Design Newsroom Experiments to Test with Analytics

Presented at ONA19
September 11, 2019
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This event is possible through the support of Chorus by Vox Media

Presenter: Shirley Qiu is the Audience Engagement Strategist at the American Press Institute, where she helps newsrooms across the country better understand their analytics and reach their audiences.

In this session, we’ll start with a short presentation on some of the innovative ways newsrooms have used data for experimentation. Then we’ll break into small groups to build out newsroom experiments using Mad Libs-style brainstorming. The more unusual the ideas, the better; we want this discussion to throw out any constraints you’ve felt about the role analytics should play.

This session will move beyond the what and why of using analytics and focus more on the how. How can we better use data to test our hypotheses? How can we think more creatively about measures of success? How can we take advantage of the unique features of different analytics platforms to serve our experimentation needs? In many newsrooms, analytics are a reactive tool. We propose a more proactive method: treating analytics as real-time results of intentional editorial experiments. That takes a mindset shift, from waiting for answers to actively searching for them.

The questions and ideas that come out of our brainstorming session will be shared in a Google Doc so session attendees and others can repeat these exercises and spark new conversations in their own newsrooms.


Speakers

Shirley Qiu
Audience Engagement Strategist, American Press Institute
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