Credit: Image by Kaleida

The team behind Ophan, the Guardian's in-house analytics platform, has developed a new "scaled-up" tool designed to help journalists keep up-to-date with news consumption trends around the world.

Kaleida, launched yesterday (8 February), collects data from outlets across the media industry and presents it in a variety of ways to help editors see what topics they should be covering for their audiences.

The information comes from multiple sources, including the front pages of approximately 20 leading digital publishers and the share counts on Facebook throughout the day for each of their articles, along with publicly available demographic data.

The platform conducts sentiment analysis and uses machine learning and tools such as Elasticsearch to identify patterns in news consumption and predict the performance of stories.

"Although looking at one organisation's analytics is great, it is even better if you get a wider view across the industry," said Graham Tackley, Kaleida’s co-founder and chief technical officer.

"You need to understand not just what your organisation is doing, but how what your organisation is doing is fitting with the other publishers around the world.

"It’s not about being data-driven or telling editors what to do, it is enabling editors to do a better job by informing them of the bigger picture."

Screenshot of trending topics in Kaleida

Users access the tool’s 'subject explorer', where they are presented with the most popular individual news stories of the day, a list of ranked popular and emerging topics, as well as the associated sharing habits and the tone of the coverage.

Publishers can then see what issues matter to readers at specific times, with the data taking into consideration audience demographics such as gender, political leaning and age.

The tool, which was initially supported by Google’s Digital News Initiative (DNI) innovation fund, is already being used by a range of publishers such as BBC News, the Guardian and The Financial Times, and is currently priced on request.

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