Exclusive research is editorial asset but developing data is no cinch
While no cinch to maintain, continuous flow of exclusive research remains a necessity. B2B multi-publishers often have a research department available to provide necessary statistical expertise. But smaller firms—especially during the start-up phase—may have to go it alone in providing research-oriented content.
For the latter group, help is on the way via “The Basics of Data Journalism” bootcamp sponsored by the New York chapter of the American Society of Business Publication Editors. I will be one of two keynote speakers at the four-hour January 10 workshop, along with Broadband Communities editor-at-large Steven S. Ross.
My session will focus on management considerations posed when creating data journalism content. Here are some of the topics I’ll discuss:
- 14 questions to ask yourself when developing or revising an editorial research program
- 13 practices to keep in mind pertaining to creating and promoting original research
- “Statistical show business,” a presentation based on original data that’s key to obtaining speaking dates at major conferences/events and to enhancing your market position.
- “Math Facts for Editors,” a segment that will test your statistical know-how.
- Training best practices and techniques to help B2B editors become data-savvy.
One point I will be emphasizing is that data-gathering is no cinch. Don’t think that just because you distribute a questionnaire, your audience will jump at the chance to respond. Gathering data is a process that overlaps with other editorial activity, especially when a debut issue is involved. For example, any process benefits from a list of questions that only can be answered by numbers. Frequent field trips allow editors to meet potential respondents to your surveys.
Much later on, if data gathered is truly significant, you should be able to land speaking engagements at important industry events. Last but not least, your in-house training program, if you have one, should include a “working with numbers” event.
While it’s undoubtedly impressive to immediately jump off the bat with a major statistical report, there’s nothing wrong with starting small. You can develop a single-page department based on gathering data from a limited sample. Later on you can shoot for the moon with an annual,more authoritative study.