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Statera leverages Mechanical Turk to classify online ads for an Internet media reporting company

Mechanical Turk makes the impossible possible, and for those tasks that are merely difficult or expensive it provides nearly instant ROI with minimal upfront investment.
Joel Simpson
Principal, Cloud, Open Source and Emerging Technologies practice, Statera

Improving an online advertising reporting product by better classification of online ads

Statera's client, a top Internet media metrics company, tracks online advertising and produces aggregated trend reports for media planners and other customers.

To create these reports, the company follows a two-part process of identifying and classifying the products in each online ad. The company first identifies the products—a difficult prospect for several reasons: Ads appear in a number of formats including images, rich media, and videos; ads often contain more than one product; and, a single product may be promoted by multiple advertisers (causing confusion around the ad's source). After the product is identified, each ad is categorized according to a range of characteristics such as ad type, graphic elements, keywords, price, and offer mentions.

Without an automated process that could deliver fast, accurate, high-quality data for all the varieties of ads shown, the company was not able to include metrics for advertising that couldn't be classified programmatically. To keep up with the expanding universe of online advertising, the company needed a solution that incorporated robust analysis capability (to determine accuracy of classifications) and that could scale to handle millions of tasks.

Develop an efficient, classification process leveraging the global workforce on Mechanical Turk

The client turned to Statera to develop an optimized workflow and design its Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs) to maximize the quality and cost of results.

Statera has leveraged Mechanical Turk for multiple clients. They specifically look to Mechanical Turk when projects require analysis and classification of large volumes of data that cannot be performed by computers. Statera specializes in HIT design and Worker management, and, through its proprietary Optimal Turk platform, has the tools and expertise to take a project from concept to fully integrated and automated production in as little as three weeks. This client worked with Statera to develop highly effective HIT templates for each step in the workflow and ended up convinced of the competitive advantage their use of Mechanical Turk creates.

Statera reports Mechanical Turk delivered:
Fast, Efficient Process
  • Leveraging multiple Workers in parallel, distributed globally
Lower Cost
  • Automated workflow
Accurate Results
  • By using plurality - asking multiple Workers to answer a question and using their agreement on the answer to determine an accurate answer

Learn more about Statera by visiting their website,