Mezzobit Data Transparency Index: March 2016The Mezzobit Data Transparency Index held steady in March for the first time, although some of the underlying indicators moved in a negative direction.

The DTI is intended to provide consumers, enterprises and regulators a monthly barometer of how the digital world is trending, with a detailed explanation here. The metrics are driven by examining third-party code called tags on billions of transactions processed by Mezzobit each month, augmented by a scan of thousands of top websites.

The score of 42 is the same at the first Index, published in January, with the following underlying details:

  • Tag chaining rose two points to a score of 28. This was driven by a continuing proliferation of programmatic advertising on media sites. Programmatic relies on calling large numbers of external tags from potential buyers such as ad exchanges and agencies into the website to examine the visitor’s cookies. This assists buyers in preparing real-time bids for ad space. Sometimes these activities result in hundreds of third parties invading a single pageview, which also has the impact of slowing down site performance.
  • User interface changes, which measures the extent of visual changes created by tags, continued its upward trend by rising a point to 22. We continue to see tags call in greater amounts of rich media.
  • Security, data collection and visitor tracking were unchanged.

Normal website operations cause variations based on a number of factors. When you visit your favorite site, there may be different articles, ads, or products on any given day, which affects the type and quantity of third parties called into the page. While month-to-month scores are important, examining longer term trends are more valuable to show the overall direction of the Internet.

If you have any idea or if there are questions you’d like us to answer with this project, please drop us a line.