At ABM Executive Forum: Pressure is on business publishers to develop new data products

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Chicago—Creating data services and business intelligence programs will require b-to-b media companies to make some wrenching changes in their operations, said Abs Kotulski, VP-strategy and development, commodities and commercial markets at McGraw-Hill Cos., in a presentation Tuesday at the American Business Media Executive Forum here. “If you're a traditional media business and moving into data information, I think it's much more challenging; and many of you are probably in that situation,” he said. He added: “In that case, you're looking at building entirely new teams, with very different skill sets. It's a move from editorial to much more [of] a product approach, where you have people who have more of a software background and a need to innovate.” Kotulski participated in a panel discussion titled, “Are Data and Business Intelligence Worth More Than Advertising?” He stressed that business publishers need to use their data products as a springboard for additional services. It's not just providing the data; it's being able to either build a work-flow tool on top of the information or developing analytics to provide new insight, he said. “Is it a nice-to-have piece of information or is it a must-have? That's a critical question you have to ask yourself,” he said. Another speaker, Tim Baskerville, a business information consultant and board member at HG Data Co., said that in creating data products b-to-b publishers have to consider scale. “Margins, once you got the operation up and running and stable, can be highly attractive,” he said.
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