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Scholarly publishing is evolving into a data-driven

Scholarly publishing is evolving into a data-driven industry

Posted on : August 26th 2022

Author : Sithara Chandran


In our digital economy, the significance of data has always been evident. In 2006, British mathematician, Clive Humby, referred to it as the new oil. However, he clarified his comparison by noting that although data is valuable, it cannot be effectively used if not refined.

IDC predicts that global data will increase from 45 zettabytes in 2019 to 175 zettabytes in 2025. Increased Internet access, broadband access, mobile phone usage, and social media usage are factors contributing to the expansion of global data.

Companies are adopting a data-driven culture in order to stay ahead of their competitors and to achieve results after seeing how data trends are reshaping whole markets.

The ability of business executives to make informed decisions that can result in improved corporate performance, streamlined processes, and strengthened customer relationships is the value that data brings to an organization. Depending on their industry, companies can use data in different ways. Health care institutions can, for instance, use patient information gathered during patient intake procedures and kept in systems like electronic health records (EHRs) to better understand the needs of their patients. This data enables healthcare professionals to better understand their patient demographics and enhance health outcomes.

In another example, publishers, in their capacity as custodians of content, usage, behavioral, and user data, have the potential to gather each digital user's interaction, combine this with rich content and user information, and develop both business and market knowledge that can impact and transform every aspect of their organization.

Moving from a document-led paradigm to a data- and knowledge-led model

Data is the driving force behind everything today. Publishers are increasingly embracing technologies like AI to help them transition from being mere traditional content providers to data-driven product companies. Getting better at effectively using their data will encourage innovation and power the new products and services that customers will demand in the future.

New technologies have transformed how publishers interact with their customers. Digital and online platforms and websites provide publishers with data that can be analyzed to gain important information and insights. A publishing firm collects and analyzes data with the aim to plan better strategic business goals, and enhance efficiency in all aspects of business, including developing better products and audience reach.

Effective data strategies can prove beneficial to publishers

In a publishing landscape where content is king, data is the driving force behind the throne. From submission and publication records to usage, sales, and author and reviewer satisfaction scores, publishers already have a plethora of data that they need. The publishing industry has developed over the past 2 decades alongside technology into one that integrates both scientific data and human intuition to guide decision-making. Conventional methods of publication based on intuition and judgment have given way to technologically informed methods based on conclusions obtained from data sets.

Leading publishing businesses are redefining themselves by transitioning from a document-led to a data- and knowledge-led model. The market for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is active because publishers are repositioning themselves by investing in specialized Information Technology skills and platforms. While this is a positive development, publishers must pay attention to the vital fuel underlying the applications, hacks, and flashy re-brands in order to start this path toward modernization.

Also, publishers are beginning to glean valuable information from the data acquired via social networking platforms, websites, and eBooks. In order to uncover patterns in book trends, purchasing behavior, and reading communities, publishers are beginning to analyze these data in combination with more conventional consumer insight information acquired from sales figures and focus groups. The publishing company then uses this research to help influence a variety of decisions across its several departments. Publishers are improving their abilities to assess whether and how a book might be a hit by fusing traditional data analysis with new analysis of technical data. Data analysis can provide an additional layer of knowledge to decision-making, allowing an editor, designer, or marketer to better understand how to successfully produce an economically viable book. As a result, data-driven decision making is strengthening publishers' capacity to determine what should be published.

Publishers can now acquire engagement data, allowing them to comprehend how a book is used after being purchased, thanks to advancements in digital technology. These statistics cover open and completion rates as well as reading speed, identification of well-read passages, and frequency and intensity of reading. Ebook data can also be used to drive decisions about cover design and whether or not to publish an author's second volume by examining the completion and open rates. Therefore, data impacts decision-making across a variety of departments in a publishing company and results in a more open relationship between reader and publisher.

Enabling your publishing strategy

Data is a powerful tool that publishers use to advance their strategy and make sure they are producing the right content for the markets they target.

Publishers can use data from multiple disciplines or content categories (such as books and journals) to learn how researchers and students consume scientific content and make future decisions. The uncertainties surrounding the social and economic landscape of a post-COVID era makes data even more valuable for publishers and institutions. It enables them to make decisions that are in the best interest of their strategies and the needs and intended results of the customers they serve.

When developing a new product or service, it is essential to take into account the requirements of the end users. Robust data combined with real-world information can assist a publisher in deciding between two projects in different domains. Content strategists combine quantitative and qualitative data to make sure their judgments are in line with their strategic objectives and the demands of their target audience.

Publishers acquire data from a variety of sources, including the internet, social media, prospects and clients, their internal systems, and even competitors. The publishing ecosystem thrives on audience data and analytics, which enable businesses to deliver relevant content to the appropriate audiences. While there is no dearth of valuable data for publishers, it is not collected or compiled into knowledge that enables company leaders to make intelligent business decisions.

The biggest obstacle to effectively managing and using data is siloed data. Data silos in businesses are thought to be a result of restrictive structures and regulations, unverified data, and technology that restricts data sharing. The abundance and never-ending quantity of audience information makes it extremely difficult to maintain data that is accurate, clear, and consistent.

One of the biggest challenges to providing clean, clear, and consistent data is the lack of adequate tools for analysis and reporting, communication breakdowns between teams and departments, and incomplete or inaccurate user first-party or zero-party data.

To achieve interoperability, organizations are working hard to improve and perfect data governance. Data governance is crucial to comply with privacy laws as well as to obtain high-quality data and democratize it. Given the development and quickening pace of privacy legislation, businesses should place a high premium on data governance as their top goal.

Leveraging the power of data insights and implementing the most up-to-date on-point data solutions can assist in making informed and verified business decisions. This requires creating an overall data strategy and enabling data governance and enrichment across both internal and public data. A platform like the Straive Data Platform provides a structured approach and an automated platform to acquire, enrich and manage data, enabling faster time to market, better data coverage, consistent quality, and scalability. The platform includes convenient, customizable workflows for building modular transformation and enrichment.


Making data-based decisions is transforming how we perceive manuscripts and how publishers prepare them for the market. Publishing practices are being positively impacted by data, which make procedures more effective and the results more financially rewarding as publishers react to consumer requirements.

The most successful publishers are those who use their data to understand their market position and that of their journals, translating that insight into new business models and greater sales, all while adhering to ethical data governance norms. If you are struggling with your data strategy, Straive’s expert team stands ready to help.

How publishers can build effective data strategies
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