•  3 min read

Why is there missing data in reports and when will it be there?

Any detailed form of reporting, be it for Social Media or Marketing Spend is built on large amounts of data over a range of time. Due to the complexity, age and size of that data, there can sometimes be missing data.

To start off, we at Metigy work hard to make sure you have little to no missing data within the limits of what platforms allow access to historically.

So what are some of the potential causes of Missing Data?

You’ve just signed up

This is the first and most common reason for missing data that we encounter with our users. From the second you connect a new page or data source, data is being collected.

But, that data has to be collected from their respective data sources. And depending on the age of the data source in question, this can take a while due to the limits of asking the data sources for the information. It’s like asking your bank for a 2yr old bank statement. It takes time to compile. But it will usually start to appear within a few minutes. But to fill ultimately will take a few hours depending on the size of the data in question.

Another limitation is that some platforms don’t allow you to go back beyond a point in time. We cover this more in the What is Data Backfilling and How Far Back Does it Go article.

The Page Doesn’t have Enough Engagement

Not having enough engagement – yet – is the most common reason for missing data.

When data is collected, it uses tokens associated with data sources (pages). These tokens have limits on the amount you can collect which is usually proportional to how much traffic that source gets. This makes sense as a low engagement page doesn’t change a lot, whereas a high engagement one has a lot more activity and, therefore much more data to collect.

For new or low engagement pages, there is a base amount of requests that can be made. Metigy works hard to stay within those limits and throttle accordingly, but sometimes even those low limits are too small.

The only fix for this is to increase the engagement on your site. To do this, you can find help and guidance in the Metigy IQ site.

Page Tokens are Broken

This is the 2nd most common issue that we encounter. There are many reasons for tokens to break, but we cover  Understanding Social Network Connect and Tokens in that article.

There are  a lot of reasons why a token can break, but the most frequent ones are:

  • A Token has Expired: The number one reason for tokens not working is because they expire. Metigy will send notification emails to the administrator before this happens to try and ensure that it doesn’t expire and therefore break your data.
  • Blocked Token: This is a much, much less common issue, but when it does happen it can have a ripple effect. It occurs when Social Platforms detect unusual or unauthorised activity on a user’s account. When that happens, their platform will block any connected tokens as a security precaution.
  • A Token is Missing: This shouldn’t happen but it does and, is usually caused by someone accidentally deleting the page’s token – we try to make this hard to do, but it does happen.

Are there any other causes?

The short answer is yes, too many to list. Some of the biggest ones are:

  • The platform doesn’t have the data: sometimes they just don’t have it available to return. They will generally try to backfill it on their side but on occasion, this is not possible
  • A Platform’s API has stopped working: This happens less and less, but it does happen. In this instance, we will go back and fill in the gaps when we can
  • Our collectors failed: This doesn’t happen very often but, being a complex product that has many moving parts, those parts sometimes move out of place. Add to our dependency on 3rd party service providers falling over, such as hosting, and it can happen.

What Can be Done to Fix the Gaps?

Our platform is built with robustness at its core. This means that when a gap does occur we try very hard to go back and fill it. Sometimes though, we will miss a bit as it’s minimal or something else happened, and we think it’s there.

If you have an instance of something missing that you feel should be there, do not hesitate to contact support and we will investigate what has happened.

We hope you found this article interesting and helpful, and hope you are enjoying using or plan to use the Metigy AI Driven Marketing platform.