How AP Automates Earnings Stories
The Associated Press, working with Automated Insights and Zacks Investment Research, uses automation technology to write earnings stories. Previously, AP’s reporters wrote such stories. AP now produces nearly 4,300 quartlery earnings stories for US and Canadian companies, over 14 times the number that AP reporters and editors produced manually.
Every story starts with data. Zacks Investment Research provides corporate financial results and Wall Street estimates for measures such as earnings per share, net income and revenue. AP staffers contribute data including business descriptions.
Next, Automated Insights uses algorithms in its Wordsmith software to transform the data into earnings stories based on AP’s style and content preferences. The stories are then sent to AP and published to the wire with a tagline indicating that the story was generated by Automated Insights using data provided by Zacks.
Once an automated story is published, AP editors and reporters may update and expand the material based on priorities set by AP editors and reporters. When that occurs, AP staffers change the tagline on the story to indicate that elements of the story were automated.
Earnings automation at the AP continues to evolve. Recent enhancements include the addition of forward-looking earnings and revenue guidance from companies. So far, the majority of the companies covered by automated reporting are based in the United States. AP expects to add more international companies in the coming quarters.