Web analytics, what’s the harm?

Cherubini and Nielsen (2016) explain that Web analytics can be used to analyse consumer behavior since it gives news media opportunities to get an idea of consumer engagement. Engagement can refer to page views, likes, shares and time spent on a specific article. Certain information gathered through Web analytics can have an influence on the news-room. If one can measure what works, why not use in your own advantage?

It’s debatable according to Edson and Thomas (2015). They pose their concerns about the use of Web analytics. If analytics are used will this bring the public together or will this segregate them more?

However, Web analytics are an interesting topic for (technological) entrepreneurs. They’re aware of the growing influence analytics can have on news rooms. Since data itself is useless, it’s about the interpretation.

Fahran Mustafa is the CEO of Grafiti which can be “the Instagram of Web analytics”. In this article he explains his app Grafiti, which enables users to implement data into storytelling. Also, the app makes it easier for consumers to look into data themselves on their smartphones. News media such as The Economist and Thomson Reuters are already enthusiastic. Why? Because data is the future.

By Anne Myrthe Korvinus


Cherubini, Federica, and Rasmus Kleis Nielsen. Editorial Analytics: How News Media Are Developing and Using Audience Data and Metrics. Oxford, UK: Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, 2016.

Tandoc, Edson C., and Ryan J. Thomas. “The Ethics of Web Analytics.” Digital Journalism 3.2 (2015): 243–258. Taylor and Francis+NEJM

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