What is a Data Clean Room?

Data clean rooms are a popular buzzword in the marketing, analytics and advertising industries. Data clean rooms are not a new concept but they aren’t widely used in practice.

Google’s Ads Data Hub is today the only data cleanroom that advertisers have access to. Many competitors offer only a closed beta or worse, no data cleaning room at all. It’s vital that you and your company understand the benefits of a data cleanroom as privacy laws change in your industry.

The Simple Definition

Data clean rooms are places where large companies, such as Amazon, Facebook and Google, store aggregated advertising data. Businesses use data clean rooms to understand their advertising data. Data clean rooms are protected from the prying eyes of businesses and do not permit them to pull customer-level data.

Why use a data clean room?

There are many reasons to use a data cleaning room.

Data clean rooms often offer more data and fields than in-platform reports. While more data does not always translate into better insights, it does indicate that there are many ways to analyze what is happening when you target users with money.

Clean rooms also allow advertisers to create custom audiences that can then be sent to the platform directly for advertising purposes. Organizations can fine-tune their media spend and ad targeting by building audiences with advanced advertising data.

What data clean rooms are not

Data clean rooms provide a central location for all advertising data. Companies cannot however access data from other companies. A business must link their advertising account when configuring the data cleaner. This connection limits the data that can be pulled or shared. Common misconception is that data clean rooms enable businesses to compare their advertising with that of competitors.

Is Data Clean Room Privacy Compliant

Before making any decisions, I recommend that you review a data cleanse room with your legal team.

Data clean rooms generally do not keep personally identifiable information (PII). Most platforms won’t allow data points to leave their cleanroom environment. These platforms do not want organizations to be in a position to link a particular impression, click, activity, or other information to one person. These safeguards make a data cleaning room privacy-centric. They also help organizations comply with laws like the General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR) or the California Consumer Privacy Act.

Data Clean Room Challenges

Data clean rooms are limited to one platform. Data clean rooms can only be used for one platform (e.g., Google or Facebook), and cannot be combined with any other data cleaning rooms. This is a problem for organizations that advertise on multiple platforms as they are unable to join the data to create a complete user journey.

Data clean rooms can only provide insight for a few users or not enough to make a significant impact on the overall data. Data clean rooms will have a lower limit on the number of users that can be shared with the business. Google Ads Data Hub needs more than 50 users to share aggregated results.

Who should use a data clean room?

Any business that depends on advertising should consider setting up a data cleaning room. Privacy is the future. Getting started now with a data cleaning room could help you get ahead of your competitors.

Ads Data Hub is available to all organizations that use Google advertising. ADH provides insights into advertising from Google Campaign Manager (DV360), Display & Video 360, Google Ads and YouTube. Google may expand this feature to include Search Ads 360 (SA360), in the near future. This InfoTrust article provides information about Google’s Ads Data hub and some use cases.

What’s next for data clean rooms?

Google’s Ads Data Hub, the data cleaning room with the greatest momentum, is currently Google. ADH is constantly looking for new features to help advertisers adapt to the privacy-centric tool. Amazon and Facebook are also testing data clean rooms concepts. Data clean rooms will become more popular as privacy regulations improve.