Digital Transformation

How Dow Jones is helping companies mine cloud data for business transformation

Dow Jones' DNA platform allows third parties to integrate its news and data into their own products. Here's how the company made the move toward digitally transforming its B2B business.

With a history in print publications, Dow Jones began undergoing digital transformation efforts long before many other companies: The Wall Street Journal Online first launched in 1996, for example. Now, the company is further expanding its digital journey, offering access to its archive of 1.3 billion articles to other companies, who can use data analytics and machine learning to integrate that information into their workflows.

"We're at a pivotal moment now where print is still very important to us, and we're trying to supercharge not only our digital projects but also how we curate and look at those digital products as a part of, if not in advance of, print," said chief product and technology officer Ramin Beheshti.

For example, the mobile Wall Street Journal app is currently a major focus for the company, adding more in-depth features and functionalities to the product to make it easier for those on the editorial side to curate its content, and for customers to access that content.

SEE: The Big Data Bundle (TechRepublic Academy)

While Dow Jones has offered digital products including Factiva's global news database for some time, it is now looking to make that data more accessible on the B2B side. In April, the company launched its Data, News and Analytics (DNA) beta, a platform that allows third-party businesses to access and integrate Dow Jones news and data into their own solutions—opening up its archive up to customers, partners, and developers for the first time in its 130-year history.

"It's a transformation for us—not just selling products, but also on the B2B point, it's a platform that our customers can build on," Beheshti said.

Beheshti said Dow Jones envisions several different use cases for the platform across a variety of industries, with early adopters powering solutions in management consulting, healthcare, manufacturing, supply chain risk, and logistics tracking.

Using cloud computing and a web services interface, DNA can provide data access in three ways:

  • DNA Snapshots, which allow for extractions of terabytes of archived Factiva data at a time, for users that need to mine large amounts of content.
  • DNA Streams, which provide streaming of Factiva content and data for users that want to act on information in real-time.
  • DNA APIs, which provide functions to search and work with the data. The APIs provide access to news content, as well as information from millions of public and private companies.

Beta partners include IBM, RavenPack, Alexandria Investment Research & Technology, Equals3 and Linguamatics. For example, IBM is using the platform for the IBM Cloud for Financial Services, giving customers the ability to use Watson's AI and cognitive technologies to integrate news content and data into workflows.

Big data is finally moving beyond corporate jargon, Beheshti said. "When it was a buzzword, people were building big data platforms and not knowing what to do with it," Beheshti said. "Now industries are looking more at what they wants to derive, and how they get data to do that."

Developers are able to access the data from their own on-premise and cloud environments. The platform will likely be available to the public in the coming months, Beheshti said.

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Image: iStockphoto/monsitj

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About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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