Let us face it, we live in the age of the internet. If your content is not on the web and is not equally accessible on all devices – laptops, tablets, mobile devices and smart TVs, it will not be seen.
Regardless of what content you create and deliver – presentations, marketing brochures, educational materials, reports, dashboards, infographics, research papers, financial statements, annual reports, and much more, they all have to be web friendly, interactive, emailable and downloadable by many users without delays.
Achieving this is not easy. The development of such documents is often costly, requires infrastructure and specialized development resources, and in many cases end-user licenses to view and interact with the content. Storied Data changes this by making both the creation amd distribution of interactive, web-friendly content at scale easy and cost effective.
What is the most commonly used digital format today? PDF. 85% of all digital documents are circulated as PDF. The reason is quite simple – you can email it, download it from a website, view it directly in a browser based PDF reader. In other words, PDF makes information easily accessible, sharable and distributable. But it is static and not web friendly which makes people skip most of the pages in the PDF. True democratization requires both scale free distribution and user friendly content interaction. This is what Storied Data interactive HTML format does.
So, what are the top barriers for companies to create, publish and distribute information?
The first barrier to information publishing and distribution are the costs and time required for development of such web-documents. Prior to Storied Data interactive information publishing required significant investment in infrastructure and custom code development. Companies had to move and store data in databases, build custom front ends, and custom query logic and procedures for the data interactions. Business intelligence solutions make some of the process less complicated by inserting a query engine in the middle, i.e., between the data and the front end to generate the queries automatically based on the user interactions with the front end. While this may save time, it adds costs. And what if you want to publish just data from Excel, CSV, or other sources without using a database? Why have all this complexity? Why add database management to your infrastructure?
Storied Data eliminates this complexity by packaging the data in the interactive, self-contained HTML document. Thus, you can publish the free-standing HTML file on any site without any infrastructure. You just embed the file within any webpage in the same way as you embed images on web pages.
The second barrier to information publishing and distribution is the concurrency cost. That is the cost to support multiple users who access the document at the same time. The internet and the database are like toll booths. The more site visitors you have, the bigger the traffic jam and the longer the wait time to query the information. The only solution to traffic jams on the roads is to provide more lanes and toll booths. On the internet you need to provide more computing power at a higher cost. The pain of concurrent cost is that you pay the cost all the time even though traffic jams occur only at some times. There are elastic solutions where companies pay per usage, but they are equally expensive especially when every click counts. By distributing information in self-contained interactive HTML documents, you eliminate all concurrency costs. Each user views and interacts with the content in his or her browser and the only resource they use is their own computer. This is called scale free information distribution.
The third barrier to the democratization of information publishing and distribution is the cost of content personalization. The more personalized documents you have to generate the higher the cost. Personalization can happen dynamically when a user logs into a site or in batch when companies generate bank statements, utility and telecom bills, and other statements. Imagine the compute resource required to generate 6 million bank statements? A typical server generates between 70,000 and 300,000 PDFs per day. The same server can generate 5.5 million personalized interactive HTML statements. And the file size will be smaller.
The interactive personalization has an added benefit to the end-user. Banks allow customers to browse up to 7 years of PDF statements. That is a total of 84 separate files/documents. Imagine if you have to search for some transactions in the last 5 years. It will require you to review 60 statements. Quite a frustrating experience. A single stackable interactive statement will allow you to find these transactions instantly. This is what democratization of information should be, because it makes it easy for the owner of the information to be in control of how they use it, which is not the case with static PDFs.
In conclusion, democratizing information publishing and distribution requires new technologies that lower the cost of creation, generation, and personalization and, furthermore, gives recipients full control over the data.
To learn more about how to create tailored BI documents, contact us.