Metrics and measurement

The American Press Institute offers publishers software tools and guidance to help them measure their content in new ways and form data-driven strategies. Read more about our Metrics for News program here, and see other recent insights about metrics and measurement below.

How The Guardian is using analytics to make sense of ‘dark traffic’

“Dark traffic” — referrals to a website from undetermined sources — is a growing concern for many publishers, but The Guardian developed an in-house analytics tool called Ophan to help make sense of dark traffic. Ophan measures reader behavior in real-time, and can infer the source of some dark traffic based on the referral patterns […]

Instead of trying to break readers’ habits, how to optimize your posting schedule around when they’re online

Checking the news first thing in the morning is a habit for a lot of people, but a lot of news organizations aren’t posting stories until after many readers have already moved on with their days, Anjanette Delgado writes. When analyzing traffic at Gannett’s Salinas Californian newsroom, Delgado says they found stories were going up […]

Dao Nguyen: BuzzFeed doesn’t have a monopoly on data; it just knows how to use it in the right ways

BuzzFeed publisher Dao Nguyen wants to dispel the myth that data scientists determine what’s written at BuzzFeed. The reality is much more nuanced, Nguyen says, and BuzzFeed knows there are a lot of things that they can’t learn from data, including the qualitative reasons why a story resonated with people. Nguyen says: “I don’t think […]

5 Google Analytics reports you may not be using

Google Analytics is the source of lots of useful insights about how your audience is using your website, but Webcredible’s Mark Cunnah says there are some reports in Google Analytics you may not be using. Cunnah explains how to use Segments to break down your audience into useful groupings and how to use Events to […]

How Financial Times’ data team makes engagement a priority for the entire company

Many publishers are in the “awkward adolescent stages of data adoption,” Lucinda Southern writes, but because Financial Times has had a paywall since 2007, it’s had a head start. FT’s 30-person data team is focused on customer analytics and research, and chief data officer Tom Betts says the team helps make engagement a company-wide focus: […]

Measuring audience across different platforms is proving to be difficult for publishers

As many publishers are jumping into distributed strategies, they’re finding that measuring their audiences across different platforms isn’t simple, Lucia Moses writes. CNN’s Meredith Artley says they are somewhat at the mercy of the platform, which may choose to provide data once a day or even once a week: “All these platforms are a little […]

AOL’s One will provide publishers tools for audience engagement, analytics, content distribution, and revenue management in a single place

You might have heard: AOL is combining all of its publisher products into a single platform called One (Business Insider) But did you know: With the creation of its new platform One, AOL wants to show the publishers in its network that “it has solutions not only for advertisers … but specifically for the publisher […]

How Financial Times balances editorial instinct and analytics data

Speaking on a panel about metrics in the newsroom in Paris last week, Financial Times head of audience engagement Renée Kaplan explained the relationship between editorial instinct and analytics in newsroom decisions. Kaplan says FT relies on journalists’ instincts to decide what stories are covered, but metrics data is used later on in the process […]

Why HuffPo Politics gets inflated traffic numbers from the ‘Good News’ vertical

The Huffington Post’s “Good News” vertical launched in 2012 aims to “shine a much-needed spotlight on what’s inspiring, what’s positive, what’s working.” HuffPo has been categorizing the feature as “politics” on comScore, leading to a bump in traffic for HuffPo Politics. Stories from Good News also include a tagline saying, “Part of HuffPost Politics,” though […]

UK journalists are considering ‘industrial action’ over Trinity Mirror’s individual traffic targets

The National Union of Journalists is planning to poll journalists at local Trinity Mirror publications on the publisher’s individual digital traffic targets. Targets were introduced this summer at the Birmingham Mail and Coventry Telegraph to make journalists more focused on digital growth, but NUJ says the goals undermine public-interest journalism and encourage “click-bait.”