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Using Datorama TotalConnect to Solve SpotXs Integration & Automated Dashboard Challenges

March 31, 2021

Decision Foundry solves edge use cases for advertisers and agencies, but we have a particular affinity for Publishers. 

Developing marketing dashboards, resolving persistent placement naming errors, billing and reconciliation, media spend optimization, ETL support, and automated reporting are the usual client requests regardless of industry. However, Publishers encounter persistent data integration challenges often due to the lack of standard API connections, and custom business rules that are required to execute their business.

For Publishers, it is commonplace that 50 or more data sources are required to fulfill the most basic reporting projects. Our engagements cover many of the most popular SSP data providers, such as Pubmatic, Google Ads Manager, OpenX, Appnexus, and Rubicon. But, some SSPs like SpotX present unique integration challenges that further complicate reporting automation. According to Datanyze, SpotX has a market share of 10%, but our experience suggests a full 30% of our Publisher clients use the popular SSP, particularly for connected TV engagements. 

Fortunately, Datorama and SpotX provide Publishers with the necessary tools to overcome data integration challenges of all shapes and sizes and we’ll take you through that use case in detail, below. 

Overcoming SpotX Integration and Automated Marketing Dashboard Challenges with Datorama TotalConnect

SpotX is a video ad serving platform (DSP/SSP) used for Publishers and advertisers that want to monetize content across devices and media formats. SpotX helps a publisher to connect with demand partners and sell video ads space, thus maximizing yield and it is popular for its header bidding solutions, video monetization reports, and effective tracking of Programmatic Direct.

“Datorama’s TotalConnect is a data upload method that allows you to upload any flat file into the system through the Datorama data model, and thereby customize data ingestion. You can use Datorama’s TotalConnect when you need to upload data from a source and no API connector exists.”

Unfortunately, the mere existence of an API connection does not necessarily solve every automation project requirement, and this is particularly true of Publishers looking to onboard SSP data. Whether you work for a large media holding company, a big five publisher, or a small programmatic media buyer, your business requirements are unique and so are the data structures and business rules that support your reporting automation needs.

At the time of this writing, Datorama lacks a native connector for SpotX. But, there are two ways of integrating the data within the platform – even without a publicly available API connection. 

The first is to use Datorama’s TotalConnect. If you are a publisher, TotalConnect is possibly your new best friend. This is Datorama’s standard method of flat file integration when native connections are absent and or scheduled reports can be retrieved through email, for example. 

When you create a TotalConnect data stream in Datorama, you upload a sample file of the ingested data. This way, you can identify and verify the appropriate data stream type the data belongs to (via the data model), and then you can map the source fields to the corresponding Datorama fields.

The second option is to build a custom connector. Although this method provides the most flexibility, creating a custom data connector has its challenges and connectors can be costly and time consuming to develop even if the data provider’s documentation is optimal.

Datorama TotalConnect helps publishers overcome their need to use flat files and manual reporting processes typical of most Publisher engagements:


Datorama’s preferred method for creating a custom data connector (API) through scripts:


How Datorama Helps Publishers Overcome Data Integration Challenges:

A Publisher can build custom reports within SpotX’s reporting console and schedule a flat file with the necessary fields to be integrated within Datorama’s Total Connect. Some of the fields we typically see include insights into revenue streams, traffic, advertiser performance, referrals, and deals, to name a few.

After onboarding and ingesting the files into Datorama, an automated retrieval process or custom workflow can be established between SpotX and Datorama to avoid manual uploads by using an available Stream Email ID that is unique to each data stream onboarded. See an example of this data delivery method in Datorama below:


Datorama routinely uses this retrieval method to quickly process reporting data received through an email just as it does for hundreds of other data providers. For many Publishers, TotalConnect is a welcome alternative to manual transformation through spreadsheets or similarly expensive and time-consuming reporting methods.

However, SpotX provides us with a unique data integration challenge.

Fortunately, custom reports can be created in SpotX and sent as an email, but to access the flat file, you must authenticate before the download can be retrieved and processed. Therefore, your ability to establish an automated connection between SpotX and Datorama through TotalConnect will not immediately help you. See the secured link shown in the SpotX automated reporting email, below: 

However, Datorama and SpotX offer an alternative.

SpotX can route individual, custom reports to data repositories like AWS, and no additional authentications are required after initial setup. For example, Publishers often want to create a report that combines video performance by advertiser to monetize performance by quartiles or completion rates.  This relationship can be created as a custom report, and that report can then be sent to AWS and then, can be quickly retrieved and onboarded into Datorama. 

See Datorama’s method of creating an AWS connection string, below.


Our clients often come to us because their reporting processes are manual, error-prone, and difficult to scale. Pre-engagement, a typical SpotX pivot report might live entirely within excel pivot tables:

spotx pivot

But, as a Salesforce Datorama certified implementation provider, we help our clients move from spreadsheets to performance visualizations. We can take flat files and process them to look like the following in Datorama: 



Why Decision Foundry?

At Decision Foundry, we follow a defined process while meticulously aligning with our client’s requirements and approved technical solutions. However, publishers often provide exceptions where our process requires truly creative, strategic thinking.

Partner with one of Datorama’s leaders in Publisher Data Management. We will document, build, and automate a new reporting solution for you, or extend the value of your existing reporting infrastructure.




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