Analytics Dashboard for Journalists

A suite of analytics tools and visualizations to help journalists connect with their readers, evaluate the characteristics of their writing that they feel important, and contribute to the editorial process.

The Problem

Journalists are increasingly under pressure to meet the requirements of a business heavily dependent on advertising revenue, which in turn depends on readership statistics. While some internet media have adopted the approach of clickbait titles and a hardline focus on traffic stats and promotion to achieve that goal, other organizations see the pursuit of quality journalism as a way to achieve high readership.

How might we use web analytics to help journalists identify and improve the quality of their work?

How my Team and I Helped

Preliminary Research

Before beginning to design the dashboard, we first conducted research on a broad range of topics related to the problem area. We performed a competitive landscape analysis of existing products and services related to monitoring performance of online media sites, with a special focus on situations where the product was designed in-house to address gaps in the off-the-shelf solutions available. We also researched the technical limitations of analytics, both with regard to the client's specific set-up and more broadly. Finally, we researched the goals of journalists, to understand how they currently evaluate quality in their work.

Product Strategy & Concept Design

Bringing the various research outcomes together, we crafted a dashboard concept that prioritized composite metrics designed to support the objectives of journalists. Building metrics around audiences, and offering journalists the ability to prioritize the metrics they feel to be important to drive themselves to produce the highest quality work differentiated this concept from other, more marketing- or advertising-oriented platforms. We designed a series of sample screens to show how the interface would adapt for journalists who valued different metrics, as well as how the interface would differ for an editor-oriented dashboard.