Monday, May 7, 2007

Rich, But Rich for Whom?: Standard and Poor's Exposes Capital IQ Content via BusinessWeek

The McGraw-Hill family of publications is no stranger to mixing enterprise and media content, having developed many successful mergings for aviation and construction but with relatively limited media play for enterprise content from its Standard and Poor's division. That's changing now with the announcement of the new Company Insight Center being launched under McGraw-Hill's BusinessWeek brand. The Company Insight Center provides corporate data, news, financials, charts transactions, executive salaries and other key data from the Standard and Poor's Capital IQ database for public companies. A profile on the new BW service compares favorably with a similar one from popular services like Yahoo! Finance, with more details on analysis of executives and less emphasis on real-time information. It's a good tool that's been well integrated into the BW portal, with lots of thought given to usability and information design.

But is it enough to ease the slow slide of BW as a destination for business information seekers? Rich data is touted as a solution to add depth and "stickiness" to business media sites, but unlike other market sectors such as aviation and construction rich financial content has been available from a wide variety of sources online for more than a decade. BusinessWeek provides excellent content, thoughtful in-depth analysis and a widening set of weblogs and podcasts, so the enhanced rich data from Capital IQ will certainly be an effective complement to their core content. However, the style of BW online is still somewhat reflective compared to sites such as Forbes that have positioned their content to appeal to a younger, blog-centric audience more aggressively than BW. It's not necessarily that BW misses beats so much as they sometimes miss the pulse of what makes today's real-time oriented online users tick. So although rich data can be a welcome addition to a business information Web site it's important to make sure that it's data that will help to expand an audience as much as maintain relationships with existing loyal site visitors. Build up your rich data assets, to be sure, but make sure that you understand how they're going to add depth and breadth to your audience for advertisers as well.
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