Using ML to focus on costs and efficiency of digital

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A new Atex product line that aims to deliver data for decisions is the first in a series of new initiatives from the company.

Atex's Insights series is meant to improve and automate editorial workflows, harnessing data collection, machine learning and data analysis. The line focusses on researching advancements in machine learning technologies, novel data visualisation techniques and their applications to the content publishing industries.

First concrete result is the Insights analytics platform, which collects and combines different information streams. Product manager Luca Storari says that while publishers' growth focus is 100 per cent digital, the millennium, editorial and marketing teams are using great analytics tools to understand their readers, news consumption and user's conversion patterns.

"There are other indicators that require the same level of attention and are often an untapped source of improvements: the cost and efficiency of producing that news. Typical questions are: 'What is the cost of my home page?' and 'Are the costs where our revenue is generated?'."

The platform gathers, consolidates and presents information from the different stages of news production workflows and presents it in configurable dashboards. It can be installed on premise or made available as a cloud option.

In the first release, the focus is on collecting and analysing reporters and contributors' costs. The information is collected from the print and digital workflows, together with information that is relevant for calculating contractual payments - such as the length of a contribution or the channels rights - and a contracts repository is then used to match the right contract and calculate the reporter's fee, which are then consolidated in a financial report.

Atex chief executive Federico Marturano says the platform is an important building block of in the products development strategy: "This is a pivotal moment for the publishing industry, readers revenue is the common strategy to cope for declining print revenues and an important growth driver," he says. "It can be successful only if supported by proper decisional data."

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