Media Buying and Planning Automation
One of the industries that SolveXia is well suited to is the media industry, providing automation of the processes for preparing, mapping, reconciling and communicating booking space data, confirmations, invoicing and other tasks. In many media groups, a substantial amount of time and money is spent doing this type of work manually – mapping and reconciling data as well as preparing spreadsheets, documents, emails and reports to other parties in the industry.
What do I get from a pre-built solution?
Being pre-built, the Media Buying and Planning solution will have you up and running in a matter of days.
- Rapid deployment over our secure web platform without the need for any software installation
- A tried and tested solution without having to “re-invent the wheel”
- Customisation for your specific needs made easy by SolveXia’s robust automation library
Challenges facing Media Buying and Planning
A number of staff in media groups spend a large proportion of their time manually manipulating data in Excel and other desktop tools. However, manual spreadsheet work suffers from human error risk, a lack of control or security, is time-consuming, lacks traceability and is considered a poor use of the staff member’s time. The work is also boring and repetitive for the staff members leading to staff turnover issues. In addition, much of the knowledge on how the data is manipulated and structured rests in the heads of a few people leading to key person dependency.
Compounding the problem, data volumes are increasing exponentially as the number of TV channels and digital media have expanded. This is adding significant pressure on the staff tasked with this work. Whilst certain industry and company-specific initiatives are underway to help with the timely communication of information, these will take time to come to fruition and will not cover all forms of media. For some media groups there is the added demands of compliance with regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley.
Some media groups are developing in-house data warehouses and software to deal with these problems. However, resources are limited and expensive and this approach can, in itself, lead to a transfer of the key person dependency risk from one set of employees to another set (the database administrator and programmer/s). Given the wide range of data sources and types, especially with digital media, it is difficult to find people with the wide ranging skills that would be required to develop a comprehensive and maintainable solution.
Whilst core media systems are being enhanced in an attempt to replace these manual processes, these systems tend to be expensive to implement, integrate and maintain. They also do not provide the same agility, flexibility, ease of use and adaptability that spreadsheets offer. Often companies have to adapt the way they work to use these systems.
An example of a media data preparation and analysis process:
SolveXia’s data preparation and analysis automated solution
The SolveXia process automation system is able to provide end-to-end automation of the procedures to source all forms of media data, check it for consistency and errors, map it reliably, reconcile it, prepare reports, send emails and apply analytical techniques to produce the same results as done manually but much more quickly, with greater accuracy and with much more control. Some of the benefits of automating using the SolveXia system are:
- The time required to do the work is cut by 80% or more.
- Data is loaded automatically or manually from multiple sources and locations.
- Data can be in any format including CSV files.
- A secure and reliable mechanism for transferring ad material online.
- The company’s existing data checking, mapping, invoicing and analysis approaches are automated using the same tools currently used in the manual processes thereby minimising cost and disruption.
- Data is loaded into an online database to provide information and analysis over time and the ability to drill-down results using a dashboard for greater detail.
- Automated processes can be locked to all but key process designers to provide control and security.
- Automation along with multiple user-defined error checking steps in the process improve accuracy and reliability.
- Processes can provide for human review and oversight.
- Elimination of key-person dependency by transferring the knowledge of your reporting processes from individuals to the business.
- A database containing a history of transactions for future analysis.
- Governance is promoted through the provision of a full audit trail of all data and calculated results.
Easy-to-use input screens and automated data links
The upload of data and control of process parameters via web-based input screens using any device is quick and easy. The input of data can take place in multiple locations which then trigger the process to run and produce the results. Steps within the SolveXia system can be configured to automatically communicate with and retrieve data from many sources including digital media.
Easy-to-use process configuration
Data managers and administrators and other subject matter experts can easily configure their processes in the SolveXia system by drawing from a pre-existing set of more than 70 instructions (or data manipulation algorithms) and placing these on SolveXia’s information “production line”.
The system automatically documents these processes in plain English thereby providing always-up-to-date documentation. This facilitates continuing improvement to the process as others besides the subject matter expert can now understand it and suggest improvements. It also addresses the key person dependency inherent in manual processes and meets regulatory requirements including Sarbanes-Oxley.
Accessible and affordable
Users of the SolveXia system only need a web browser to access the system. No installation or hardware other than a PC is required. The system is offered on a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) basis requiring a small per company and per user monthly subscription fee. Companies can start using the system with only a single user. Each user can create and run as many processes as they wish.
Addresses other media reporting and control requirements
SolveXia is used for a wide range of other for reporting and analysis scenarios. These range from regulatory reporting, management and board reporting, payment approvals, sustainability reports, travel and leave requests and transfer pricing calculations.
SolveXia works closely with its clients to ensure its solutions meet their requirements and often provides cost-effective solutions to problems that have not been resolved using other technologies.