American Express. Netflix. Amazon. Starbucks. Google. All of these are highly successful companies winning in their space with killer data strategies.

The great divide

However, per a recent Deloitte Consulting study, only 9 percent of news and media companies lead in data maturity — the extent to which companies run and grow their business successfully with data. In May, the Google News Initiative partnered with Deloitte Consulting and Local Media Association to launch the GNI Data Lab, to enable news organizations to transform their businesses through responsible data use. Today, we report out.

First step: a selfie

Six publishers participating in the Lab underwent a 12-week program to understand their underlying data capabilities and how to improve them. (And now, every company can self-assess their data maturity with Deloitte’s new assessment tool.)  The Lab also dove deep on driving digital ad revenue by smartly using data.

You are my rock

Culture, skills and abilities, technology and data are the pillars of a rock-solid data foundation. Every company needs strength in each to attain the highest level of strategic data-use success. Media companies tend to have good data strategies, but struggle to operationalize data. The Data Lab participants have some notable pockets of success, though, with strong future plans backed by their newly-gained insight. We highlight those in our new report.

Revenue and profit, together in sweet harmony 

The Data Lab report provides key benchmark results and ideas for digital ad revenue, sales force effectiveness and ad pricing. Executed well, data-driven display advertising strategy and operations have the potential to improve revenue by 20 percent or more. Even more importantly, better data execution delivers high profit margins on that revenue.

To download the full report, fill out this form or click here.