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Newsroom analytics: A primer

A quick primer on newsroom analytics.

Gone are the days when pageviews were a primary metric for determining success for digital news enterprises, particularly those that are geographically bound (metros/regionals/locals).   No single data point is useful in isolation. But evaluating the right metrics can answer important questions about audience behaviors. The challenge is separating the metrics you need from the plethora of available data — and knowing how to analyze it.

You need to identify the key metrics your newsroom should consider monitoring. Different digital analytics are important to different operations. You need to determine what your organization is trying to accomplish and in turn, what metrics can help you monitor whether you’re reaching your goals. The key analytics should align with your organizational goals, helping to inform your editorial, growth and revenue strategies. Keeping the right data can also help you constantly improve your digital presence to better engage your audience. By understanding which forms of engagement are working, you can invest more in what works and cut what isn’t delivering. Without effective data, analytics and tracking, it is impossible to know whether a strategy or campaign is paying off. There are many tools your newsroom can use to drive readers from occasional readers to habitual news users. But it’s important to grasp when levels of engagement are increasing to know when to change how you communicate with that audience segment. Implementing these strategies and tactics effectively can result in driving your most engaged followers into paying supporters or subscribers.