DAC creates standalone analytics offering

The performance marketing agency launches Proove Intelligence to help clients put "under-utilized" data to work.

Proove Intelligence, a new analytics arm of digital marketing and performance agency DAC, is carving out a space to measure and apply what can be an under-utilized excess of data, filling what it sees as a gap in the marketplace.

Proove is the project of DAC’s marketing science team, which had previously been working on applying its approach in-house. But Proove president Dan Temby tells strategy explaining to clients the concept of how to better approach a data surplus is complex, which is what led to launching it as its own offering. “If we frame ourselves as an analytics first organization that is supported by [the rest of DAC]… it makes it a lot easier to get to the point with the right people.”

The point Temby refers to is that every business is dealing with a data surplus – more data than they know what to do with. They are also often shedding information by keeping it within systems not originally designed to share that data, Temby explains, presenting challenges for companies focused on their product, not their data sets.

“The reality for most organizations is that their data is more like the crude oil of their business,” Temby says. “You have to go and mine it, and refine it, and process it and put it to work in the right engine to make things happen.”

Proove extracts value using a combination of machine, human and business intelligence to offer data assessment and planning services, data resource management, advanced analytics and data activation.

Temby, who has been helping DAC transform its business from print to digital since 2008, was essentially a one-person analytics team until 2012. “As big data became diffused into business, the demands on what our analytics team was going to be able to do really started to grow, and we were called to action to do much more than just manage web analytics,” he explains.

Temby says Proove’s agency roots help give it a perspective that isn’t always explored in data settings. Cultural data – not the kind that exists in tables, but data that exists in people’s minds and impacts business decisions, says Temby – makes a difference. In the case of a confection manufacturer Proove worked with, it was able to find a more tailored way to reach the company’s online customer base by creating profiles of an average shopper. The “female empty nester who is 55+ and looking for gifts, but is also an at-home baker” received more targeted holiday messaging, as opposed to a general holiday-themed offering that would appeal to many.

Being an activist for change is part of the project, Temby says, and pitching it can be difficult because of the familiarity clients have with binary systems when it comes to data. Using objectivity, different solutions can be found within the same information. “It was very difficult for them to digest that and get their head around it,” he says. “It’s not just about doing data science and engineering.”

At its core, that gap is where Proove sees itself filling a need that will only continue to grow. The benefit of Proove having spun off from DAC is that the endeavour has been applied to internal business where Temby says the outcome has been “tangible lift.”

“We’re trying to make a boring subject about data governance and foundational integrity exciting and interesting and meaningful for people.”