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Bespoke software:
Case Study: Dod's Parliamentary Communications

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Based in London and Brussels, Dods Monitoring provides bespoke political intelligence to a wide range of consultancies, communications professionals and government bodies.

The Dods monitoring services are a combination of cutting-edge search technology and human 'intelligent' filtering that enables clients to track, monitor and evaluate all the latest political and legislative developments in their chosen fields.

Dods is the leading political information provider and policy communication specialist in both the UK and the EU. The owner of such well-known online brands as, Political Wizard and Dodonline, as well as established print titles including Dod's Parliamentary Companion, The House Magazine, Public Affairs News and The Parliament Magazine. Dods has been the natural partner for government, policy makers and political opinion formers since 1832.

The Dods information services were becoming a victim of their own success as their market share and customers expanded there was an increasing need for more skilled researchers and analysts with the accompanying cost. The Dods’ management were seeking cutting edge search technology and auto classification system to keep their competitive position and reduce their operating cost. After a comprehensive investigation of the market the Dods management team chose the Web-Labs Search Master solution.

The SearchMaster solution was deployed with some bespoke programming to classify the information retrieved, and to provide the more complex search routines. The Web Labs system automatically routinely checks several Government web sites and Hansard and converts all the speeches, questions, and written answers into individual items that can be automatically classified. It also allows for the staff of Dods to add their own items based on press releases that are sent to them during the day.

The staff can also access the system to make changes or manually categorise and classify the content. Once the items have been released by the Dods management they are emailed onto a client. Each Dods client can modify online their profile setup which comprises a series of rules and standards about what information they require and the frequency they would like to receive updates.

The information can be sent in individual emails (HTML or Plain text format) or grouped together into a single user friendly email with a sophisticated menu/anchor point layout. Your team can setup rules so that specific items can be immediately sent to a client if it corresponds to certain requirements. All information sent to a client can also be retrieved and tracked by the client using the online web site.

A new feature being added to the system is the introduction of EU content which means the system checks for content produced by the European Union including all of the press releases. The system allows Dods to provide a high quality and fast service to more clients with out increasing their cost.

The Dods skilled researchers and analyst can be used more effectively.
The Clients besides receiving a quality service and information as and when they wish have the convenience of being able to go online and receive information and/or change their requirements. The Web Labs system provides an almost fully automated information collection, classification and distribution system and enabled Dods to contain cost and increase the information provision services to different audiences.

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The Web Labs system provides us with the leading edge technology that we require to remain competitive and to provide our clients with a first class information service. We are happy with our co-operation with the Web Labs development staff and have plans to expand the use of the system we have developed with them to other interesting and profitable areas. Simon Thompson – Director

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