Published 2014-10-20

Data and data analytics provide better services

Schibsted wants to simplify people’s everyday life, and improving the way we analyze large data sets will enable us to offer new and even smarter services that are relevant for our users. 

Schibsted Media Group is an international media group with operations in 29 countries. This international presence requires us to respond to and to understand a diversity of customers and companies. Based on this diversity, the solutions we deliver make the everyday life of millions of people a little simpler, a little better. We constantly aspire to be innovative and to deliver new, even smarter services that will meet the needs of people all around the world, today and tomorrow.

“For us and for many other large online operators, this is about putting our users in the driver’s seat. We want to improve on how we do the tasks our users have charged us with, which in Schibsted’s case is often about making it simpler for users to find interesting and relevant information, whether it be newspaper articles, a dream house on or Blocket, or the best deals on Prisjakt,” says Lars Vinden, Data Protection Officer in Schibsted.

“We want to give our users a unique and personalized experience of our services. By knowing more about who you are and how you use our services, we can develop solutions that will suit your needs and wants. For example, we want you to be able to find more recommendations of news stories that interest you, to receive notifications from when an item you’re looking for is posted there, or to receive extra good deals from local advertisers who would otherwise not be able to afford to run nationwide campaigns. In a time that is characterized by massive volumes of information, we believe that users appreciate more relevant and adapted content and less noise,” says Vinden.

At Schibsted we know that the users of our services are all unique individuals with different needs and wants, and we are convinced that our services will improve if we manage to adapt to individual users rather than expect our users to adapt to us. To accomplish this, we need access to information on individual users and on how they use our services. And we’re not the only ones: wherever we look, we see a growing number of personalized online services; services where your identity, your activity, your interests and your networks provide the basis for the products offered. This applies not only to large actors like Google, Facebook and LinkedIn, but also to small startups offering products such as workout apps that register your activity level and that can offer personalized advice on exercise and diet. Whereas before it was sufficient simply to reach the mass market with a product, the focus has now shifted to reach individual users. The best services are those that are best adapted to your specific needs here and now.

In practice, this user orientation means that we:

  • Show relevant classified ads based on your previous searches on the front page of FINN’s mobile services. FINN knows that users often perform the same searches time after time, when, for example, looking for a new home, and the so-called ‘FINN stream’ provides you with easy access to ads that are relevant for you.
  • Can try to retrieve more relevant and engaging content or give users extra good deals on extended subscriptions if we see signs of decreasing reader activity.
  • Allow users to influence their news stream in Omni based on personal preferences so that they are presented with more relevant news stories.

As already mentioned, Schibsted’s goal for its digital transformation is to put the user in the driver’s seat. This means not only letting our users take part in our digital development by offering innovative, user-friendly and personalized products, but also protecting our users’ personal data. Our entire business is namely highly dependent on trust. Our users must trust our journalistic products, and they must feel confident that the marketplaces we operate are effective and secure. Compromising our users’ trust in not an option for us.

“Our work on data protection begins with openness and transparency. We therefore provide detailed information on how we collect and use data in our privacy policy statement. Only last year, was commended by the Norwegian Data Protection Authority for the wording in its privacy policy statement. Furthermore, our users have freedom of choice; they may deactivate the tools we use to collect information that is not required in order to provide our basic services. Another factor that sets us apart from companies like Google and Facebook is the fact that we are fully subject to Norwegian and European data protection legislation, which is regarded to be among the most stringent in the world. This legislation sets specific requirements for everything from purpose for processing and storage times to sound data security and internal controls, and it helps ensure that all of Schibsted’s users have sound privacy protection,” says Vinden.

Schibsted has published a report covering internet trends that affect both our company and our users. Find out more here:

Schibsted Future Report

Advanced Data Analytics

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