Shifting from the tactics of next-generation data analytics to converting corporate cultures to being data-first is the emerging great challenge for media companies battling for consumer and advertiser relevance, according to a new report by INMA. 

“Big Data For Media 2.0: Going Data-First” synthesizes case studies shared with INMA through a co-hosted Big Data For Media conference and study tour, along with best practices from association members. The report is punctuated by eight video interviews INMA conducted with Big Data innovators at five media companies. 

The new report is free for INMA members and may be downloaded here (login required):

Non-members may join INMA for US$695, which includes the Big Data report, all reports for the next year, and access to all INMA content and peer connection tools.

Cutting across best practices at nine leading media companies, author Martha L. Stone of the World Newsmedia Network (WNMN) makes the case that data-first strategies are yielding better outcomes and better results. Yet even the big-name media companies are facing cultural challenges in implementing these company-wide data-first strategies.

Companies featured in the INMA report include Axel Springer, Dow Jones, Financial Times, Forbes Media, Hearst, The New York Times, Schibsted, The Washington Post, and The Weather Channel.

Combined, the interviews and profiles in “Big Data For Media 2.0: Going Data-First” paint a picture of executives and companies leading a cultural revolution – some succeeding faster than others: 

  • Why Big Data is important at media companies and, practically, how different types of analytics are being applied. 
  • Who the innovative media companies are in Big Data – and why.
  • Developing the media company’s data operation. 
  • Implementing a culture of experimentation using data.
  • How the leading media companies are structuring and staffing their data departments. 
  • The pending onslaught of data regulations. 
  • Results from the latest Big Data For Media Survey – including what media companies are doing with analytics and how that is changing.
  • How best to generate revenue using data analytics.

“Media companies are in the data distribution business and data is the gasoline,” said Earl J. Wilkinson, executive director and CEO of INMA, paraphrasing one of the executives interviewed in the report. “What we see among the industry leaders is Big Data not as a tactic to grow subscriptions but as a catalyst for fundamental culture change. This report is a snapshot in that revolution.”