TL; DR: With access to the world’s largest electronic database for social, web, and news, LexisNexis Newsdesk® enables a wider pool of users to gain valuable, actionable insights into marketing campaigns, key news and events, influencers, market trends, industry highlights, competitive information, and brand perceptions. As longtime industry veterans, LexisNexis and Moreover Technologies joined forces to combine more than 15 years’ worth of experience in media aggregation and analysis, leading to a nuanced system of enriched content and functionalities. Newsdesk, which is currently focusing on leveraging advanced technologies and an agile development workflow, represents a fluid platform ready to reveal trends and events that may impact your organization.
Gone are the days of walking up to a librarian and quietly tapping your pencil while waiting for information. For LexisNexis Newsdesk® users, a modernized platform means curious organizations can quickly access business-critical information — without a library sciences degree or experience writing lengthy, complicated query strings.
Originally conceived as a tool for in-house corporate communications professionals to distribute news regarding their company and the competition to internal employees, Newsdesk now capitalizes on a massive repository of news and social media mentions and other content on the web to reveal market intelligence. According to Director of Product Management Chasity Johnson, the move reflects a wider trend for using technologies to simplify complex or time-consuming procedures.
“We’ve been really seeing a shift in this core, traditional information professional world, from someone whose full-time job is searching and retrieving information to more analyst and marketing types of roles who are really looking for a media monitoring and analytics product,“ she said.
By continually tweaking and modernizing its platform, Newsdesk is better equipped to provide a growing customer base with a view of industry trends, brand mentions, and campaign insights as quickly and simply as the world’s largest search engine.
“Google is so simple to use,” Chasity said. “You put in something, and you get an answer. We’ve got to think along those lines, but with the data that we have, in order to get those answers very quickly and easily.”
Delivering Answers and Market Intelligence to New Audiences
The current iteration of Newsdesk represents a bit of kismet, according to Chasity, who described the 2014 LexisNexis acquisition of the platform’s original developer, Moreover Technologies, as “literally a perfect match.”
Although Newsdesk had gathered a steady following, the tool was ready for some fresh content and upgraded technology, she said. LexisNexis, which boasts the world’s largest database of social, web, and news, was looking to expand its product portfolio and reach new audiences.
“Up until that point, the Newsdesk foundation was more API-based or Data-as-a-Service, selling web news aggregation via API to very large enterprises across a variety of different industries,” Chasity said. “It was born out of a need to solve a very specific problem for a large business.”
Those businesses were less and less interested in devoting the time and effort toward building interfaces that would locate and display that data in helpful, easily accessible ways.
“If they’re focusing those resources on building a media marketing and analytics platform, then they’re taking those resources away from investing in whatever their core competencies are,” Chasity said. “In talking to these large enterprises, we came back and said, ‘What if we built a frontend application that uses our backend data and enrichment tools as the fuel?’”
Optimizing Advanced Technologies to Leverage Important Information
The earlier versions of Newsdesk required users to have a high level of experience with both technology and the organization’s industry, particularly with building out queries. While those experts still are part of the Newsdesk customer base, their roles have shifted.
“Those technical experts still exist, but the work they’re doing is typically on behalf of someone who is not an expert,” Chasity said. “That person may want to unpack the information a little bit more and can now go back to Newsdesk to get more insights. The challenge we face is making it easier and easier to get those answers.”
Chasity compared the goals for Newsdesk to the ultrasimple Google experience — “enter something in, get results back,” she said, while admitting the real-world applications of the platform media monitoring, campaign evaluation, and business intelligence analytics are typically far more complex.
“Our users are doing way more than just retrieving information,” she said. “They need to get answers. There is something that’s triggering them, whether there’s a business problem or a campaign they’re monitoring, they need to understand and get the answer. Has the company been successful? What is being said about the brand? About the competition?”
Before Newsdesk, media monitoring involved reading scores of newspapers, cutting out articles, and underlying mentions. While the platform substantially boosted workers’ efficiency and effectiveness, Chasity said the team seeks to continue implementing cutting-edge technologies to further optimize the tasks or jobs that cost users the most time.
“We helped aggregate those processes originally. Now what we’re layering on top of that really starts to show how you can use these building blocks and advanced technologies to improve the types of answers we provide to our users,” she said. “I’m looking to crack the code as to how we leverage those tools to help our users.”
Enriched Content Recognizes Nuance and Elevates Data Retrieval
With a database holding nearly 100,000 news sources in over 90 languages, 100 million social media posts, and upward of 4 million articles and posts added daily, LexisNexis cultivates enhanced and refined information that enables organizations to quickly make more informed decisions.
“Because we have such a large repository of content and how we’ve enriched that content, we can actually push out charts and graphs and visualizations that people can start to use to tell a story,” Chasity said. “Our users aren’t just looking to enter a search and get back a list of documents. They’re beyond that. They want to enter a search that returns documents that have metadata that further tells me how I’m doing, that’s trying to get me a deeper answer than what I input in the beginning.”
Alongside the supplemented information, Newsdesk introduces an upgraded search experience that guarantees relevant results in complicated searches. For example, SEC stands for both the Securities and Exchange Commission and Southeastern Conference — and Newsdesk can tell the difference.
“We’ve created a cool cheat sheet tool that verifies which variant you want, and, regardless of how it appears in the article, we resolve that it’s the right entity and return back all the articles that match the variation,” Chasity said. “That was a huge one for us. We’ve had it rolled out for a little more than two years. This will help them build that search and be confident in the type of results they’re getting are relevant to what they’re looking for.”