Behavioral Data Barometer: Interview with Bas de Vos, Managing Director at SKO

For the latest installment in our Behavioral Data Barometer series, we are excited to present our talk with Bas de Vos.

Bas is the Managing Director of SKO (Stichting KijkOnderzoek) since 2007, and since spring of this year he is also responsible for the Online Audience Research project (NOBO) for the Dutch market. NOBO is the joint project of SKO and VINEX, the association of online publishers.

Interview with Bas de Vos, Managing Director at SKO


It has been an exciting year for you and SKO - winning, together with Kantar Media, the I-COM Data Creativity Award for your Hybrid Video Data Integration Model (SKO-VIM), which combines census and panel data sources for online TV programmes, videos and commercial viewing. And now you have launched the Nederlands Online Bereik Onderzoek (NOBO) - the new industry standard for audience measurement in the Dutch industry. So first of all a big congrats!

Secondly, you have put the bar quite high for yourself. How are you going to meet those expectations with NOBO?

Thank you for the kind words. I believe those should go to the whole team working on these projects. The NOBO project aligns with the SKO project to the extent that we use a combination of census and panel data to deliver high quality data to the market. The online panel is shared between SKO and VINEX (the industry body for online publishers). The data science is being carried out by the same group of smart people. That helps us in creating great projects.

Could you tell us more about the role of behavioral data analysis in your research model?

Both the SKO and NOBO projects measure all online behavior in what we call census projects. Capturing the complete usage of online video for web and app for those publishers who use our tagging systems. Next to that we apply Wakoopa’s measurement software to be able to capture behavior on those sites that do not use any tagging. This is important to have in order to report on the whole online market. So by combining tagging with metering we can deliver a complete picture.

What do you see as the main challenges when dealing with passive metering?

I believe the main challenge is to keep up speed with the technological changes, which are coming rapidly. So being able to adjust measurement to actual technological situations is key. Next to that, measurement should intend to be as non-intrusive to respondents as possible. A key task.

One big trend we are seeing is an increasing need for data, but, on the other hand, a decreasing opportunity to collect information. How are you combating this?

I do not believe there is a bigger need for data per se. There is a need for more relevant data, that cannot be collected by ourselves any more. Active co-operation between data owners and an organization that can align the needs and wishes of the different stakeholders will become increasingly important.

What are you pro-actively doing to protect the privacy of the respondents?

We do everything possible. Our lawyers have checked and monitored regulations. We set rules that meet those legal criteria, and of course data is always treated as confidential by each of our partners in the projects. We have contracts in place with everyone involved to safeguard that.

How do you see the future of (audience measurement) research?

Tough question. I believe the future (which is already here to some extent) includes some key features. There is a need for hybrid measurement (census plus panel), and there should be a safe place where data from different data owners comes ​together and builds knowledge by combining these datasets. So co-operation between organizations and a central place to facilitate that will be key. Next to that I believe audience measurement data should find a place in the data management platforms used in the market for programmatic playout. We need to discuss how to do this as an industry.