Presented By O'Reilly and Cloudera
Make Data Work
Feb 17–20, 2015 • San Jose, CA

Robot Reporters: How The Associated Press Embraced Data Automation

Adam Smith (Automated Insights)
1:50pm–2:10pm Friday, 02/20/2015
Connected World
Location: LL21 C/D
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)

This session tells the story of how a young technology company helped The Associated Press embrace cutting-edge data innovation at the heart of its business: the automation of corporate earnings stories.

The challenges along the way offer valuable lessons for any brand engaged in a major data implementation – and any vendor who wants to help.

We’ll explore the process that led to AP’s summer 2014 announcement that it would “free journalists to do more journalism and less data processing” by automating 4,400 corporate earnings stories per quarter, up from 300 produced manually. Each step is a mini case study on topics such as:

Building Trust – How should Big Data vendors approach and close reputable brands like The Associated Press? How should established brands evaluate vendors, given that the best technology and team may come from relatively new ventures?

Understanding the Available Data – How should brands and vendors reconcile potentially different views on the underlying data, including the gap between the data that is available and the data that is needed?

Developing Shared Objectives – How to explore exciting possible uses for the data while focusing in on the most practical implementations.

Overcoming Objections – When a project makes a change to a core aspect of a brand’s business, objections are inevitable. For AP, objections came not only from technical gatekeepers, but also from skeptical journalists.

Photo of Adam Smith

Adam Smith

Automated Insights

Adam Smith runs sales, marketing, and multiple product areas for Automated Insights and is heavily involved in company strategy, product, and mobile initiatives. Adam started working with Automated Insights as an advisor, working directly with founder Robbie Allen on product ideation, platform development, and go-to-market strategy. He joined the company as the first business hire, leading operations and the company’s growing mobile network. Previously, Adam was a vice president at Square 1 Bank, where he served as director of Square Roots, a national division focused on pre-VC startups, where he worked one-on-one with hundreds of early-stage founders, serving as an advisor and providing hands-on support with strategy, product development, and fundraising, and was vice president of the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, where he led the program team and was responsible for strategic relationships. While at CED, he led the team for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation that authored the FastTrac TechVenture program, a world-renowned training and mentoring program for technology and life science entrepreneurs.