Onboarding Your Data

At LiveRamp, “Onboarding” refers to the process of sending your customer data to digital marketing applications and media platforms. See the appropriate sections below for information on how to onboard your data with LiveRamp.

To understand the common terms you'll encounter, see "Onboarding Terms and Concepts".

Note

See the "Training Resources and Videos" section of the documentation site for other Onboarding resources.

The typical onboarding workflow first involves uploading customer data (such as PII identifiers and segment data), which we then match to the anonymous, universal identifiers called IdentityLinks (IDLs) in our Identity Graph.

Once you decide which destination platform(s) you want to distribute your data to, we translate these IDLs into the platform-specific identifiers (cookies, mobile device IDs, custom IDs, etc.) in our Identity Graph that are used by each platform, and then deliver the data. Once the data has been ingested at the platform, you use that platform’s UI to perform your marketing activities, such as targeting, personalization, ad suppression, etc.

Note

Want to watch? For a brief video overviews of how Onboarding works at LiveRamp, see "Onboarding Intro Video Series".

Note

Security and privacy: To stay at the forefront of privacy best practices, we employ a team of privacy experts and actively work with major self‑regulatory privacy organizations, including the IAB, DAA, and DMA. For more information on our security practices, see "LiveRamp Data Security Overview".

At a high level, onboarding with LiveRamp involves the steps listed below:

  1. Data upload: After you create files, you upload your customer data to LiveRamp (see the "Get Your Onboarding Data Into LiveRamp" section of this article.

  2. Matching: LiveRamp matches any personally identifiable information (PII) in your data to the offline data in the AbiliTec Identity Graph to link each record to an AbiliTec ID.

  3. Anonymization: We then convert this AbiliTec ID into an anonymous, universal identifier called an IdentityLink (or IDL). All IDLs remain anonymous, private, and secure.

  4. Segmentation: We organize your uploaded data into fields and segments that are available for you to manage and distribute in our Connect UI.

  5. Distribution: You use Connect to distribute your fields and segments to any of LiveRamp's destination partners.

  6. Activation: Through our online identity graph (powered by our Match Network and LiveRamp IdentityLink Extension network), we translate all IDLs in the segments you distribute into the partner-specific cookies, mobile IDs, and other online IDs at your specified destinations.

  7. Delivery: LiveRamp delivers the segments to your specified destinations, where you can then use those segments.

Along the way, there are a number of stats and reports that you can utilize.

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Before you begin, you might want to add users to your account. Once you've configured your account, you're ready to get your data into LiveRamp.

Note

The LiveRamp advantage: We have more than 500 partners across the marketing ecosystem—the broadest set of integrations in the market. This variety gives you the flexibility to build your own marketing stack with your preferred technologies. We can also add new integrations on request.

To create segments in your account (which you then send to destinations), you first need to create files and then send those files to LiveRamp. See the sections below for more information.

Caution

If you are a client of a reseller of LiveRamp's services, these steps are somewhat different. See 'Onboarding Guide for Reseller Clients" for information.

Note

To understand how LiveRamp processes your files to create and update segments in an audience, see the “How Records are Assigned to Segments”.

Caution

Data restrictions: For privacy reasons, we do have some restrictions on the kinds of data we're able to onboard.

Make sure to properly format your files so that we can process them quickly. In addition to the guidelines in "Formatting File Data", it’s especially important to keep the following key guidelines in mind:

  • All files must contain an audience key (if you aren’t able to provide a client customer ID (CCID) as the audience key for your records, we will choose the PII identifier that has the largest fill rate (percentage of records with a value) and that identifier will be used as the audience key for all files in that audience).

  • Once you decide on a format for your files, the audience key and the column headers for the identifier columns that we use for matching must stay exactly consistent across files.

  • If you’ll be sending files with different audience keys and/or identifier types (for example, if you’ll be sending both files with PII and files with mobile device IDs), let your LiveRamp Implementation Manager know. Otherwise, we will assume that all files use the same audience key and contain the same type of identifiers.

  • A given field in an audience can have no more than 100 distinct values.

  • A given segment in an audience must have a minimum of 25 unique records in it. If you send a segment that has fewer than 25 records, it will not be imported into your audience.

  • LiveRamp's file limits and audience limits.

Note

New Customers: Let your Implementation Manager know how many distinct file formats you’ll be sending (i.e., formats with different column headers, different identifier data fields, or different audience keys).

For each distinct file format, let your Implementation Manager know if you want to match at individual or household precision level. See "Precision Levels" for more information.

Once you’ve decided on your distinct file formats, you can send your data to us in a number of ways. In general, we recommend that you either upload your data via SFTP or have us retrieve it from an AWS S3 or GCS bucket. Files 500MB and under can also be uploaded via Connect.

Tip

New Customers: Let your Implementation Manager know which file delivery method you’d like to use.

After you've uploaded your file or files, you'll need to wait 1-3 days for us to process the data before it's ready to go out to your destination platforms.

LiveRamp creates segments directly from the data you've uploaded, but there are a number of additional ways you can manage segments in Connect:

  • You can create derived segments from your data. For instance, you could create a custom [SERIOUS WOMEN:Y] segment, to be applied to all users who have both the [GENDER:Female] and [SERIOUS BUYER:Y] segments.

  • You can also tag segments with labels, which allows you to easily organize, manage, and quickly distribute even large numbers of segments.

  • And if you're interested in A/B testing your downstream marketing efforts, Connect makes it simple to split your data into test and control groups.

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How do you get there? Hover over MANAGE in the left navigation bar, and then select the audience that contains the segments you want to manage.

Now that your data is organized into segments and tagged, it's time to send it to your digital marketing destinations.

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A destination account at LiveRamp is a set of configurations that allow you to distribute data to a particular seat at a destination.

  1. Start by activating destination accounts for your desired destinations.

    Many destinations need little or no configuration to get started distributing data. Some will ask you for app-specific information, such as your account ID with their platform. See the "Platform-Specific Distribution Information" section of this help documentation for a quick look at what configuration information you'll need for your intended destination(s), if any.

    Note

    Don't see your destination? LiveRamp is integrated with more than 500 different marketing destinations, so it's likely we're already set up to send your data where it needs to go. If you need to send data to a destination that doesn't appear in Connect, we can do that too—just contact your LiveRamp representative to get a new integration implemented.

    Tip

    How do you get there? Hover over OUT in the left navigation bar, and then select "My Destinations" to navigate to the Your Destination Accounts page.

  2. Once your destination accounts are activated, distributing data is as simple as selecting the segments you want to send out and clicking Add to Distribution. You can typically expect a destination to show your data as having been delivered within 3 days.

Tip

See "View Delivery Status" for more information on viewing delivery status, troubleshooting, and more.

The Connect dashboard shows a variety of stats to let you see how effectively your data is being distributed. One important metric is match rate, the percentage of records in your raw data file that we were able to match to at least one online device or ID in our network.

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How do you get there? Hover over VIEW in the left navigation bar, and then select "My Dashboard".

Tip

Want better match rates? See "Tips to Improve Your Match Rate" for more information on ways to improve your match rate.

In addition to stats on the Connect dashboard, we can provide a Match report, a PDF showing an estimate of the overall match percentage for a file for many of our most popular destinations. We also offer Matchbacks, which are reports that let you see exactly which records in a given file would be successfully delivered to a particular destination at the time of the request.