Smart Data Makes Smarter Editors: Parse.ly Launches Dash to the World

Parse.ly has released its first product for general availability: an analytics service called Dash designed specifically for publishers. Throughout 2010 and early 2011, we’ve discussed the struggle of traditional publications to adapt to their new audience by strengthening their digital presence extensively, and in 2012 Prase.ly has taken that to a whole new level. This is partially thanks to the fact the startup had simplicity in mind when developing the product in addition to everything else – a big trend in today’s BI world.

Publishers can choose between three different subscriptions, the lowest starting at $499/month. They then embed a JavaScript tag on the footer of their sites and the service starts skimming through data.

Dash works by indexing past and current posts and cross-referencing them with all the data it can come with, such the topics discussed, the name of the author, and social media reactions. Publishers can then leverage the tool to identify talked-about developments and publish their articles accordingly, or easily hunt down noteworthy previous coverage to reference.

Search is a key function for Dash, helping you drill down into the data behind your publication as well as the web at large.  Data is updated in near real-time, and even has a tab for current updates for your pub.  You can see how stories are building across publications, how authors are interacting on various social networking outlets, and where your traffic’s coming from.  The idea here is to offer a true vision of an article’s life cycle, enabling editors to better understand their publication’s content in the past and present, as well as to plan for the near future (something every good BI tool will do).

 “Writers and editors with hard-earned experience and great instincts are absolutely critical to the success of any publisher, but for far too long publishers have been left in the dark, lacking the proper tools that cater to their specific needs.” said Sachin Kamdar, CEO and co-founder of Parse.ly. “We specifically built Dash to help online publishers answer the tough strategic decisions they make daily. The launch of Dash marks a huge milestone for Parse.ly and hopefully the publisher tool ecosystem at large.”

Parse.ly’s been testing behind the curtain for a couple of years now, tackling some of the biggest issues web publications face today, and doing so in an era where data convergence is still working itself out across a number of industries.  Kamdar and his team began this project when the concept of real-time was just beginning to find its footing as a practical tool, and applying it to the publishing industry is a poignant cause for this startup.

“[The real time trend has] shaped Dash dramatically,” Kamdar says.  “Though we were beginning when real time was just getting hot, it wasn’t too overbearing for our goals.  For us, it’s really been about three things that publishers identified they wanted to do–monitoring, planning…and promotions.

“Editors and content creators themselves are turning into content marketers.  They have to be good in the social sphere at identifying content pushed to the right network.  We identify individual Twitter users resonating with a specific post, authors sharing behavior, APIs to tell you how many page views and share’s you’ve gotten on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn…you’re really getting to the effectiveness here.”

As BI trends find more niches to fill, data is the binding substance that makes it all work.  Startups and emerging companies are finding increasingly innovative uses – and sources – for big data. Last week Code 42 claimed a good portion of Accel’s $100 million big data fund for its popular cloud backup tool, which will soon be integrated with analytics functionality for the enterprise.

Contributors: Maria Deutscher

About Kristen Nicole

Named by Forbes as a top influencer in Big Data, Kristen Nicole is currently a Senior Editor at SiliconANGLE.com. She got her start with 606tech, a Chicago blog she dedicated to the social media space, going on to become the lead writer and Field Editor at Mashable. Kristen Nicole has also contributed to other publications, from TIME Techland to Forbes. Her work has been syndicated across a number of media outlets, including The New York Times, and MSNBC. Kristen Nicole published her first book, The Twitter Survival Guide, and is currently completing her second book on predictive analytics. Follow my work (and some sprinklings of personal interests) on Google+