Time is of the essence: 3 ways publishing technology can reclaim your analysts’ valuable time

While legacy publishing systems lock analysts into cycles of manual updates, new technologies automate tasks, improve workflows, and speed up information retrieval, freeing up analyst time to focus on higher-value activities.  

So much information, so little time

Market intelligence consumers are typically time-poor business leaders who require reliable data and insight at their fingertips. They need analysis and data that cuts through the noise and keeps them at the forefront of the latest trends and news.

Discovering high-quality information was already getting exponentially harder with the growing proliferation of dubious information sources on the internet. Now, the rise of AI-generated content will allow those without expertise to quickly generate seemingly accurate content and make it harder to distinguish from genuine analysis.

It’s easy to understand why research carried out and authored by market analysts is such a highly valued and trusted information source. The strength of analysts’ reputations is shown in the Financial Times chart below.

Figure 1: Most effective sources of market intelligence for strategic decision-making

Thousands of hours lost

Given how valuable analyst expertise is, the organisations they work for must ensure they are spending as much of their time as possible researching and curating cutting-edge market analysis.

We recently carried out research detailing how a typical analyst might divide their time over the course of a year without the help of a progressive publishing system.

We estimate that a typical business information firm spends around 1300 hours each year manually reformatting charts and tables. That’s roughly equivalent to 0.80 full-time analysts doing nothing but drawing up new data exhibits every time an update is issued.

Our modelling (pictured below) suggests manual reformatting on an annual basis costs around $120,000. When you move to quarterly updates, the cost grows to $478,000. Continual manual reformatting would cost in the region of $1.43m – that’s before you’ve even considered the cost of conducting the research. A research business that continues to make manual updates will see analysts becoming an increasingly expensive resource.

As consumers demand increasingly frequent updates, these costs will only keep rising.

Figure 2 - The time and financial cost of manual formatting

The power of publishing technology

So, what’s the answer to combatting this huge drain on your organisation’s time and money?

Publishing technology, such as Publish Interactive, automates repetitive tasks, streamlines workflows, and speeds up information retrieval. Reducing friction during content production enables analysts to reclaim time, strengthen customer relationships, and increase revenue generation.

Here are three ways publishing technology can help your analysts reclaim time in their day:

  1. Automated formatting


Digital publishing platforms remove inefficiencies in the authoring and production cycle and utilise more dynamic content formats. Typically, analysts build charts and graphs from scratch, manually inputting new data into the analyst’s data exhibit creation tool of choice.

However, automation is now transforming analysts’ day-to-day tasks. By liberating them from tasks such as changing text, updating tables, and redrawing charts and graphs, automation in the content production phase is enabling analysts to maximise the quality and depth of their research.

  1. Intelligent Search


As a content portfolio increases in size, search becomes increasingly important – and not just for end-users. Analysts can waste valuable time searching for previous research or articles published by certain authors. Dashboards and intuitive search built into publishing platforms make it easy to discover previous content by theme or author.

Furthermore, subscribers frequently ask account managers to help them find specific reports or information. But they’re not analysts, so they must refer these queries to experts. Intelligent search reduces the number of calls on an analyst’s time to answer customer queries.

  1. Data-led content planning


System data can also help publishers identify slow and fast-moving topics and reallocate analyst time accordingly. Our research reveals that 80% of the customer experience typically comes from 20% of a publisher’s content library, suggesting hot topics do not currently receive enough analyst time.

Figure 3: Maximise the value of your research through smarter updates

By leveraging the data integrated into Publish Interactive, analysts can focus their energies on creating content that delivers the highest value. The same breadth of coverage can be maintained, but a more proportionate allocation of an analyst’s time is allotted across the entire portfolio.

The impact of freeing analyst time

Your analysts are your intellectual heart, yet traditional publishing systems restrict rather than empower them.

Automation, powerful search, and usage tracking are transformative for analysts. By freeing them from frustrating searches for information, manually re-drawing data exhibits, and spending time and effort on content that is not valuable for the business, they are able to focus their efforts on creating high-value, high-quality analysis.

With this reclaimed time, information organisations can re-deploy some of this analyst time towards deepening engagement with subscribers. Stronger subscriber relationships mean analysts have more time to create more personalised content. They can also spot opportunities to sell higher-value or additional products, such as working on consulting projects or 1-to-1 sessions with subscribers.

Focusing resource on value-generating activities provides the framework to grow and scale your market analysis business.

Speak to one of our experts today.

For more ideas on how to scale your market analysis business with publishing technology, download ‘The Future Market Analyst’ here.

5 ways market analysis publishers can use subscriber usage data to guide content commissioning

Publishers of market research with a content strategy aligned to subscriber wants and needs will enjoy higher engagement levels and renewal rates. Here are 5 ways publishers can use subscriber insights to inform future content commissions.

The road ahead is ever-changing

The world today for consumers of information services is more changeable and complex than ever. Organisations must decipher complexity fast and are seeking context more than content.

To service this need, publishers must change their focus from delivering one-off static reports to providing continuous value through content.

Steve Budd, Co-Founder of Substribe, a leading B2B subscription consultancy, explained the factors driving this trend: “We speak to hundreds of b2b consumers of information services and it’s clear that their world is now more changeable and complex than ever… It is critical to understand what information and data customers need, how it’s changing, and what they do with it next.”

To provide this dynamic content service to customers, market analysis providers must understand the topics, trends, and content formats that deliver value to their subscribers.

Specialist content delivery platforms like Publish Interactive track subscriber activity and present the data in intuitive dashboards. Data points include downloads, shares, popular searches, and individual account usage. These metrics provide clear insight into the direction your content strategy should head.

An analytics dashboard tracking report access over time in the Publish Interactive platform.

Here are 5 ways you can use usage data to guide your content commissioning:

1. Discover what’s popular or in demand

Use report reads, downloads, and shares to determine the most popular reports. Based on this information, you may then decide to expand your library on this subject or improve or update existing content. Use clicks on reports outside of a user’s license to inform future content commissions or cross-selling.

2. Look for emerging trends

Look for changes in usage data over time. Increasing searches, reads, downloads, or shares on a particular subject area may indicate an emerging trend enabling you to expand your portfolio accordingly.

3. Fill your content gaps

In addition to popular content and emerging trends, it’s good practice to look for gaps in your portfolio. When you observe many related ‘No result’ searches, this indicates a content gap.

4. Understand valuable or desirable formats

Usage data may point to formats that are growing in popularity. For instance, we’ve recently noticed increased demand for interactive PowerPoint presentations and dynamic data visualisation. If you spot similar trends in your content library, focus future content strategy on these valued formats.

5. Find out what your subscribers do next with your content

Using analytics, you can embed your information services into end-user workflows. Look for clues in the data such as use of clippings, download frequency, and number of shares to understand the content most valuable to the completion of subscribers’ daily tasks.

Verify your hunches with customer interviews

Usage analytics are a good starting point, but won’t reveal the complete picture. Verify your hunches with subscriber interviews. When speaking with customers, you may discover surprising or unexpected insights that lead to future content commissions or even changes to your overall service.

Knowing what your subscribers are doing with content and how it feeds into their work tasks is imperative and should be at the heart of all editorial departments. With this understanding, you can ensure the content aligns with user interests and needs, increasing engagement and renewal rates.

Evergreen content: providing market analysis for the modern B2B information consumer

Publishers are regularly updating analysis reports to reflect unpredictable market changes and meet the expectations of B2B content and data consumers

While it may conjure up images of pine, cypress, or cedar trees displaying life in otherwise barren landscapes, the term ‘evergreen’, when applied to content, has been banded around digital marketing circles for years with little connection to its dendrological roots.

The evergreen descriptor conventionally refers to content that retains relevance over time, often by repurposing existing materials into new packages and formats. This model allows previously used topics and marketing messaging to drive continued product queries and maintain strong website SEO.

Recently, the term has emerged from the realm of marketing and immersed itself into the lexicon of business information and market analysis publishers to describe content that is continually updated to keep readers informed and engaged.

This trend has been driven by external and internal factors; externally, by ever-fluctuating market landscapes publishers must keep their subscribers updated on, and internally, by a change of mindset from publishers who are re-evaluating the role their content plays and the very nature of the service they provide.

A changing landscape

Unsurprisingly, the last 18 months have transformed the information industry, consumers of business information, and the markets that publishers document. Information and data that might have been relevant for days or even weeks in the past may only have a shelf life of a few hours as uncertainty, improvisation, and rapid innovation have been the predominant market characteristics in this unfamiliar period.

Some markets, such as the travel and airline industries, weren’t simply plagued by uncertainty but completely ground to a halt, making attempts to forecast airline passenger numbers, for instance, a near impossibility.

Continual Subscriber Engagement

Publishers now need to understand what information customers require, anticipate how this information might change, and foresee how their readers will use this data next. This mindset has been precipitated by the pandemic and feeds naturally into an evergreen content strategy.

Research and analysis products are still typically packaged and sold as individual, static reports, which are either bundled into a subscription package or by selling single copies on a transactional basis. PDFs, by their inherently undynamic nature lock data in the document, meaning new information is only released when the next edition of the report is published.

However, publishers are increasingly sensitive to rapidly changing market information and the entire user workflow from information consumption to what readers do with information next. The introduction of continually updated, evergreen content therefore becomes crucial for those publishers looking to provide consistently valuable, dynamic content to their subscribers and increase content engagement by embedding themselves into their subscriber workflows.

Steve Budd – Co-Founder of Substribe

Steve Budd, co-Founder of Substribe, a UK-based firm specialising in B2B subscription strategy discussed this process: ‘We speak to hundreds of b2b consumers of information services and it’s clear that their world is now more changeable and complex than ever…B2B customers need to decipher complexity fast and seek context more than content. It is critical to understand what information and data customers need, how it’s changing, and what they do with it next.’

Examples of evergreen content include real-time databases and dashboards as well as targeted analyst reporting. Already published reports can also be continually updated when new information and data is released. Content subsequently becomes an on-demand, reactive, ‘evergreen’ service, rather than a series of static, discreet reports, which become quickly outdated.

“B2B customers need to decipher complexity fast and seek context more than content. It is critical to understand what information and data customers need, how it’s changing, and what they do with it next”

Steve Budd

Co-Founder of Substribe

Substribe’s Steve Budd elaborated on this idea: “Information publishers can rethink their approach with an ‘as a service’ mindset to really impact their customer’s workflow and help them succeed. Research companies can play a vital role in helping their customers navigate a new path to success, and those that crack it will be rewarded with deeper and longer-term relationships”.

The concept of research being a service is a fundamental shift in thinking from the transactional mindset of the past and will allow the information industry to keep pace with the increasingly on-demand digital world we now live in and ensure continued subscriber engagement.

Evergreen Content Delivery

Developments in content delivery technology now enable B2B publishers to plan, produce and execute evergreen content strategies. Traditional content delivery methods, such as delivering PDFs to end-users over email, are not conducive to evergreen content creation.

Once reports are delivered this way, there is no going back. Updates cannot be made due to the PDF’s fixed nature, and instead, consumers must wait until the next edition of the report before receiving the information and data they need.

Publishers must adopt new technology, such as specialist content delivery platforms capable of supporting dynamic, multi-formatted content if they want to ensure engagement and produce the content B2B information consumers increasingly demand.

The future of market analysis lies in its ability to accurately represent the complex and changeable business world we now find ourselves in and an evergreen content strategy is a powerful approach to achieve this.

Benefits of adopting an ‘evergreen’ content strategy

1. Ensure engagement by arming your subscribers with the latest information and data
2. Accurately reflect rapidly changing environments by incorporating the latest market data
3. Keep pace with the increasingly on-demand digital and subscription industries
4. Position your research as a service not simply a content library
5. Use technology to deliver content in dynamic, editable formats

Market research reports: How short-form is increasingly overtaking long-form content

Why frequency of publication and short, more targeted content is changing publishers’ workflow

With the introduction of digital platforms there has been increased interest in content subscription services as more consumers find them to be convenient, as well as time- and money-saving, allowing the subscriber to buy access to the content they need, with ongoing access to future additions or revisions.

We predict this is a trend that is set to continue with the market continuing to move towards consumption on an ongoing basis rather than through outright purchases. This trend will require publishers of research to embrace another stage of the digital transformation: short-formism. But what is it and what does it mean for research, editorial and production workflow?

The move to short-form content

Short-form content is a type of content that is characterised by shorter reports that are published more frequently.

Wider access to digital information has now led consumers to make quicker decisions, increasing the requirement for ‘on-demand’ information. Publishers have capitalised on the speed at which they can deliver content in this digital format, with shorter and more regular reports being produced to feed this demand. This now means publishers can react quickly in response to events through more real-time content.

In contrast to longer content which involved curation of comprehensive reports by a large team of analysts, short-form content focuses more on singular answers to specific questions. This focused content may be produced by just one analyst, with the creation of multiple different short-form reports on the same topic drastically cutting time between content creation and delivery.

Multiple documents can be stored in a digital content repository to be used on demand to compare and contrast different analyses for different markets, or at different times when new information arises. This allows the subscriber to collect the information they need exactly when they need it, with content being continuously created and constantly evolving.

The goldfish effect

The digital era has radically shortened attention spans (sometimes termed the goldfish effect) and information providers need to adapt to this trend.

Improved search capability is a major factor for consumers and therefore short-form content is ideal and negates the need to trawl through a 500-page report to find the answer. It is specific content that is relevant to their niche or question, saving time collating multiple pieces of content from many articles.

Short-form content has also paved the way for the subscription of information feeds, offering consumers the ability to adjust forecasts and pivot their decisions when new information on market trends is released.

The digital era’s influence on analytics

Nowadays, digital documents provide deep analytical insights, enabling a publisher to understand who is consuming the content and how much is being consumed. This knowledge feeds more interesting content in future and proves the value of the content at the point of subscription renewal.

Read the whitepaper The evolution of B2B content and the era of short-formism

See how Publish Interactive’s feature Instant Insights can help publishers deliver time-sensitive content quickly to subscribers.

Analysts: The new Bowies of business?

Market analysis firms can boost profiles by championing their best hidden asset

Arguably, in terms of success, analysts are to research businesses what David Bowie is to music. This may raise a few eyebrows, but there are more parallels to be drawn than you might first think. Ziggy Stardust’s creator was heralded as a skilled visionary who influenced many through presenting a defining image that was enhanced by the intricate lines of his lyrics that were as random as they were complex. In a similar fashion (bear with me), analysts have the skill and expert insight to cut through billions of lines of data and deliver a clear vision of various business sectors. But unlike Bowie, they are the unsung heroes of their world.

And in the same way Bowie used instruments and collaborated with others to further leverage his genius to become a trailblazer, so the gurus of data knowledge must empower themselves further through boosting their business intelligence. We know that one way for a research business to reinforce the expertise of its analysts is through the use of smart publishing technology.

In the public eye

Through default rather than design, analysts tended to remain in the background. Historically, there has been reticence with market analysis firms to promote them as a key selling point. However, in this digital era openness and visibility is crucial – even for analysts. It’s not just about skillset or experience anymore; a company’s credentials now also depend on voice and personality through social media. Analysts no longer need hide their talents under a bushel – it’s time to celebrate these Trojans of number crunching and champion their public value.

In analysts we trust

Intuitive technology allows customers to discover more about individual analysts and enables quick access to the content they produce. As the old adage goes, people buy people. If a user gleans value in the work of an analyst, technology can be harnessed to empower the reader to find even more of their output.

“David Bowie, R.I.P.” by Ronald Douglas Frazier

Rock star reporting

In a recent report, the Financial Times* interviewed over 500 subscribed companies which were either responsible for, involved in, or knowledgeable about their organisation’s use of market
intelligence to support strategic decision-making. The results showed that 51% thought industry analysts were the most effective sources, the highest percentage in fact – second were media outlets at just 33%.

Liam Rogers, Associate Research Analyst at 451 Research, a global research and advisory firm explains the possible reasons behind this: “Truthfully, sometimes analysts are like rock stars – they’re this figure that knows a certain sector really well and people know that they do. They’re a trusted source of informed information. A big part of the job as an analyst is building trust and maintaining relationships and so I think the way we have to do that is changing.”


Most effective sources of market intelligence for strategic decision making

Source:  Financial Times, The edge of intelligence report (2020)

Unleash your assets

A smart publishing system should give analysts the means to brand themselves as the saviours of their subject matter, and, through a series of relatively small measures, we’ve given our customers the capabilities to make their analysts the pillar of their digital marketing pursuits.

For us it’s really a no-brainer – both in arriving at this truth and also for firms to implement. When a research provider marries up with the right kind of publishing technology, it can unleash not just analysts’ potential but also that of the firm’s, with the opportunity to create a lasting impact with audiences for years to come.

*Source: Financial Times: The edge of intelligence report

Find out how the Publish Interactive system can raise the profile of your analysts and built trust with your subscribers by speaking with an expert


  • Analyst Workflow
  • Editorial
  • Management

How a technology market analyst firm revolutionised its publishing workflow by ditching the PDF

Delivering high-value content via their online publishing platform improved their editorial workflow efficiencies and pleased customers.

An independent analyst firm for workplace communications technology market was struggling with an outdated editorial workflow system. The research business which covers markets for technologies such as enterprise video, meeting room collaboration and audio-conferencing had a labour-intensive and dated process for its analysts to create and produce reports and briefs.

The firm, which produces around 100 market reports and up to 20 industry briefings each year, made content available to its subscribers through a custom-built publishing system heavily reliant on PDF.

The management realised that for the system to continue to meet the needs of its users, it would have required a significant investment and an increasing level of technical expertise and support.

The firm decided to seek out an alternative solution that could enhance its production process and the way subscribers accessed and interacted with its research content.

Partnering with Content Catalyst and adopting its leading publishing platform Publish Interactive enabled the research firm to bring efficiencies to its editorial workflow and also deliver content to subscribers in a more interactive manner.

Bringing efficiency to report production

Prior to implementing Publish Interactive the analyst firm published all its material in PDF format. Not only did publishing in PDF make research production unnecessarily longwinded, but it also limited the ability of subscribers to re-use the information they had paid for.

“The process was very analyst intensive,” said the firm’s senior analyst. “We do the research, put it into Word, which was semi-templated, but required extensive formatting. We’d then convert this to PDF and upload that document for publication. We knew our publishing process was arcane, as individual analysts were involved in lots of surplus activity. “Adopting Publish Interactive to power our new publishing portal has completely transformed the way we produce content,” he added.

The firm’s analysts now save considerable amounts of time by either authoring reports directly in-platform or uploading fully templated Word documents. Uploading is simple, requiring just a couple of clicks to automatically create interactive content that is ready for editorial review and publication.

“Every single attribute of the Publish Interactive experience is an improvement on what we were previously doing.”

Senior Analyst at a leading research and advisory firm

Delivering a better user experience

Finding a solution that delivers content in a user-friendly ways online and to mobile devices had also become a significant requirement. The old solution only supplied reports as downloadable PDFs and was not responsive to the device on which it was accessed.

“Initially, we viewed the value of our research being just the insights in our documents, but we now realise the value is both the content and how it’s distributed,” said their senior analyst.

Now, all research is made available as interactive content, making it quick and easy for subscribers to locate research that answers their questions.

With Publish Interactive powering the publishing system, users can also make use of smart workflow tools to save and share everything from a vital snippet of information to a whole chapter or report. They can then easily download and re-use information or compile their own bespoke reports in just a handful of clicks.

The response from subscribers ranges from them telling us it’s a welcome update to glowing praise,” remarked the senior analyst.

Edwin Bailey, Director of Marketing at Content Catalyst said; “Because Publish Interactive is a SaaS solution, this leading analyst firm now benefits from a great content management and publishing platform that is in continual development, regularly updated and fully supported by our experienced team.”

The firm’s Senior Analyst added; “Every single attribute of the Publish Interactive experience is an improvement on what we were previously doing.”

The company profiled in this story has been anonymised. 

The changing role of the analyst: the move away from manual reformatting

It used to be the case that research reports had to be updated by hand. Armed with new data, the analysts would have to manually reformat all their charts and graphs and the report would be reissued.

Even if the charts and graphs being used in the updated report were the same format as the previous year, with the only change being the data that is about to be visually represented, each chart or graph would have to be rebuilt from scratch.

According to our own modelling, a typical business information firm could spend around 1,300 hours manually reformatting just its charts and tables – that’s equivalent to 0.8 full time analysts doing nothing but drawing up new charts every time an update is issued.

This single, updating process was long, arduous, and as a result would happen infrequently; and if mistakes were also discovered the process of re-authoring, approvals, and republishing would become even longer, more inefficient and, frankly, a good deal more tedious.

Thankfully, all of that can now be a thing of the past. Publishing technology has evolved to the point where updates can be automated and edits made to live documents in seconds, liberating the analyst from drudgery and an inefficient use of their valuable time.

New technology, changing costs

In fact, now that the capability exists to publish and update on a continual basis – rather than annually, or every 18-months – market forces will quite quickly encourage all research and analysis firms to move to a system of automated updating – doing otherwise will just prove to be uneconomic.

Our modelling suggests that manual reformatting on an annual basis costs around $120,000. When you move to quarterly, the cost grows to $480,000 – that’s before you’ve even considered the cost of the research itself.

A research business that continues to manually update while rivals automate updates and publish continually is likely, over quite a short time, to see its rival become more efficient.

So, what are the benefits of automated reformatting and updates?

  • Research refreshed more often – maximising the value of its data and insights
  • Customers return regularly to check new content
  • Enables use of a service model, rather than single-sales
  • Encourages greater economies and efficiencies for the research publisher

Reconfiguring the analyst

Of course, there’s a final bullet point missing from the list above. The most significant benefit to any research business is that automated updates can liberate its analysts’ time. Rather than changing text, updating tables, and redrawing charts and graphs, technology allows them to concentrate on maximising the quality and depth of their research

Automated updates and continual production may at first seem like technical efficiencies, but what they really do is give research businesses back their analysts’ time and expertise.

The Future Market Analyst

Six ways publishing technology equips analyst teams for future success