What is Value Data and Why Do Information Managers Need It?

Information managers have been using usage statistics for years to determine what content researchers consider important. While quantitative analytics are extremely important, standalone usage statistics are only the starting point. Data needs to tell a story that goes beyond numbers, and provide a more precise picture of what users are most interested in – and which content supports overarching business initiatives.

If you’re just beginning to gather and analyze data to inform your content strategy, it’s important to first assess your information center’s goals and set key performance indicators to measure against. Once you’ve determined your goals and KPIs, you’ll need to analyze and share with stakeholders.

What is Value Data?

Information managers know that sometimes usage and spend data is not enough. There are many cases where cost is high and use is low, but the content is vital to the organization. Unfortunately, when budgets are flat or on the decline, this narrative won’t be enough. You need to be able to prove the value of content beyond usage metrics.

Here are some types of value indicators to consider:

  • What is the impact of usage on the research pipeline? For example, was a publication used heavily during early research? Does the usage of a specific business unit have a significant impact on one pipeline stage? This information will allow you to understand more than just sum usage numbers, but also the value of the content in helping the company bring products to market.
  • What are users searching for and are those searches aligned with organizational goals? If you know what users are looking for or what they will be focused on, you can make the case for content in those focus areas. It also helps you identify new content needs and gaps in coverage.
  • Could this content impact different areas within the organization? When different groups use the same content for various purposes, it’s easier to prove its value. For example, content that is used by marketing, research and regulatory groups may have higher value because its benefit can be seen across the organization.

Think about it like this: If a small group of researchers is interested in an obscure journal, you may wonder if it’s worth the investment. If you dig deeper and learn that in part through that journal’s research, a breakthrough discovery was made, the value of that subscription skyrockets. Being armed with these types of insights make justifying content spend significantly easier.

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Author: Casey Pickering

Casey Pickering is a Product Marketing Manager in CCC’s Publisher Business Unit. Casey develops go-to-market strategies, conducts market research, creates customer personas, drives strategic marketing efforts, and develops product positioning to drive interest in our product offerings. A passionate Boston sports fan, Casey is a graduate of Northeastern University and enjoys spending time outside with her family including her Bernese Mountain Dog, Riggins.
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