SAP and Reuters are to come together to power data journalism and deliver new tools to Reuters staff. The first target for the data journalism will be the US Presidential Election where the two companies will be using SAP to get greater insight into what electors are thinking and the likely result of the upcoming election. It will be interesting to see how much this partnership improves accuracy compared with the data journalism around the last UK election.
The deal will see SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud service, SAP Mobile Platform and SAP Lumira deployed across three new services inside Reuters. While the initial target is the US Presidential race it will be hoped that the service can be quickly expanded to cover other complex stories as they break.
According to the press release there are three key areas in which SAP is deploying Reuters tools:
- Reuters Polling Explorer: With more than 100 million survey responses needing to be analysed in real-time, SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud will be used to capture, analyse and provide results for journalists to use in their stories. Reuters is also keen to use the predictive analytic capabilities of SAP HANA to show up to the minute shifts in voting as other news stories impact the election.
- Reuters White House Run election simulation mobile app: Consumers will be able to see the analysis from the Polling Explorer on their mobile devices using a new app called White House Run. This is more than just a tool to deliver data as it will allow users to compare results on different issues and how they could affect voting with friends. There will also be real-time in-app election news coverage and other features.
- Data visualization and exploration: All Reuters editorial teams will have access to SAP Lumira to enable journalists to quickly visualise polling results for their stories.
According to Daniel Mandell, chief revenue officer of Reuters Media: “The U.S. presidential election is one of the most important events this year, and data plays a key role in understanding it…Partnering with SAP has allowed us to build a technological platform that enables our editorial team to quickly and efficiently sort through a mountain of data. This technology will let us deliver to readers the independently produced, unbiased news and information that they expect from Reuters.”
There is a war going on between news providers to be the first to get the US Presidential election result. The amount of technology being deployed by new organisations in order to get the result right is truly impressive. The failure of news organisations and polling groups to get it right in the recent UK General Election will weigh on the minds of those buying in the technology and they will want to make sure that they don’t end up using too little data.
The only surprise with Reuters opting for a cloud-based analytics solution is that it has taken this long for them to make their decision. They will now be working very hard to plug in the data from the primaries that have already taken place in order to resolve any data anomalies before the data set gets too big to correct.