In a recent post, U.K.-based publishing consultant David Worlock observed that the publishing, information and media industries are often light when it comes to data collection and analysis. Those media businesses that started in analog formats, particularly print, are best known for data that is both retrospective – backward looking – and slow to come to market.
As an example: Bookstats, the most comprehensive picture of book publishing sales, takes four months to compile and produce. It provides a reasonably complete picture of the U.S. publishing market, but it is descriptive, not predictive.
The gap prompted Worlock to observe:
If we are to get good results [understanding we have to school ourselves to ask the right questions – and know which of our expectations are least likely to be met.
To “school himself”, Worlock then culled seven firms that are “innovative analytics players who all have resonance for those of us who work in publishing, information and media markets.” His short list of interesting firms included:
- Datasift, which measures social media sentiment
- SumAll, a data visualization tool set
- MapR, to guide pricing decisions
- Rocket Fuel
- MemSQL, providing reat-time analytics
- Zoomdata, supporting data visualization
- Enigma, a government-facing search tool
Worlock’s post is worth a close look. His curated list is a great starting point for publishers looking to increase their ability to undertake forward-looking data analysis.