Editor’s note: In an ongoing series, INMA is profiling our most engaged members — our super fans. At a time when we have less face-to-face time, we hope this gives members a chance to learn more about each other. Today we profile Yariela Gumá Cintrón, business analyst at GFR Media in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico.
One of the greatest challenges for Yariela Gumá Cintrón during the pandemic was covering the 2020 elections, and strict government lockdowns weren’t the only hurdles to overcome: “Live reporting the elections had its many bumps. The electoral system that reported results went down, but with teamwork between many different departments, we were able to access source data and keep our live results up.”
Such communication and collaboration allowed GFR Media to remain competitive in providing live election results.
As business analyst for GFR Media/El Nuevo Día and Primera Hora, Cintrón is proud of the progress made to help shift the thinking of the newsroom more to a data/metrics mindset — and help journalists better understand what readers are looking for: “Moving from ‘gut-feeling’ only to ‘this is what the audience is looking for’ took time, but we got there.”
When Cintrón is finished keeping up with all the new tools and techniques in data analysis for the day, she enjoys sewing and spending time with her family and her baby daughter, who was born in March 2022.
INMA caught up with her to discover more about what she’s learned recently.
INMA: What big lesson have you learned over the past couple of years that helped shape your plans for 2022?
Cintrón: Communication and collaboration are key. Accessible data will only take you so far. Integrating oneself with other departments (newsroom, marketing, technology, audience, distribution) will not only help the insights from data be accessible but will allow different teams to gain confidence in those insights and get comfortable with shifting to data-driven projects.
This year will be full of A/B testing and predictive analytics — projects that would have been difficult to get acceptance from other teams if not for our efforts in communication and collaboration.
INMA: If you had your career to do over again, what would you want to know in the beginning?
Cintrón: I believe that knowledge gained in the process has a higher value than knowing everything upfront. In my case, this is my first experience in media. Asking questions and learning through doing gave me a drive that I think would otherwise not have existed if I had that knowledge upfront.
INMA: What makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning?
INMA: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your career?
Cintrón: Someone out there has had a similar question to yours. Look in the right places and you will at least get an idea of how to start answering that question.
INMA: If you hadn’t gone into news media, what was your backup plan?
Cintrón: Lab work in molecular biology; I did my bachelor’s in biotechnology.
INMA: What is your favourite thing to read?
Cintrón: Fiction, especially if the theme is dystopic or existential.
INMA: What do you find the most challenging/interesting about the news media industry right now?
Cintrón: Keeping up with all the new tools and techniques in data analysis and embarking with the company toward predictive analytics with an editorial and subscription focus.