Innovation in Publishing

In Forbes, Elsevier CEO talks about using data and analytics for product innovation

Ron Mobed reveals the strategies Elsevier is using to make scientific content even more valuable to researchers and medical practitioners

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Elsevier CEO Ron Mobed at RELX headquarters in London.In a profile in the popular business magazine Forbes Thursday, Elsevier CEO Ron Mobed explains how Elsevier approaches product development and innovation.

Forbes reporter Ava Seave refers to Ron as “a long term thinker in a digital first environment” and asks him about Elsevier’s business practices that reinforce its position in the marketplace.

Ron talks about combining the deep sector expertise of the scientists and medical professionals we publish with the digital technology expertise needed to present information in the most effective way for a broad array of users in academia, government and corporate R&D. He talks about how Elsevier works closely with customers to understand the decisions they need to make and “what information they need delivered in which way to help them to make those decisions.” And he addresses the importance of content in terms of volume, quality and the ability to search and analyze it effectively.

Becoming a technology company

Ron also talked about how the company is hiring more technology employees and believes “management must give the engineers and product innovators enough variety to keep them interested, but a narrow enough field so they can leverage their content expertise.” He noted that Elsevier has been hiring digital experts of late, hiring from Amazon and Google among other tech companies:

The digital people are what we’re bringing on because we already have sector experience but their importance to the company is equivalent. The result of that is that we can continue on that transformation that we’re getting closer and closer to the point of decision by building information systems that have content and technology.

Key value drivers to improving content

In the Forbes article, Ron Mobed reveals the “value drivers” that are key to improving content at Elsevier. In summary, they are:

  • Volume. “Enough volume of content” for the customer to be able to base decisions.”
  • Category adjacencies. “We expand the content coverage so we go into more types of content. From chemical compounds we’re going into biological information as well, as an example.”
  • Search. “We help people to find information so we improve the utility of the content.”
  • Analytics. “And then when you put digital analytics on top then you’re really getting much closer to the decision point. You’re saying ‘here I’m guiding you to the decision’ as opposed to ‘here’s a bunch of stuff.” The combination of those creates the end point solution for the individual customer.

Read the full article in Forbes.


Elsevier Connect Contributor

Tom RellerAs VP and Head of Global Corporate Relations at Elsevier, Tom Reller (@TomReller) leads a global team of  media, social and web communicators for the world's largest provider of scientific, technical and medical (STM) information products and services. Together, they work to build on Elsevier's reputation by promoting the company's numerous contributions to the health and science communities, many of which are brought to life in this online community and information resource: Elsevier Connect.

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