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What’s the difference?: Identity Resolution vs Device Graphs

When working with customer data, analytics ad tracking we usually come across the common confusion about concepts like Identity Resolution vs Device Graphs. In this post, I aim to highlight the difference between this terminology and help data analysts and marketers to identify the right tech-solution based on their needs.

Identity Resolution

This is the process of bringing together Personally Identifiable Information (PII) such as email addresses, first and last names, gender, company name, and phone numbers, and connecting it to transactional data, preferences, and behavioral data at the individual level to form well-known-customer profiles. This includes any customer data source including PII: online, offline, on-site and in-store. The result is unified, to generate a 360 degree views of each of a brand’s unique customers.

These customer views can be segmented based on hundreds of attributes to fuel personalized marketing and customer experiences in all customer channels (including email, direct mail, advertising, web, app, and even in-person interactions).

For instance, after the process of identity resolution has taken place, an airline can easily create a segment of people who have flown to Mexico City in the last 10 months, who have not checked a bag, have the airline’s credit card, and are opted in to email communications. This sample segment could be used for highly targeted marketing campaigns across a variety of digital and non-digital channels.

Before the process of identity resolution, building this segment across isolated silios of data; disconnected operational, marketing, and financial databases is practically impossible. It’s unusual for data users to even have access to all of these systems, the common rule is that just chunks or data areas like the one generated by departmens inside organizations can only be accessed and shared among the same department/team and their higher hierarchy in their command line but cannot be share horizontally, this limits the holistic view of customer data.

Integrating these data sources is a big challenge in organizations of any size, and reach a seamless integration and understanding of what should be connected to who could be though, it requires not only technology skills but also mastering sofisticated data analysis, no need to worry about it, at INMEDIATUM we have you covered, with new approaches like.


AI Identity Resolution

Artificial Intelligence Identity Resolution takes this process a step further by using machine learning algorithms to assign likelihoods to connections for records within and across data sources. This is especially valuable when data sources lack common keys. The result is a richer and more precise set of profiles that leverage more of a brand’s customer data and allow profiles to be adjusted based on their intended use case.

Device Graphs

Device graphs, by comparison, are a cluster of browsers and devices that have been probabilistically connected using anonymous, non-PII data sources like ad server logs, cookie IDs, device IDs, browser fingerprints, and IP addresses from the open web, and are unified around individual, but anonymous users. Device graphs are used by brands to show targeted web ads and content to unique users across all their different browsers and devices.

Imagine a home goods retailer knowing that someone using a specific web browser looked at a sofa but didn’t buy, and then retargeting that user with sofa ads across all browsers and devices associated with that user.

Vendors operating in the device graph space come in two forms. The first are “walled gardens” like Amazon, Facebook, and Google who through their vast reach and repeated login have a strong sense of a person’s footprint across browsers and devices over time. The second set are companies like TapAd  who build probabilistic device graphs from participating publishers, user panels, and third-party data.

Now you know the difference between Identity Resolution vs Device Graphs for learn more about how the INMEDIATUM Intelligent Customer Data Solution probabilistically resolves customer identities, contact us for a capacities demo.

Cristopher Serrato
Cristopher Serrato

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