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Publishers, You Need 'What Should Happen Next?' Analytics

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Written by on October 10, 2017

If you have been following Baekdal Plus for a while, you will know that I often talk about the next generation of analytics, like learning analytics, predictive analytics, scored analytics and so forth.

But you might also have noticed that I'm increasingly redefining how we think about analytics. For instance, last month I wrote about something I call 'editorial analytics', where the starting point isn't the data itself, but how we are using analytics to define an editorial focus.

This is so powerful because it helps you understand what you want to know, and then you design your analytics around that. And if you do that around an editorial goal, your analytics suddenly become a tool for journalists to use, rather than just some random numbers in a dashboard.

If you haven't yet read "How Editorial Analytics can Help you Define your Editorial Strategy", I strongly encourage you to do so.

In this article we will do something similar but I will talk about another part of analytics. We are going to talk about something I call 'what should happen next' analytics".

In many ways this is another name for predictive analytics, where you use massive amounts of data to predict things, but it's also an extension to scored analytics, where you assign a value to different interactions in order to understand how much of an impact your articles really have.

But what makes 'what should happen next' analytics special is that it's also a mind game that will help you understand the actions of your readers better.

So, let's dive in!

First, let's talk about why we need a different type of analytics.

The digital world has a problem

The reason analytics (and algorithms in general) are often so hard to get right is because we have a problem in the digital world, and the problem is lack of intent.

There are generally two things that keep an industry healthy. One is the level of competition, which will constantly push companies to create products that are better than their competitors'. And the other is the need of the customers (their intent), which defines the level of quality that people expect a company to deliver.

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Thomas Baekdal

Thomas Baekdal

Founder of Baekdal, author, writer, strategic consultant, and new media advocate.

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