Jagran New Media increases Reader engagement with Big Data Solution
Jagran Prakashan Ltd (JPL) is a top Indian media conglomerate with operations panning across print, digital, radio, and out of Home activations. JPL publishes and operates India’s largest-read print title, Dainik Jagran, the leading Hindi daily for the last 75 years. Jagran New Media (JNM) is the digital arm of JPL that produces news and informational content through an audience first approach across four audience segments in the Hindi heartland. The core model revolves around producing factual and credible content that empowers new India through better health, better education and better knowledge, leading to an inclusive and progressive society. JNM runs Jagran.com, the largest Hindi language site in India with over 180 million page views per month with five pages per visitor and a unique user base of 36 million per month.
Bringing data practices into the newsroom is one of the biggest challenges for publishers of all scales, and for many publishers, current approaches to analysing reader behaviour do not suffice. Page views, unique browsers, or monthly active users are metrics developed for advertising-based business models that do not necessarily support editorial decision making on what and when to publish. As part of the Google News Initiative (GNI) APAC Data Lab Program, Jagran New Media (JNM) partnered with MightyHive and Tatvic to develop and implement a solution that uses reader data to make editorial decisions faster and relevant to the newsroom. MightyHive functioned as the strategist and worked with different divisions in the newsroom to develop strategic roadmaps, audience frameworks, and solution design. They also consulted JNM on operational efficiencies and ways to manage the transition to the new system. As the technologist, Tatvic helped build the solution, optimized the backend infrastructure, creating a dashboard and establishing rules for managing data among multiple editorial teams. Through this content planning dashboard, JNM, gained a greater understanding of the reading behaviour of its loyalty base across its digital content sites and identified key segments of its audience, helping to provide appropriate content and improve overall reader engagement. This solution sets a lighthouse example of how publishers can connect content to commercial value and make more informed decisions not just to drive user engagement but drive loyal user behavior towards more sustainable readership and revenue.
The goal of the project was to increase reader engagement using new data capabilities. JNM also needed Jagran’s editorial team to adopt the new solution. The first step was to determine who the audience is and which behaviours needed to be measured. From there, Tatvic could provide a solution that measured the data and displayed it in a dynamic dashboard, ensuring relevant stakeholders could understand how content is performing and gain insights that would guide future decisions.
Once Tatvic created the dashboard, MightyHive identified practices to help the editorial team adapt, allowing for accountability and education to motivate the success of the new solution.
PART 1: DASHBOARD CREATION
Tatvic created a dashboard utilising the visualisation powers of Google DataStudio, the raw data organisation capabilities of BigQuery and a Tag Manager system for accurate onsite data collection. MightyHive and the Jagran leadership identified new metrics to incorporate into the dashboard, including identifying and defining four key audience segments, recirculation rate (the rate at which readers visit another page on the website after their initial page view) and session duration, or the amount of time a reader is active on the site.
PART 2: DASHBOARD OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY
The project teams quickly realized that due to the size of the underlying datasets, further processing optimisation would be required to ensure the newly created solution was cost efficient. Once the dashboard was built, MightyHive and Google worked together to ensure the dashboard operated as efficiently as possible. They uncovered opportunities to increase efficiencies and account configuration by redesigning the data and table structure. These steps resulted in 95% cost savings by:
- Prescribing corrective measures for advanced logging for BigQuery sink and eliminating incompatible features to optimise data processed to run queries.
- Guiding the teams on building a cost estimation for the queries and deploying data usage charts to populate data consumed against each unique query.
- MightyHive also trained the editorial teams on cost and prudent usage aided by a cost monitoring dashboard Tatvic developed.
PART 3: CHANGE MANAGEMENT
While you can implement data solutions, you can’t buy a data culture. To ensure success, Jagran needed to understand how it could best weave new data-informed decision making into business operations at all levels of the organisation. Team buy in, through education, helped make the case for change and bring teams along by facilitating agreement on desired outcomes. In addition to training on how to use the dashboard, Jagran was also educated on how to get the most out of the provided insights with the ROSA framework, which provides guidance on editorial decision making based on content performance. MightyHive also identified change leaders, and created a fail-safe environment for experimentation, which enabled the editorial team to experiment with data-driven approaches. Before these trainings and workshops, only 53.3% of surveyed staff said they understood the data they were seeing. After completing the education process, 100% of those surveyed said their new dashboards are easy to understand and more useful than other tools that they have access to. Editorial teams increased their daily use of these dashboards by almost 50%.
In the three months using the content planning solution, Jagran observed a significant increase in engagement by Brand Lovers, their most valuable segment.
“The key challenge was to introduce a data driven environment that helps the editors to monitor and understand content performance across different audience segments, in a real-time environment. How can they utilise these insights to plan and produce high performance content that engages users and helps us to achieve better share of mind.” Bharat Gupta, CEO, Jagran Media Group.
.20% Increase in Completion Rate of articles viewed for Brand Lovers: Number of article detail page views where users read at least 75% of the article
15% Increase in Recirculation Rate for Brand Lovers: Number of article detail pageviews that resulted in more than one subsequent article detail pageviews out of the total. Completion Rate & Recirculation Rate of Brand Lovers
“What we were doing at the beginning of this process was chasing after the [page views] and clicks from trending news pieces — because that’s where the biggest numbers are. [By implementing Editorial Insights], we were able to shift strategy toward developing higher quality content pieces that would drive deeper engagement and subscriptions from our audiences that matter.” Bharat Gupta, CEO, Jagran Media Group