There’s no doubt the use of data helps any organisation perform better and should be at the heart of everything we do. This is particularly relevant in the declining industry of print publishing, where a need for diversification and digital presence is vital. 

The Telegraph has pursued data transformation for multiple reasons: 

  • Data gives journalists opportunity to publish relevant and compelling content in every section of the newspaper, allowing us to put our readers at the centre.

  • Data provides journalists an opportunity to rethink content, change the way to formulate it, and make it more efficient and dynamic. 

  • Data can assist in streamlining feeds and provide actionable audience metrics for each newsroom desk, which allows a publisher to serve the reader better.

  • New content can be developed based on information collected on background and areas of interest to readers. 

This is why we created Pulse. It gives us a centralised view of how content changes the behaviour of readers in real time so we can measure and make available the relevant, personalised metrics in a more dynamic and accessible way.

Pulse was developed with editors and journalists in mind. The data is reported in a highly accessible way for all parties.
Pulse was developed with editors and journalists in mind. The data is reported in a highly accessible way for all parties.

Pulse flags segments, such as engaged registered visitors, then informs journalists how to convert them to subscribers in real time. This is customisable for every team across editorial so we can ensure all content is achieving its purpose and contributing to the Telegraph’s broader strategy.

We understood that setting up the right metrics will help us move forward with more advanced technologies. Only with the right metrics can we shape and support every part of our organisation: the overall strategy or the progress of Telegraph goals. The wrong metrics not only might hamper progress, they also can actively dis-incentivise teams from pursuing the right course of action.

A key goal of Pulse is to produce more relevant content in real time to hook readers and convert them to subscribers.
A key goal of Pulse is to produce more relevant content in real time to hook readers and convert them to subscribers.

This is why we needed to ensure our reporting was tailored to the specific users — Telegraph journalists and editors. Pulse reports on the metrics that matter most to us; we can see our top-performing articles, each article lifecycle across our KPIs as visitors, subscriptions, registrations, and dwell time among others. The users also can look back at a past article’s performance to gain historical insights.

The swift delivery of data was augmented further by creating a platform designed around our journalists’ and editors’ lifestyles. Pulse was created as a mobile-first service, putting the data within easier reach and therefore making it simpler to monitor and react to performance. 

We also created an extra large version that is displayed on the editorial screens, which creates a focal point connecting the whole company with the Telegraph’s real time information from around the world. 

Pulse was developed as a mobile-first service, but a desktop version is also useful in the newsroom.
Pulse was developed as a mobile-first service, but a desktop version is also useful in the newsroom.

We added personalised alerting so users can save their notification preferences on content such as social media performance, traffic levels, daily targets, or how many subscriptions their article or section gained. 

Consequently, the editors have actionable insights and can change an article’s position accordingly, making sure it reaches the right audience, bringing us closer to our readers’ preferences and fulfilling our strategic goals and KPIs.

Pulse has changed our company’s attitudes toward data. We are placing more confidence and trust in the data captured about our content. We now have one of the best available pieces of technology for capturing and analysing the stories that we publish in real time. 

So what’s next? 

Our aim is to maintain the good balance of analytics that matter most to us, preserving quality journalism with customer-centricity. Our plans for Pulse are ambitious. We’re looking at bridging the disconnect between publishing time and content consumption. Another idea would be looking at content predictive measures of success and trending topics.