Setting up a data practice in a newsroom is not straightforward, you are surrounded by some of the most numerically sophisticated journalists in the world; journalists are quizzical by nature and want to understand the full story before they can put any skepticism to one side. So, first we needed to create a holistic view of overall article performance across all of our different platforms and products. This was crucial to get the buy-in required to start making data-driven decisions to start shifting our content strategy online. We needed a platform that would host all of the many data sources that feed into this holistic view; somewhere where we could aggregate data, but also break down and deep dive into where necessary. When starting a data practise, a lot of time is spent influencing existing culture and processes. In order to change these, you must ensure any new process or tool is completely frictionless, and of relatively low effort to the end user.
The session covers:
1. Overview of my background in newsroom analytics and my current role building a data practise from scratch.
2. How and what data is used in newsrooms: Eg for article promotion, headline optimisation and commissioning processes.
3. What we needed: In order to create a hub of self-serve data points and holistic views, we required a tool that is able to ingest multiple data sources, blend them and present the data side by side in a single dashboard - like a patchwork quilt.
4. My newsroom reporting journey: Firstly, from sending manual, custom emails, then to adobe’s excel plug in to generate semi-automated pdf reports, then to using adobe workspace, then Looker, and finally landing on GDS (The game changer).
5. The benefits of Data-studio:
a. Seamlessly hosts a plethora of data sources side by side.
b. Ability to blend data sets and create custom metrics within the UI
c. Simple but effective data visualisations, with drill down options.
d. Interactive filters
e. PowerPoint style dashboard building - allowing you to sign-post and label your dashboard to suit any audience.
f. Build dashboards that match your own brand style-guides
g. Able to update and change very quickly, without any dev work
h. Able to share with anyone in the business with no licensing limitations
i. It's free to use!
Understand the value of Data-studio, its capabilities and flexibilites. Understand its value in democratising data, through ease of sharing as well and simple interface. Also demonstrate potential cost saving opportunities.