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Mar 2, 2017

Data-informed, Not Data-Driven

How one online media company uses Slemma dashboards to drive their content strategy and distribute reports to their team.

Malte Blumberg, Head of Technology & Design at funk Germany, sat down (over Skype) with Jackie Aubel to discuss how funk - part of media goliath ARD and ZDF - uses Slemma dashboards to distribute content metrics across multiple teams and creators within the organization.

Slemma Content Strategy

About funk

Online media company ‘funk’ is one part of publicly owned German companies, ARD and ZDF. Similar to NPR and BBC, ARD and ZDF are both financed through government funds and broadcast contribution. Therefore, all content hosted on funk and it’s parent networks are presented without advertising or product placement, making all of funk-sponsored creators independent of political or business interests. 

ARD and ZDF began in the early 50s during which time, they hosted content through traditional channels such as TV and radio. Nowadays, funk - as a new player of ARD and ZDF - spends most of their time on their internet. 

funk’s online network consistently churns out relevant and interesting video content that targets 15 million Germans between ages 14 to 29, otherwise known as everyone’s favorite generation; millennials. The platform hosts over 50 creators and original shows all individually produced and published directed to social media. funk-produced content is targeted to individuals based on parameters such as age group, the type of device they’re using, time of day, and even, a viewer’s mood. 

Using Slemma dashboards to display data

While funk has both an app and a website, they’re most active on Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram. This resulted in the company needing a powerful BI tool that could monitor a ton of content across multiple platforms.

Upon first examining the business intelligence space, funk had difficulty pinpointing an adequate solution to satisfy their needs. To monitor content, the company uses a large, single point-of-truth data warehouse with several web crawlers that scan the internet to get content performance data from the many social platforms they publish to. While their web crawlers do an excellent job of data reporting, funk needed to find an additional solution that could make their metrics accessible and easy-to-understand for everyone within the organization.

It wasn’t until Pandata, a start-up company from Berlin that consulted funk and helped build their platform, referred funk to Slemma that they found a solution that met their needs. Malte and the funk team were impressed upon first trying Slemma when they threw in a bunch of clunky SQL queries into the platform, and got beautiful, clean and understandable reports in return. 

Today, Malte Blumberg and the funk team use Slemma to display their data to both team members and creators on their network. ‘Funk’ uses Slemma dashboards in 3 different ways:
  1. Data Monitoring: How is our live content performing right now?
  2. Data Reporting: How well did our content perform? Views, clicks, comments, etc...
  3. Data Forecasting: Based on previous reports, what content should we create in the future? What type of content has had success in the past?
To answer any of these 3 questions, all anyone at the funk office has to do is take a look at the literal ‘data wall’ in in their office space, built off of Slemma TV.

funk Data Wall

These 12 monitors showcase all of the data anyone at the funk company would need to reference before making internal decisions. This data wall ensures that everyone within the company is referring to one irrefutable, single form of truth.

How the funk team uses Slemma dashboards

The funk Network is made up of 10 different editorial departments all over Germany each of which produce content and formats. A central unit is responsible for the strategy, communications, technology and design. It’s their job to provide the most comprehensive data reporting for their creators to be successful; without Slemma, the entire organization wouldn’t have access to this data.

Malte runs a team of 12 people who operate out of the funk office in Mainz - right outside of Frankfurt. Everyone on his team has the ability to create front-end reports for users and creators, however, each team member has their own speciality. While one person takes care of software and API crawlers, another person is in charge of the raw SQL data. Malte’s team also includes an app and website developer, some backend guys and finally, a design team. The one thing that unites them is that they all work off of the same data.

While Malte and the rest of the funk team do reference data for most of their decisions, they prefer to identify themselves as ‘data informed’ opposed to ‘data driven’. If the data indicates that a particular piece of content may not perform well, the team may still move ahead with production as long as someone within the organization is passionate about it. Instead of using data to restrict the type of content they create, the funk team uses data to report on how the new, experimental content performed, deciding if they should move forward with similar content.

Using Slemma for Content Strategy

Undoubtedly, funk’s use and physical implementation of Slemma dashboards is both unique and inspiring. However, you don’t need a 4x4 wall of monitors to create a data-driven content strategy (although it is a nice feature).  

With Slemma’s newest integrations to both Facebook, Facebook Ads, Twitter and Instagram, anyone can begin to measure the effectiveness and reach of their social media posts. Click here to login to Slemma and begin your free, 14-day small business trial.

Jackie and the rest of the Slemma team would like to thank Malte Blumberg for taking the time to speak with us about funk and how they use Slemma dashboards. To learn more about funk, check out their website here.

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