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Digital Glossary

In today’s world, the digital transformation is accelerating and with it, new methods and tools emerge, but also a new language that sets certain boundaries and barriers for collaboration.
Hence, the intention of this Glossary is to set a common understanding of certain terms without the claim, that the proposed definitions are universally applicable.

In order to collaborate in a digital world, we need a common understanding and shared terminology to avoid misunderstandings, that potentially undermine the success of any collaborative effort.

The definitions are mostly building on popular websites in the respective field, however, are refined by the publishers for
a corporate setting.

All A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

3rd Party Data

is generated on other platforms and often aggregated from other websites and being sold in aggregated forms.

A/B Testing

This test compares one version of a web page or product with another and measures which produces best results (e.g. conversion)

Abandon Rate

is a term associated with the use of virtual shopping carts. It counts how many of the shopping carts used in a specified period result in completed sales versus how many are abandoned.


Facility established to nurture young (startup) firms during their go- to-market phase to achieve „Proof of market“. Accelerator usually support startups through networks to partners, investors, etc.

Advanced Analytics

is the autonomous or semi-autonomous examination of data or content using sophisticated techniques and tools, typically beyond those of traditional business intelligence (BI), to discover deeper insights, make predictions, or generate recommendations.


refers to the state of a satisfied customer that recommends (Oral or written) the product or service to a prospective customer.


E-commerce business model (or On Demand Delivery model or Uber for X model) usually involve organizing an unorganized and populated sector like hotels, taxis, etc. and provide the service under one brand.


is an unambiguous specification of how to solve a class of problems. Algorithms can perform calculation, data processing and automated  reasoning tasks.

Angel Investor

An investor who provides small financial backing for startups or entrepreneurs and (ideally) entrepreneurial advice to the founders.

Apache Spark

is an open-source engine developed specifically for handling large- scale data processing and analytics. Spark offers the ability to access data in a variety of sources, including Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS).


(application program interface) is code that allows two software programs to communicate with each other. The API defines the correct way for a developer to write a program that requests services from an operating system (OS) or other application.


A computer program with an interface, enabling people to use the computer as a tool to accomplish a specific task.

Artificial Intelligence

The ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings, such as visual perception, speed recognition, language translation, decision making, etc.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Adds to our perception of the world by overlapping computer generated graphics, images, or a set of interactive data (e.g. on a smartphone)

Average Order Value (AOV)

is an ecommerce metric that measures the average total of every order placed with a merchant over a defined period of time.

Average Rating

is the average rating generated by customers and users for a specific product or service (e.g. number of stars 1–5, etc.) during a specified date range.

Average Time Spent

is a type of visitor report that provides data on the amount of time (in minutes or seconds) visitors have spent on your website.

Average View Duration

The average amount of time spent watching a video. If users watch 8 seconds of a 10 second add then the avg view duration is 80%.

Average View Rate

This rate is the number of videos viewed or clicked divided by number of videos displayed in total.

Bait And Hook Model

A company sells an initial product at a very low price to „hook“ customers, in order to sell expendable material at a premium price (i.e. Gilette, printers, etc.)

Bank Identification Number (BIN)

works to protect both merchants and consumers in the online marketplace. Every credit or debit card contains a BIN, typically the first four to six numbers on a bank-issued card. These numbers easily identify the type of card being used, the geographic location of the card issuer and which bank or company issued the card.


is the first cryptocurrency building on blockchain technology and a worldwide payment system. It is a decentralized peer- to-peer network that works without a central bank.


A blockchain is a decentralized and distributed digital ledger that is used to record transactions across many computers so that the record cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks and the collusion of the network.


(a truncation of the expression „weblog“): a discussion or informational website published on theinternet consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries („posts").

Bounce Rate

is used in web traffic analysis and represents the percentage of visitors who enter the site and then leave („bounce“) rather than continuing to view other pages within the same site.


(also known as a talkbot, chatterbot, Bot, IM bot, interactive agent, or Artificial Conversational Entity) is a computer program which conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods.

Click and Collect

is a hybrid e-commerce system where customers order goods online and pick them up in a store or at some agreed-upon  location

Click Through Rate (CTR)

The number of people who click on a link expressed as of total impressions, emails etc delivered

Click to Open Rate (CTO)

Used mainly in email marketing, a CTO is the number of people who clicked on at least one link in an email as of total emails opened in an campaign


or cluster analysis is the task of grouping a set of objects in such a way that objects in the same group (called a cluster) are more similar (in some sense or another) to each other than to those in other groups (clusters).

Company Builder

is an organizational structure (aka startup factory, startup foundry, venture builder) that aims at building several companies in succession. In comparison to incubators, company builder are playing an active (not a supportive role) in scaling startups (e.g. team building, funding, asset
sharing, etc.).


define a specific space for digital content. The container is an interface to other system elements, thereby decreasing interdependencies and complexities. Containers are popular with both developers and operators because they offer a simpler way to achieve deployment and execution consistency.

Conversion Rate (CVR)

is defined as the number of visitors to a website that complete a desired goal (a conversion) out of the total number of visitors.


are small text files stored in a web user's browser directory or data folder.
Ecommerce websites place cookies on visitors' browsers to retain login credentials, identify customers, and provide a customized shopping experience.


is a statistical measure that indicates the extent to which two or more variables fluctuate together (e.g. positive or negative correlation).

Cost per Action (CPA)

Payment model where advertisers pay for every „action“ (newsletter subscription, form submission, account creation, etc.) completed as a result of a visitor clicking on an ad.

Cost per View (CPV)

CPV is the price that gets paid when a video ad is played. In general the video doesn’t have to be watched the whole way through to cause a payment – just started.

Cost Turnover Ratio

is calculated as cost of goods sold divided by average inventory during the time period.

Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC)

All costs to acquire one active user of a product. CACs are mainly driven by marketing  spendings  and  differ  significantly to  marketing channels.  Definition varies according  to  the  understanding  of  „Active“ customers (e.g.  registrations  vs.  paying customers).

Customer Experience (CX)

is the product of an interaction between an organization and a customer over the duration of their relationship. A good customer experience means that the individual’s experience during all points of contact matches the individual’s expectations.

Customer Lifetime (CLV)

is a prediction of the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer. The CLV differs depending on customer group segmentation.

Dark Social

is a term to refer to the social sharing of content that occurs outside of what can be measured by Web analytics programs (e.g. private tabs, ad blocker, etc.)


is the process of detecting and correcting (or removing) corrupt or inaccurate records from a record set, table, or database and refers to identifying incomplete, incorrect or irrelevant parts of the data and then replacing, modifying, or deleting the dirty or coarse data.


is a method of storing data within a system or repository, in its natural format that facilitates the collocation of data in various schemata and structural forms, usually object blobs or files.

Data Management Platform (DMP)

is used by digital advertising buyers and publishers to store and manage audience data, often from multiple sources, and make it available to other platforms to be used for targeted advertising, content customization and beyond. 


is the computing process of discovering patterns in large data sets involving methods at the intersection of machine learning, statistics, and database systems.

Demand-Side Platform (DSP)

a system that allows buyers of digital advertising inventory to manage multiple ad exchange and data exchange accounts through one interface. 

Design Thinking

is a methodology (and innovation culture) that puts the user in the center of innovation activities and achieves innovative results through thorough user testing and continuous iteration


(development and operations) is an enterprise software development phrase used to mean a type of agile relationship between development  and IT operations. The goal of DevOps is to change and improve the relationship between these two business units.

Disruptive Technologies

introduces to the market a very different value proposition than what is currently being offered. It is a new source of growth for a company

Earned Media

refers to publicity gained through promotional efforts other than paid media Examples: Shares, Likes, Comments, Reposts, Warf of Mouth etc.

Earned Media Value (EMV)

Multiplies the impressions generated through earned media with an average market price that would have been charged for such impressions.

Engagement Rate

is a metric that measures the level of engagement that a piece of created content is receiving from an audience. It shows how much people interact
with the content.


is a decentralized software platform that enables Smart Contracts and Distributed Applications (DApps) to be built and run without any downtime, fraud, control or interference from a third party.


In social media, a follower represents a user who chooses to see all of another user’s posts in their content feed. Getting users to follow their accounts is a primary objective for online businesses with a social media presence.


is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts (e.g. badges, levels, rewards, status, etc.).

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

is a regulation by which the European Parliament,  the Council of the European Union and  the European Commission intend  to strengthen  and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union.

Growth Hacking

is a process of rapid experimentation across marketing channels and product development to identify the most efficient ways to grow a business.
Growth hacking is particularly prevalent with startups, when the goal is rapid growth at an early-stage launch phase.


is a design sprint-like event in which attendees collaborate intensively on software projects, typically to solve a predefined problem.


Apache Hadoop is an opensource software framework used for distributed storage and processing of dataset of big data using the MapReduce programming model. It consists of computer clusters built from commodity hardware.


(Infrastructure as a Service) is the foundation of  cloud computing  and allows users to  “rent” virtual servers and storage with the software that automates it while creating networks to tie them all together.

Instream Video Ad

Video ad that plays before, during, and after other videos.


An employee within a company who promotes innovative product development and marketing and builds new business models inside a corporate structure.

Ipaas (Integrated Platform-A-S-A-Service)

Integrated Platform as a Service (iPaaS) is a suite of cloud services enabling development, execution and governance of integration flows connecting any combination of on premises and cloud-based processes, services, applications and data within individual or across multiple organizations.


is another agile method to man- age and improve work for software development teams. This approach aims to manage work by balancing the demands with available capacity, and improving the handling of system level bottlenecks: Work items are visualized from start to finish usually via a Kanban board. Work is pulled as capacity permits, rather than work being pushed into the process when requested.

Lean Canvas

A 1-page visual business plan used by start ups to visualize key elements in one view.

Lean Startup

Similar to Design Thinking, Lean StartUp is a set of tools that support the development of successful business bodes through inexpensive and continuous user testing.

Legacy System

is an old method, technology, computer system, or application program, "of, relating to, or being a previous or outdated computer system.

Location Based Marketing

is defined as the use of mobile marketing to target mobile users within a certain geographic area


(Machine to Machine) refers to a wireless or wired network setup that allows devices of the same type and ability to communicate freely with each other.

Marketing Automation

refers to the software that exists with the goal of auto- mating marketing actions. Many marketing departments have to automate repetitive tasks such as emails, social media, and other website actions.

Marketing Cloud

Is a cloud-based system that provides access to audience profile data, content, workflow elements, messaging and common analytic functions for orchestrating and optimizing multichannel campaigns, conversations, experiences, and data collection across online and offline channels, both manually and programmatically.

Mesh Network

is a local network topology  in which the  infrastructure  nodes  (i.e. routers)  connect  directly,  dynamically  and non-hierarchically to as  many other  nodes as possible  and  cooperate  with  one  another.


differs from a traditional blog in that its content is typicall smaller in both actual and aggregated file size (e.g. short sentences, individual images, or video links).

Micro Influencers

are influencers with a smaller number of followers  (1,000 - 100,000) who typically build followings around niches (e.g. travel, fashion, beauty, photography, etc.)


is computer software that provides services to software applications beyond those available from the operating system. Middleware makes it easier for software developers to implement communication and input/output, so they can focus on the specific purpose of their application.

Minimal Viable Product (MVP)

An early version of a product with the smallest group of features that customers are willing to pay for (e.g. revenue, customer data, social reach, etc.)

Mixed Reality (MR)

is a hybrid of VR and AR and aims to offer the best of both worlds. For instance, while it uses a headset just like VR, seeing through a translucent viewport or glass, it also projects visuals on top of our environment.

Mobile Website

is designed specifically for the smaller screens and touch-screen capabilities of smartphones and tablets. It can be accessed using any mobile device’s Web browser, like Safari on iOS and Chrome on Android


is, in a technology context, an ambitious,  exploratory  and  ground-breaking project  undertaken  without  any  expectation of near-term profitability but the promise of exponential  growth  opportunities.

Multi-Sided Platforms

Brings together two or more distinct but interdependent groups of customers (i.e. Google)

Native (Apps)

are specifically developed for one particular platform (Apple AppStore, Google Playstore, Windows, etc.). They use the pre-defined elements of each platform (e.g. map integration, camera, keyboard, etc.)

New vs Returning Visitors Ratio

is the ratio of first-time users (no website cookies set) against returning users (visitor with existing analytics cookies from a previous visit) during a selected date range.

Number of Followers

number of unqiue users following a particular business on a social media network.

Number of Video Views by Source

Total video views split up by marketing source of viewer. Examples: Organic, Paid, Viral, etc.

Operational CRM

generally refers to services that allow an organization to take care of their customers. It provides support for various business processes, which can include sales, marketing and service. Contact and call centers, data aggregation systems and web sites are a few examples of operational CRM. 


is a method of advertising by electronic mail wherein the recipient of the advertisement has consented  to receive  it. Examples: Newsletter   registration.

Opt-In Contacts

Amount of email addresses of users, that actively accepted to receive emails.


In statistics and machine learning, overfitting occurs when a model tries to predict a trend in data that is too noisy. Overfitting is the result of an overly complex model with too many parameters.


(Platform as a service) is a category of cloud computing services that provides a platform allowing customers to develop, run, and manage applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure (e.g. for launching an app).


is a group of technologies that are used as a base upon which other applications, processes or technologies are developed. In personal computing, a platform is the basic hardware (computer) and software (operating system) on which software applications can be run.

Post Impression

conversions are, for a display ad campaign, online conversions produced by individuals who have not clicked the ad through but have converted later.

Predictive Modeling

is the process  of creating, testing and validating a model to best predict the probability of an outcome (e.g. crime detection, spam protection, etc.).


is a pre-version of a prototype, often only testing very limited elements of a product offering or business model with minimal expenses.

Product Landing Pages

is a landing page specifically devoted to sell a unique product or service …

Programmatic Buying

describes online display advertising that is aggregated, booked, flighted, analyzed and optimized via demand side software interfaces and algorithms. While it includes RTB it also includes non RTB methods and buy types such as Facebook Ads API and the Google Display Network.

Pure Play

is a company that invests its resources in only one line of business

R (Correlation Coefficient)

a number between +1 and −1 calculated so as to represent the linear interdependence of two variables or sets of data.

Ratings and Reviews

are used on shopping sites to give customers an opportunity to rate and comment on products they have purchased, right on the product page


refers to the total number of different people or households exposed, at least once, to a medium during a given period.


is adding an image you find while browsing Pinterest to your own board. Repins maintain the source-link of the image no matter how many times it’s repinned.


Customer retention refers to the ability of a company or product to retain its customers over some specified  period.

Retweet (RT)

is simply a repost of another Twitter user’s tweet on your own profile to show to your own followers.

Sales Conversion Rate

is the number of successful purchases as of total traffic of a website (e.g. sessions, unique visitors, etc.)


is a framework for managing work with  an  emphasis  on  software  development. It is designed for teams of three to nine developers who  break their work  into actions that can  be completed within timeboxed  iterations,  called  sprints  (typically  two-weeks).

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

is a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) primarily through paid advertising.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

is the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine's unpaid results.


is a group of user interactions with a website that take place within a given time frame (e.g. 30 minutes for Google Analytics). A single session can contain multiple page views, events, social interactions, and ecommerce transactions.

Stand-Up Meeting

is a meeting in which attendees typically participate while standing. The discomfort of standing for long periods is intended to keep the meetings short (15min. max).

Store Locator

is a feature found on websites of businesses with multiple locations that allows visitors to the site to find locations of the stores within proximity of an address or postal code or within a selected region.


(e.g. Instagram Story) are a way of sharing photos and videos with followers that disappear after a certain amount of time. A story can contain photos, videos and / or text annotations.


Youtube users, that subscribe to a specific youtube channel to receive updated about new content publications.

Total Contacts

Amount of overall email addresses of users

Total Revenue

Total order value amount during a specified  date  range.

Total Traffic

The amount of visits a Web site receives.

Traffic by Device

Total traffic split up by browsing device. Examples: Desktop, Tablets,     Mobile/Smartphones


associates a name (symbol) with a value or an object. Variables are tightly linked to the programming language and are like placeholderders for processing data (e.g. „customeremail“ can be a variable for „individual customer email addresses“).

Video Completion Rate

The percentage of videos that were played to the end of the clip as a % of total views. (incomplete and completed).

Viral Loops

are a type of marketing  campaign used to promote a company or product. Named after viruses, a viral loop is meant to infect a person and cause them to share it with other people.

Virtual Reality (VR)

is a simulated and immersive experience projected by a device into the user’s sight.