In the era of big data, sites that clean up and format some of that data have a distinct competitive edge — and a chance for impressive revenues.
Just take a look at this week’s Case Study on Equilar Insight at Subscription Site Insider. Equilar Insight is able to provide benchmarking data for executive compensation for large corporations mainly by cleaning up, coding and formatting information published by the SEC and in other freely available financial statements. But by creating easy-to-read Excel documents and targeting decision-makers in large corporations, the site can easily convince large corporations making multimillion dollar decisions regarding executive pay to fork over annual subscription prices in the tens of thousands (the starting price for five users is $11,995!).
What Equilar has done right (that sadly, many legacy publications often get wrong), is to invest in the nuts and bolts of digital production. The site uses very few third-party software programs, choosing instead to employ 25 Web coders and 25 researchers to create and code the reports. That’s 50% of full-time staff, and an equal division between content creation and content production.
Somehow, in our transition to online content, we excised the production department. Whether its one in-house coder or a whole team, I would strongly recommend every site have someone dedicated to the front-end production of content. This isn’t just about design — it’s about consistency and convenience to your users, the two selling points that makes Equilar’s freely-obtained data worth $12,000 (or more) a year.
To learn more about Equilar Insight’s unique model, including why the site has decided to forgo single-user plans and credit card transactions (all subscribers receive invoices), read the full Case Study on Subscription Site Insider.