FASTforward: New Patterns for Interacting with Information

Clare Hart, EVP of Dow Jones‘ Enterprise Media Group spoke about rising expectations and new patterns for interacting with information. She started with the four macro trends that are impacting business and consumers today:

  • Globalization
  • Distributed workforce
  • Follow the sun business cycle
  • Information overload

Information is being exchanged around the world instantaneously, and this constantly flowing river of information is changing how companies react to events and fundamentally how they do business. Information overload — actually relevancy overload — makes it difficult to find the right information unless there are tools such as sophisticated taxonomies and tagging applied to properly filter the information. In my view, lack of relevancy is the most common reason that people ignore information that is available to them: some people don’t Google for information because they have a difficult time separating the wheat from the chaff.

A couple of years ago, Dow Jones acquired Factiva, which provides search and filtering of external news information to provide customized feeds to their customers; she stepped us through how their Factiva service presents this information in order to provide the most relevant information from traditional news sources as well as blogs and other non-traditional news sources.

She had an interesting cause-and-effect slide on how an event occurs, that triggers news, commentary and analysis that feeds into a discussion on that event and its analysis. For example, an investment banker interested in a specific industry would be presented with a screen of information in the event of a significant loss of a company in that industry: the original news story, internal and external research, market reactions and other related information that makes up the bigger picture driving potential investment in that industry. From this, he can drill through to more detailed contextual information on the specific company and its competitors, as well as general market information. For a different role, such as a wealth manager managing a client portfolio, the same information about a company’s losses has different meaning, hence is presented in a different way: exposure to that company within a client’s portfolio as well as specific client information and even news articles related to the client’s investment strategy and personal interests.

As she points out, this is search without the search box: the search is executed behind the scenes and the results pushed through to the recipient based on his known role and interests. The investment banker is looking to improve his investment-related reactions to the event; the wealth manager is looking to improve the relationship with his client.

She finished up with the benefits of search without the search box:

  • Anticipatory discovery
  • Contextual linking
  • 360 degree view
  • understand business from multiple angles
  • Drive confidence
  • Ability to act

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