Why we developed the ability to publish interactive PowerPoint reports

We spend a lot of time thinking about how B2B syndicated research content is published and consumed. One thing we have really noticed is how the traditional A4-style report authored in Microsoft Word is slowly being usurped by PowerPoint. The highly visual content, in landscape form, looks great on widescreen monitors and allows publishers to present data in a more graphic format.

As a leading publishing technology company, our response to these changing publisher customer requirements was twofold: firstly, we needed to improve the landscape view, and secondly, we wanted to add ‘interactivity’ to PowerPoint reports.

Before we started development work, we had three tricky problems to solve:

  1. How could we deliver content in landscape and portrait format in the same interface whilst retaining a consistent end-user experience?
  2. How could we show meaningful previews of pages within search results so end-users have an idea of the contents of a slide?
  3. Could we develop a function for readers to identify tables and figures and extract the underlying data?

Five months after these challenges were proposed we have the solution to all three! Our new module, SlideViewer, showcases PowerPoint content in an easy-to-read landscape format. It also provides search across multiple reports with a great page preview option and the data within tables and figures can be extracted to a spreadsheet for further analysis.

Additionally, within a slide an end-user can clip sections, add notes and share with colleagues reducing the need to download a report for offline reading.

A key outcome of the project is for publishers to heighten subscriber engagement with content. Metrics around this could include increased number of online reads vs. whole file downloads and an increase in content interactions within the platform.

SlideViewer’s benefits are numerous but can be summarised as:

  • Analysts can deliver their interactive PowerPoint-created content using their existing production methods
  • End-users can quickly find and reuse the content they need in their own research without the need to download the whole report; and
  • Publishers can see data regarding usage which will allow them to understand the content’s value to their subscribers.

We have 16 years of experience developing interactive online experiences for research publishers. Our long-standing DocViewer provides a uniquely interactive interface for the search and consumption of longform research reports created in Word.

We know the SlideViewer module will be a hit with our publishers as they get to publish visually appealing content which is easily accessible by their users with no change to their authoring workflow.