How Publishers Use… and Why They Love It!

We write guides and blog posts about ways to use data about your audience, but truth be told, the best examples of how data and analytics can make a difference in a newsroom or with an editor come straight from the people that have lived the experience: our clients!

You can check out some of our case studies for an in-depth look at some of our newsrooms, but there are plenty of other examples, tips, and feedback that come from clients that don’t need a full case study around them — so we’re sharing them here.

Access to Audience Data Increases Employee Satisfaction and Motivation

You know that feeling. You’re watching your article climb to the top of the list in real-time. There’s a sense of satisfaction that comes with seeing how your article, section, or site is  performing. Our clients frequently report back that the easy access they get to this information sparks pride, satisfaction, increased effort, and more internal conversations.

For us, @parsely was the game changer because it is accessible and gives you a lot of interesting data

— Vanessa Franko (@vanessafranko) May 10, 2014

Define Success Based on Value to Your Readers

It’s not our job to tell you how to define success! The question that the most impressive users ask themselves first is: what should we measure to determine if we’re successful?

We’ve designed’s dashboard so that each company, or even each user, can make sure that they measure what success means to them. As our CEO Sachin Kamdar likes to point out: “You build what you measure.” For example:

  • Page views and visitors: While it’s important to understand the dangers of clickbait, it’s also critical to know consumption patterns for readers. If success means distribution at scale, growing these metrics are key.
  • New vs. returning visitors: Is your goal to increase new readers, or to get your returning visitors to return to your site regularly? Maybe success, for you, looks like a climbing number of loyal readers.
  • Engaged time: How quickly should your readers be able to read a post on your site? Increasing engaged time per article might be a goal for sites that emphasize quality, longform content.

For our clients that have communicated to their teams what success looks like, the results speak for themselves:

Once they started sending out author reports with established goals for publishing volume and audience building, production went up very quickly. – user at Conde Nast

Watch Changes Over Time

Change doesn’t happen overnight. Time and time again, users underscore the value of being able to look back at audience and site trends. is a wonderful mix of real-time functions and historical tracking. Not only can I see what’s working now and why, but I can also use the reporting functionality to analyze large data sets for useful strategies in the months to come. – Adam Felder, Associate Director of Digital Analytics, The Atlantic

When you can see what’s working over a longer period of time, you can identify the patterns that created those successes, and try to replicate them. One client implemented at their multi-site organization by giving all editorial employees three instructions:

  • Daily: Identify 3-5 actions you can take on real-time trending posts
  • Weekly: Identify three aspects of an  underperforming story and take an action to see if changes occur
  • Monthly: Increase visitors by X% on assigned sections

We think this is a great example of using the dashboard to take action. Not only does it have a real-time component, but it also focuses on making sure those actions made an impact over the long-term.

Tie In Social Media Metrics Directly

When you’re attempting to distribute content over multiple platforms, success metrics can live in multiple places, making it hard to make sense of it all. users like seeing all of this information inside the dashboard including how social media impacts posts, authors, sections, tags, and referrers.

We wanted to grow our social audience so we looked at contributors that were generating the biggest social audience, gave them incentives to publish and promote more. Within 30 days, social traffic grew by double digits. – user

The Most Important Metric: Do You Use It?

The bottom line is that if your organization is paying for access to some sort of analytics platform, people better be using it, and the more people that can use it, the better the value. can be used and understood by anyone — editorial teams, sales teams, development teams. Any team member can log in and get the information that they need; we call it “speaking the same language.”

This is, by far, the piece of feedback we hear most from our customers — and we couldn’t be happier about it.

“ has given access and insight to those who would normally steer well clear of analytical platforms. It’s user friendly display and ease of use make it perfect for print editors and sales teams to understand our data.” – Gareth Cross, Head of Distribution for Spark, The Telegraph

The learning curve for enterprise analytics solutions can be steep… gives our editors the power to easily access insights that were either not available or required an analyst. – Carson Smith, Senior Business Analyst, U.S. News and World Report

Have something that you love about that we missed? Email us: hello [at] parsely [dot] com or tweet it to us  @parsely  !