The concept of data freshness is ever-present for marketers, and it’s a common question to get from stakeholders within and outside your team on this topic. In this article, we will discuss the concept of data freshness, how this differs between platforms, and what’s important to keep in mind when making decisions on recent data.
What is data freshness?
Data freshness refers to how up-to-date a set of data is. This will depend heavily on the nature of a report and the types of metrics it contains since not all types of metrics are generated and available instantly. It will also be affected by the platform itself and how often it updates certain metrics. Because of this, another important aspect of data freshness is that change to recent data is to be expected. This holds true both when looking in the platform UI, and in the results retrieved via reports. Funnel continuously downloads new data from platforms, in most cases several times per day, which means that the data eventually will be consistent by nature.
How does this differ between platforms & API’s?
In order to get a complete picture of what data freshness you can expect from the various platforms you are working with, we recommend reviewing the documentation and/or contacting each platform provider. Below, we have compiled links to some of the most popular platforms and what they say about data freshness in relation to their own platforms:
Google Ads - “As you’re looking at your Google Ads account data, it’s important to consider how fresh your statistics are. Performance data isn’t available instantly, and some metrics are only updated once a day. When gauging your account performance, it's helpful to know that some recent account data may not be showing up yet.”
X Ads - “As soon as reporting metrics are available, you are able to retrieve them. They are available in near real-time. These early results are estimates, though, and, as a result, are expected to change. Metrics are finalized after 24 hours, with the exception of spend data. Spend metrics are generally final within 3 days of the event.”
Bing - “When you are reviewing your Microsoft Advertising metrics to see how you can improve your campaign performance, it is important to know if the most recent activity is included. Most metrics are in real time and are continually updated during the day. A few metrics take a bit longer to load and some reports are updated once a day.”
Linkedin - “Performance metrics such as metrics about a creative, campaign, or account are near real-time. Metrics based on any member demographics such as company size and job function may be delayed by 12 to 24 hours.”
What do you have to keep in mind when looking at recent data?
Companies tend to work with multiple platforms which, as we saw in the section above, means that they often will have to consider the data freshness of all platforms together when making evaluations on performance and impact. Optimizing marketing based on recent results carries some risks as the metrics may not be a true reflection of what the final results end up being.
What does Funnel do to help optimize my data collection?
Funnel’s data collection is continuously optimized where our goal is to fetch new & updated data frequently whilst considering platform-specific limitations such as rate limits & quotas to reduce the risk of disruptions and maintain high performance. If you are curious to learn more about Funnels approach to data retrieval, check out this article