Everything You Need to Know About Discrepancy Reports


What Are Discrepancy Reports? 

Discrepancy Reports compare your served impressions (from your ad server reporting) against our measured impressions (from the Upwave tag) to ensure everything is tracking properly. By monitoring this variance, you can identify issues such as the following: 

  • Placements that haven't been tagged (especially useful as new units are rotated in throughout the campaign's lifecycle)

  • Placements that are under-tracking

  • Placements that are over-tracking

  • Pixel drop-offs

  • Non-expanding macros

Why Are Discrepancy Reports Important?

  1. Missed measurement: If placements have not been tagged, you could risk missed measurement and/or under-representation for certain audiences. Impressions that our tag has not seen cannot be backfilled, so it's important to catch these as soon as possible. 

  2. Control contamination: If placements have not been tagged, our system cannot identify them as "exposed". Thus, respondents will be improperly bucketed under your 'control' group. 

  3. Exposed contamination: If you implemented a tag - say, from a different campaign - respondents will be improperly bucketed under your 'exposed' group for that other campaign (if live/launching). 

  4. Impacted results: Over-representation, under-representation, inflated reach, and the inability to reach minimum respondent thresholds for an overall or cut-level read are all symptoms of improper implementation which could impact your measurement results. 

  5. Over usage: Depending on your contract, tracking more impressions than intended may result in reaching your contracted amount sooner than expected.

How Do I Setup Discrepancy Reports?

Discrepancy Reports are run automatically if the following (3) requirements are met:

  1. Your media is live, and has at least 3 full day's worth of data. 

    1. Please ensure the "Media Start Date" on your Campaign Information form matches the date of media launch, since that tells our system when media 'should' be live. Update this date if media is delayed.

  2. You've scheduled ad server reporting for your tag(s) that meet our reporting guidelines: 

    1. If your tags are CM360-integrated: CM360-Integrated Tags: Creation, Implementation, and Reporting

    2. If your tags are not non-CM360-integrated: Non-CM360-Integrated Tags: Creation, Implementation, and Reporting

  3. Your Notification Settings are configured correctly on your Campaign Information form

    1. Those that are designated to receive "Ad Ops" notifications are those who will receive Discrepancy Reports, and are responsible for reviewing/acting on those notifications. 

Where do I find my Discrepancy Reports?

After the above requirements are met, Discrepancy Reports will begin running and can be found in 2 locations: 

Ad Ops Email Notifications

The first place to find your Discrepancy Reports are attached to the email notifications that are received by your Ad Ops contacts each time a Discrepancy Report is run.

Discrepancy Reports will run each time a correctly configured report hits that tag's designated Reporting Email.  

Your Tag Management Page

If a Discrepancy Report is available for your tag, you will be able to click on the "Current Status" for that tag on your Tag Management page. This will bring you to a summary page, with the downloadable report at the bottom. 

  1. Important! 

    1. Discrepancy Reports are unique per Media Platform. This means that if you have multiple tags for your campaign (applicable to non-CM360 integrated campaigns only), you will have multiple Discrepancy Reports. Be sure you click into the Discrepancy Report for the Media Platform that you want to see (that Media Platform is also noted in your email notifications). 

    2. Discrepancy Reports display the most recent results available, and include 3-7 day's worth of data. Refer to the "Date Range" to determine what comparison period those results are for. 

To quickly see the status of your Discrepancy Report, simply refer to the " Current Status" field on your Tag Management page for that Media Platform. This returns the results of the last Discrepancy Report attempt, which will include one of the following: 

  1. Reports Pending: This means that a report has never been sent to that tag's designated Reporting Email. 

  2. Discrepancies Found: This means that the Discrepancy Report successfully ran, and did return placement-level discrepancies that exceeded our default thresholds. Use this article to troubleshoot those discrepancies. 

  3. Overall Discrepancy Within Threshold: This means that the Discrepancy Report successfully ran, and did not return placement-level discrepancies that exceeded our default thresholds. These will result in "No Action Required" notifications. 

  4. All other statuses: These indicate that the report has been received, and we're either (a) processing that report, or (b) troubleshooting that report with you OR our Engineering Team to get the report in an acceptable formal for processing. 

    1. Note: If there's anything wrong with the report, we will contact your Ad Ops contacts designated for that campaign.  

Interpreting My Discrepancy Reports

Spreadsheet Guide

Once you've received your Discrepancy Report, it's time to use it to your advantage! 

Open the Excel Spreadsheet that was attached to your email notification, or, downloaded from your Tag Management page. 

Here, you will find 3x tabs: 


  • This tab displays various details for that Discrepancy Report, broken out into the following sections:

    1. Campaign: General campaign details such as flight and Ad Ops contacts. 

    2. Event Tag: This displays the tag's information that the Discrepancy Report was run for. 

    3. Report Summary: This includes the conditions for that Discrepancy Report, such as comparison period and discrepancy threshold (Upwave's default discrepancy threshold is +/-15%). 

    4. Impressions Served vs Impressions Measured: Impressions served represent the impressions in your ad server reporting, whereas impressions measured represent impressions on the Upwave tag. 

    5. Issue Count: Snapshot view of the issues contained in that Discrepancy Report.

Overall Summary

  • On this tab, you'll find placement-level results for that Discrepancy Report. The data displayed here is cumulative for that Date Range. Meaning, the values under the "Status" and "Issues" columns will return based on the cumulative results for that placement.  

    • Note: If you see "(Missing)" return on the "Overall Summary" or "Daily Summary" tabs, it's because Upwave tracked impressions for that ID, but we could not find that ID in your ad server reporting. These will flag as "Upwave PIDs Not Found" if impression volumes are significant enough (see "Errors and Common Troubleshooting Steps" below for more information on how to resolve this error category)

Daily Summary

  • This tab includes the same results as "Overall Summary", but with the added granularity of creative and date-level details. This helps you pinpoint specific units, or dates, when variance occurred and/or resolved. 

Error Category Guide

Over Tracking


What this means: 

  • The Upwave tag is tracking more impressions than what appears in your report. 


  • Our tag may be implemented on the same placement multiple times. This could result in inflated measured reach for the campaign.

  • Tracking more impressions than intended may result in reaching your contracted amount sooner than expected.

How to fix: 

  • Review implementation, and ensure the Upwave tag is only implemented once per placement. 

  • Ensure there are no filters applied to your report that could result in your report not including all impressions for that placement. 

Under Tracking


What this means: 

  • The Upwave tag is tracking less impressions than what appears in your report. 


  • The campaign may not reach minimum respondent thresholds to produce overall performance metrics in the platform. 

  • Cuts that are composed of these placements may not reach minimum respondent thresholds to produce cut-level reads. 

  • The control group could be contaminated, reducing the observed brand lift.

How to fix: 

  • Ensure your tag(s) were implemented across all partners and/or placements that Upwave was intended to measure. Especially any placements that have been newly rotated in since initial implementation. 

  • Ensure that the tag you have implemented is the tag that corresponds to the campaign and/or placement in question (i.e. be sure that you are not using a tag that corresponds to a different unit, or campaign). 

  • If there are placements that we're not tracking, that we're not meant to measure, please remove them from your report. 

  • Tags fire in order (not at the same time), so ensure our tag is implemented within the top 4 firing positions for most accurate tracking. 

  • If you're running video media, ensure our tag is implemented on the impression rather than a quartile view (since the latter would not register all exposures).

  • If you're running Amazon media, this media must be measured through our Amazon Integration

Upwave PIDs Not Found in Partner Report


What this means: 

  • Upwave is tracking impressions for IDs that do not appear in your report. 


  • It's possible the Upwave tag was implemented on placements we're not meant to measure, which will lead to inaccurate measurement on this campaign. 

  • These placements may just not be added to your report, leading to an inaccurate perception of variance. 

How to fix: 

  • Confirm that we're meant to measure the "Not Found" placements:

    • If we are: Ensure those placements are added to your report. 

    • If we're not: Remove the Upwave tag from those placements.

  • If you are leveraging our CM360-integration

    • 100% of PIDs that pass back to the Upwave tag should be CM360 PIDs (since even for Site-served placements, we hardcode the CM360 PID into the tag). 

    • If we are flagging non-CM360 PIDs on your Discrepancy Report, please reach out to your Site-served partners to ensure they implemented the tag exactly as provided, and did not replace the hardcoded CM360 PID with a dynamic macro for their ad server (which would subsequently return non-CM360 PIDs that would flag). 

Macros Not Expanding


What this means: 

  • Upwave is receiving impressions for macros that are not expanding into usable IDs. 


  • Respondents that are received through these impressions will only get an overall read (rather than a cut-level read). Even once fixed, this could result in low sample size for audiences composed of these IDs if they don't reach our minimum respondent thresholds. 

  • Insights may be skewed toward audiences that are composed of IDs that are expanding due to low/no sample for those that aren't. 

How to fix: 

  • In almost all cases, this is due to the tag being implemented within an ad server using macros that were not intended for that ad server. Review all areas of implementation to ensure your tag(s) leverage the proprietary, dynamic macros for the ad server in which they're intended. 

  • Ensure you've implemented the tag exactly as provided (i.e. do not alter macros, macro positions, or other code as this could impact the tag's functionality). 

Where to Start

Prioritization Checklist

To start, first isolate which placements you want to troubleshoot. Below is a quick Prioritization Checklist to help you do this: 

  1. On the "Overall Summary" tab, filter the "Status" column for "Issues found". 

  2. If there are still a lot of placements, filter for those that are highlighted in "red" since those have the greatest discrepancy and should receive top priority.

  3. Next, sort the "Discrepancy #" column by "Descending" so larger attributing units are at the top (if Over Tracking) and bottom (if Under Tracking). Start your troubleshooting efforts with those largest attributing units.

  4. A good first step is to filter by problematic PIDs on the "Daily Summary" tab, one by one. 

    1. This will tell you whether the variance is still present and still requires troubleshooting. 

    2. It will also tell you whether certain creatives contained in that placement are attributing the variance. 

  5. If the variance is still present, click back into your "Overall Summary" tab, and look for patterns in the Placement Names for the largest variant units that do not occur for non-variant units. 

    1. For example: Is variance exclusive to video units? Companion Banners? Added Value? Certain publishers? 

  6. If your campaign is CM360-integrated: Determine whether the ID(s) you're troubleshooting are marked "CM360-served" or "Site-served" in your Tag Manager, as this could help pinpoint where/who the variance is coming from. 

  7. Once you've achieved these initial insights, proceed using the troubleshooting techniques above for each error category.

Still Need Help? 

If after troubleshooting, you have further questions for resolving your variance, please submit your questions to our Support Team.

  1. Log in to your Upwave dashboard. 

  2. Click the "Get Help" button, where you can submit your request to our Support Team.

    1. To avoid delays:

      1. Select the "Tagging & Tag Troubleshooting" option when prompted, which will route your request to the right person quickly.

      2. Include the following in your request:

        1. The tag code that you have implemented

        2. The ad server in which you implemented the tag

        3. A screenshot of implementation

        4. test page

  3. A member of our Support Team will get back to you within 48-hours.