(As posted on MediaPost)

Altitude Digital, the big supply-side platform today is formally announcing it has teamed with open ad management company Sizmek to integrate Sizmek’s Peer 39 into the Altitude Arena programmatic platform.

What that means, in slightly plainer English, is that Altitude and Sizmek in a sense, have data from each “side” in an ad transaction. Altitude Arena now can provide more of the advertisers’ perspective.

Publishers can evaluate their inventory of ads, based on 23 content categories, so they can see what they’ve got, but now, also with knowledge of how and where an advertiser sees the sites’ strengths, as scoped out by Sizmek.

So, if a general interest news Website is getting sizable action in one category–let’s say entertainment reporting–it can beef up that coverage to better support the effort.

Altitude’s dashboard uses Sizmek’s Peer39 semantic analysis of each page in order to understand certain words and information points users are responding to, and can report those dips and curves virtually instantly.

Publishers can use it to tweak their Websites; advertisers can use it to target customers. Altitude seems to help publishers by giving them a crack at data from advertisers’ imperatives. That could coordinate the programmatic dance between advertisers that know what they want and publishers that know what they’ve got. Sometimes neither find the right combination, or they get the information they need too late.

Manny Puentes, Altitude’s ebullient chief technology officer, said, “In the past, a publisher had to go to a third party [for after the fact advertising data analysis]. With this new technology, they can get it almost instantly.”

This kind of electronic sieving of  the information chain reminds me of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s convoluted explanation of a war planners’ knowledge’ of “known knowns” that also includes knowing there are unknowns and so forth. It got a lot of laughs during the Bush years.

Bottom line, though, removing the unknowns, quickly and fully, seems to be a necessary programmatic goal.

“Our broader mission to provide the same data and insights to the supply side that are readily available to the advertiser side,” said Joe Grover, the chief marketing officer. “Our reporting is really so unique that way.”

A few weeks ago, Altitude also partnered with Integral Ad Scence to offer publishers a better bot detection system. Altitude says the one from Integral can stop non-human traffic on a “pre-opportunity basis” to use their words, but meaning to stop those efforts before they even reach the programmatic exchanges.

And before that effort, Altitude began offering, through Open View Viewability, pre-opportunity information that will tell a prospective advertiser if a video player on a publisher’s site is viewable at the time the ad will be served, and help publishers track their viewable opportunities.

Altitude isn’t the first to do that–Integral and comScore also offer pre-bid data. But the idea is to let parties sort out what’s real and what’s not before the fact, not reconcile afterwards with make-goods. Generally, the known knowns, as Rumsfeld might say, beat the known unknowns.