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Introduction and Background
IDL helps clients measure the impact and effectiveness of their communications, drawing together company and
peer news-flow, media reportage, analyst comment and stock trading performance. Our graphical and
quantitative statistical analysis helps our clients build a better picture of how their external communications and
those of their peers are being received.
As part of our operational reporting, we electronically gather press releases, media reportage, analyst
commentary and other data relating to our clients, their competitors and their industry. Whilst much of the
collection and indexing process is automated, the role of the News Analyst is to review this news-flow and
to add value to it by identifying and tagging key topics and by adding synopsis and comment for each
item collected. As such, the role of the News Analyst is critical to IDL’s services to its clients.
Data is collected, classified and analysed via a simple online application accessible by News Analysts over the
News Analysts generally work with us as “Associates”. Associates work on an independent self-employed
basis and, given the nature of the work, enjoy considerable freedom to work flexibly to the hours that suit them,
at an attractive hourly rate. Given the nature of our business, News Analysts enjoy almost total geographic
flexibility and, assuming availability of local communications and other support infrastructures, can work from
any location within the UK and elsewhere.
Purpose of Role, and Primary Activities
The purpose or objective of the role is to code and classify news-flow of interest and relevance to our clients.
This typically involves reading news and checking or adding the following information:
Identifying the companies referenced within the article or press release. For clarity, each published article,
whether it is from a newswire, a company web-site or from a research analyst is called a news item within the
IDL operational process;
Classifying the content of the news item with respect each company referenced. Typical classifications might
include “financial outlook”, “product development”, “quarterly results”. For any news item there may be a
number of clauses or statements relating to different companies and different aspects of business activity; The
analyst’s role is to identify and code each of these statements, known as news-points, and enter them into our
administration systems for later analysis, charting and publishing to clients.
Weighting the impact of the news item according to its size, content and/or prominence within the data
source from which it has been extracted.
Assigning the favourability score to each news point, based on how positive or negative the author’s
sentiment is with respect to that news item.
New starters will be guided through the approach online and are typically up-to-speed after half a day’s training
and a couple of days’ on-the-job coaching.
3. Skills and Personal Attributes Required
We draw Analysts from many different backgrounds and are committed to developing a diverse team of
individuals to work with us. The Analysts we employ will have the following skills and attributes:
• Ability to read and understand news items relating to our corporate clients and their peers;
• Ability to use a simple computer application as part of their role, to classify and database information;
• Attention to detail, to ensure news items are properly coded and well written synopses;
• Ability to work un-supervised to deadlines, according to specified project briefs
• Foreign language abilities are also an advantage but not always essential.
No prior experience is required for the role, and we will provide relevant training and coaching. That said, it will
sometimes be beneficial for News Analysts to have prior experience in a specific sector, and/or to have basic
knowledge of business and financial activities. The most important attributes of the role however are diligence
together with good comprehension abilities.
4. Equipment Needed
News Analysts normally work at home and as such will need the right specification of computer equipment.
• Broadband access to the Internet;
• A Pentium II (or above) PC running Microsoft Windows 2000 or Microsoft Windows XP;
• Microsoft Excel
Analysts will be expected to use appropriate communications facilities when communicating with IDL including
email, instant messaging and audio conferencing.
- What we expect from our News Analysts
The output from the News Analyst’s classification work is used to further analyse industry news-flow on behalf of
our clients. In order to deliver our service, this output needs to be both efficient in terms of the volume of news
items classified, and effective in terms of the overall accuracy of the classifications assigned by the Analyst.
As part of our of our QA procedures, we randomly sample news items, post classification by News Analysts, to
identify any training needs and to ensure we continue to meet the standards required by our clients.
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