Rethinking Analytics in your newsroom

Rethinking Analytics in your newsroom

Here are a few ways to go about analytics within your newsroom

Written by : Swati Goyal

This isn’t news that every digital publisher needs to know how they are performing on the web, dimensions ranging from page views to monthly quotas of number of stories to content appreciation over a period of time. All sections of news media are equally important when it comes to analysing the growth of the newsroom on a national and global scale. Quintype provides an aggregation of these analytics through its home-brewed analytics engine, Shrubbery and allows integration with third-party analytics systems like Google Analytics, Chartbeat etc.

These analytics help newsrooms understand better where to position content on a website, articles generating greater engagement and views, which could be put in prime pages and highly promoted on social media. Long term analytics collection does help with editorial decisions like what stories to cover and what percentage of content coverage certain trending topics should have. To someone not in the news media field, it may sound like that these metrics are becoming a deciding factor in what kind of content should be published. We must understand that analytics are an aid to the newsrooms, not their drivers.

Publishers need to calibrate metrics correctly, and use them to support their journalism instead of trying to match content with the trends.

Hyperlocal news, prediction engines, diversity bots are to name a few of the analytics hot cakes which are helping newsrooms get more authentic engagement and numerous subscribers.

With a lot of available information about reading patterns, most searched keywords on the web, peak times of reading, trending topics, engaging templates and many more aspects of audience data, it does leave little time for delving deeper into these oceans while keeping up with the pace of the content demand i.e, number of stories published in a day by a particular journalist.

Rethinking analytics in the newsroom is all the more important now that with enormous amounts of available data there is a huge chance of misinterpretation as well, meaning page-views can directly guide your steps to create content which might not be what your audience wants.

Solution is to derive these conclusions slowly by looking at the perspective that historical data enables you to have, like we invest in the market only when we see that a particular stock has performed exceptionally well and is continuing to outperform its peers, same way we invest in trends of audience’s perception of the content i.e, what allures them, what devices they use and what kind of experience they are looking for. Not only this, but tapping the untapped areas to engage a whole diversity of audience can really ramp up your visibility.

There is discord among the journalist community as a clear distinction is drawn between digital journalist and print journalists. There is a divide between older and younger generations too. “Page-views” isn’t an easy thing to understand unlike circulation numbers or TV ratings, to which your newsroom could get fully accustomed, but with time you can learn its advantage.

Journalistic practices are changing and so is your audience, and traffic metrics play a vital role in deciding who stays in the game. Reevaluating your goals in a productive manner is crucial when it comes to using numbers. Last but not the least is direct engagement with your audience through campaigns, feedback mechanisms, social or in-person interactions which help in building and strengthening this relationship, eventually making a stronger foundation for your newsroom to grow upwards.

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Rethinking Analytics in your newsroom