Trade Journal Directories and Databases

"We publish massive industry directories for both print and the Web. How can we get this done more efficiently and profitably?"

We at DataJoe have discovered a repeating scenario among trade journals. Many trades have an ancillary data business (ex. Too 500, Top 1,000, Industry Directory, Online Database), but their core business is news and analysis. 

Because their data business is not their core business, we typically find that it has been stunted or hindered from reaching its full potential in some way:
  • Hosted on home-grown, legacy platform that has become unsustainable:
    • Difficult or unwieldy to change or enhance, because the technology is old. 
    • Difficult or unwieldy to change because the original programmer has moved on, and no longer has an incentive to invest or maintain the system. 
    • Dangers and risks associated with outdated technology - the system requires patching and "band-aid" solutions in order to continue functioning.
  • Manual and/or labor-intensive processes for maintaining or updating the data:
    • "Brute force" phone calling and/or internet research, which is labor intensive and adds significant cost to the bottom line. 
    • Simple Web forms or surveys that don't feed directly into the database, and must therefore be keyed into the database by hand (which increases the potential for inaccuracy.)

Typically we find that there are some basic, common stages for the yearly production of these directories/databases.
  • Data Acquisition. Dedicated staff conduct phone calling, internet research, and/or individual emails to collect data. In some cases staff conduct email and fax survey blasts.
  • Data Entry. Once data is collected, it is typically hand-entered into a simple or complex database (this might be Excel, Access, Filemaker, or a proprietary database). In worst cases, the data is hand entered directly into Word or InDesign, bypassing any type of database format whatsoever. In best cases, data is imported into a database. 
  • Print Processing. Once data has been entered into its holding area, it is then transferred to the print production department for formatting. Most of the time, it's handed to the design team as an Excel file. From there, the design team formats this file into InDesign. In worst cases, the data was entered directly into InDesign, which is makes it easier for the design team, but destroys the value of the data for online deployment. In best cases, the data is stored in a database that allows for a formatted export that can easily be flowed into InDesign. 
  • Online Deployment. Once data has been exported for print, it's time for online deployment. In worst cases, data is deployed to Web as a simple PDF, JPEG image, or "ebook." These formats lack the possibility for interactive search, SEO benefits, and many subscription-based revenue streams. In best case scenarios, data flows seamlessly to a robust, searchable, interactive front end directly from the central holding area; thus updates and changes made in the back end propagate to the online product in real time, creating great value. 

  • DataJoe provides a platform engineered to handle the most complex directories and databases - out of the box. DataJoe accommodates a variety of use cases. Best of all, DataJoe is not general software - our users are trade journals, business journals, city magazines, and publishers who produce editorial directories, lists, and databases.
  • DataJoe is, first and foremost, a workflow and automation toolset. Our clients have reported saving, on average, 340 hours a year per FTE.
  • DataJoe provides out of the box tools for Web publishing that can be integrated directly with the client's Web sites. For clients with highly specialized online publishing needs, DataJoe provides an API that can be used to seamlessly join DataJoe's back-end database with your custom front end. Examples: 

DataJoe has helped the following publishers improve workflow and presentation of massive industry directories and databases. Our services have included transition massive directories and databases out from legacy platforms, automating and enhancing workflow, and eliminating certain manual tasks, saving labor and time. 
  • Sports Business Journal: Resource Guide and Fact Book, a large directory of sports contacts and professionals.
  • Editor and Publisher: E&P DataBook - a massive directory of newspapers, magazines, and publishing companies.
  • Source Media: Mandate Pipeline Leads Database: A subscription-based interactive online database.
  • Source Media: Private Placement Letter Database.
  • Source Media: ASR Database.
  • Source Media: Payments Source: A huge database of Credit Card companies and their associated deep data.
  • Business Insurance: Multiple directories and databases. 
  • Pensions and Investments: Massive financial lists, directories, and databases.

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