitting in Snowflake can easily match their audience data to an Optable customer's first party data, all within Snowflake using Snowflake DCR primitives to enable trust, without the Optable customer lifting a finger. In this example the matching itself happens inside of Snowflake, but the same thing can be done with other DWH clean room service layers as well.

Compatibility with open, secure multi-party compute protocols like Private Set Intersection (PSI). What if your partner wants to match their audience data with you but they cannot move their data into a cloud based DWH? SMPC protocols such as PSI enable double blind matching on encrypted datasets, without requiring decryption of data throughout. Open-source implementations provide an independently verifiable, albeit purpose constrained clean room service layer. The end result? A collaborator with audience data sitting on premise can execute an encrypted match with an Optable customer using a free, open-source utility.

Built-in entity resolution, audience management and activation, with deep integration to all major cloud and data environments. In the real world, few organizations have all of their user data assets neatly connected in a single environment. Sure, they exist, but more often than not, organizations need to do quite a bit of work to gather, normalize, sanitize, and connect their user data so that they can effectively plan, activate, and measure using data collaboration systems. It’s therefore no wonder that when the IAB issued their State of Data report earlier this year, respondents cited time frames of months up to years to get up and running with clean room tech! Moreover, even when one company has got their user data together, their partners often require help with entity resolution. These are the reasons why Optable makes it easy to connect user data sitting in any cloud environment or system into a cohesive and unified user record view, out of the box, with no code required. Got part of your user data in your CRM? And another sitting in cloud storage? And another in your DWH? No problem.

At Optable, we believe that these pillars are the groundwork on top of which interoperability can happen, and we’re partnering with industry peers who share the same vision. Stay tuned for more exciting announcements on this front!