Digital First Media

Digital First Media

Business Need

Digital First Media, headquartered in New York City, manages print and digital newspapers across the US.  It serves 14 different regions that ranges from New York, to Utah, to Texas, to California.  Its roster of newspapers reaches over 65 million readers, and has more than 800 multi-platform products to reach its customer via web, mobile, SMS and social media.

As a result of the three divisions (MediaNews Group, Digital First Ventures, and 21st Century Media) managing the newspapers, the various regions being served, and the channels that customers are able to consume content, data on consumers are very silo’ed.  This presents a challenge to the senior management when trying to get an accurate overall picture of the organization’s performance.  Furthermore, without being able to easily share data across divisions, they are understanding each consumer as well as they would have liked.


Technology Solution

To address these two concerns, Digital First Media brought in Zettalytics to assist with consolidating the data from various data sources.  The subscriber data that existed in the current database had many email address, postal address, and duplicate record issues.  Zettalytics was able to deploy a number of data hygiene tools to help Digital First Media clean up its subscriber database.

Zettalytics also worked with Digital First Media’s existing email service provider to ingest the email list and campaign data, as well as Omniture data related to page visits and viewing path.  By doing so, Digital First Media was able to get a better understanding of the topics that subscribers as a group are interested in, and potentially drill down to zero in on what each subscriber like or dislike.  The insights gained from looking at the data as a whole allows content producers and publishers to offer the most relevant content to its subscribers.

With close to 230 newspapers in circulation, each has a set of social media accounts with Facebook and Twitter to interact with subscribers as well.  Zettalytics was able to work with Digital First Media to set up an app for each of these social media channels, including going through the authentication process.

Using GoodData, this consolidated data is presented in a dashboard format to the business users.  The dashboard provides the business users with the critical data he/she needs to make the best possible business decision.

Technology Stack:

  • MySQL for Data Staging
  • GoodData for Data Warehousing
  • CloverETL for Data Extract, Transform and Load
  • GoodData API for Data Visualization



Consolidating data in a central location allows Digital First Media to take a look at its data from a holistic view for the first time.  The dashboard allows business users to look at trend data from a summary perspective, then drill down to individual regions, media channel, or subscriber for deeper analysis.  The data is now actionable, instead of just FYI.