WAN-IFRA launches Data Science Expert Group

WAN-IFRA, together with sixteen European news organisations, has launched the Data Science Expert Group, a network of news media professionals working in data science, data analytics and data engineering.

WAN-IFRA launches Data Science Expert Group
Photograph: Rene Böhmer on Unsplash.

Its goal is to arm practitioners with powerful journalism analytics built around newsroom priorities to grow audiences, deepen engagement and drive subscriptions.

Without robust audience research, questions about who the audience is and what it needs tend to be answered on hierarchy or power within the organisation, or based on assumptions. That, says WAN-IFRA, is not good enough in news organisations that are increasingly dependent on audience revenue and audience engagement to thrive and fulfil their mission.

News publishers and newsrooms need better ways to understand what their audiences value, what engages them and what will make them paying customers. But for all too often, navigating data science and data analytics can be a frustrating journey for both journalists and business developers in need of more actionable tools and smart analytics that go beyond the flood of data and traditional metrics. Increasingly, they ask their data teams to deliver insights and provide them with solutions that boost their decision-making, using machine learning and natural language processing tools to identify and push relevant content to their target audiences, says WAN-IFRA.

By sharing use-case studies, ideas, resources, and connections, the Data Science Expert Group intends to create real change within the industry. Its goal is to accelerate disseminating good practices used in news organisations and how these might apply to their data science teams. The scope of the Group will be on four expert domains: data analytics, data science, data engineering, coordination and project management.

Its goal is to accelerate disseminating good practices used in news organisations and how these might apply to their data science teams.


Members will meet bi-monthly for sessions exploring operational challenges centred around practical use cases. Among others, topics will include communicating data in the newsroom, dash-boarding & data visualisation, data team structure, KPI tools for the newsroom and editors, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing models for recommendation and targeted news, churn models and related algorithms, predictive analytics & KPIs, customer satisfaction metrics, data warehouse.

Members who join the Expert Group are invited to a dedicated online forum to build a community that endures beyond the Group’s regular meetings, share resources, and ignite collaborations and discussions between members.

The first online meeting and roundtable discussion is scheduled for June 17 and will focus on dynamic paywall delivery and testing paywall based on propensity to build prediction segments.

How to join the Data Science Expert Group

The Group is open to data practitioners working for a WAN-IFRA member news organisation. News media professionals willing to share experiences with industry peers to grow common knowledge can join the Data Science Expert Group after filling in the inquiry form available here.

About the Data Science Expert Group

The Data Science Expert Group is a professional community founded by WAN-IFRA, the World Association of News publishers, in partnership with data practitioners from sixteen European news publishing houses. They will join a Steering Committee to support in guiding the planning of the programme and meetings of the initiative, and ensure that the group benefits all members. Founding members of the Expert Group include data experts from Amedia (Norway), Die Presse (Austria), DMGT (UK), Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany) Gazeta Wyborcza (Poland), GEDI Gruppo Editoriale (Italy), Groupe Figaro (France), Groupe Multimedia IPM S.A. (Belgium), Handelsblatt Media Group (Germany), Le Télégramme (France), Mediahuis (Belgium, Netherlands, Ireland), Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Switzerland), PRISA Noticias (Spain), Ringier (Switzerland), Schibsted, and The Irish Times.

Keep up-to-date with publishing news: sign up here for InPubWeekly, our free weekly e-newsletter.