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Market Trends Portal

Market Trends

Informa operates within the Knowledge and Information economy.

Find out more about this market and the trends driving businesses like Informa in this area. Plus, read viewpoints on aspects of the Knowledge and Information economy from experts within Informa.

  • The Knowledge and Information Economy
  • Big Data
  • Specialism

The Knowledge and Information Economy


The Knowledge & Information economy is a large, diverse, global and growing market. It includes businesses that create, provide and distribute content, information, data, news, research, education, and businesses that create events, communities, networks, platforms, technology and other products and services based on that content and information.

Within the Knowledge and Information economy, Informa’s focus is on delivering exhibitions and events that connect specialist communities, scholarly and research-led content for academics, and information services for businesses and professionals in specific vertical markets.

  • $1.5trn

    Size of Information Industry at its broadest (Outsell)

  • 5.1%

    Year on year growth in the B2B media and business information segment (Outsell)

  • 30bn

    Estimated worth of the worldwide exhibitions industry by 2020 (AMR)

  • 4.4m

    Companies exhibit at events every year (UFI)

  • 7,000+

    New members join LinkedIn every hour (LinkedIn)

  • 300m

    25-34 year olds will have tertiary level education by 2030 (OECD)

  • 25%

    Digital economy as a proportion of global GDP by 2020

  • $2trn

    Expected spend by the US on education in 2020

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The Promise of Big Data


  • Lara Boro

    Viewpoint from Lara Boro, Group Managing Director, Business Intelligence


    The proliferation of connected devices – personal, professional and industrial – is driving a data revolution. Fifty billion objects are predicted to be online by 2020, six times more than there are people. Soon the majority of human and machine transactions, communication, peer to peer connections and operational processes will be captured, codified and analysed in the search for value-creating predictive insights. Used wisely, Big Data will help drive better customer experience, improve operational efficiency, deliver faster innovation and solve big societal challenges.

    The promise of Big Data relies on continued advances in processing speed, storage capacity and increasingly powerful analytics (human and machine), as well as evolution in global data protection, security, and ethical and governance frameworks to keep it all in check.

    The creation of connections between seemingly disparate data sets, generated in siloed environments, is also vital and will for now, rely on human innovation, and the capacity to imagine how a new combination of assets can produce a better product or outcome.

    To deliver on this, companies providing intelligence, content and data, as well as software and technology players, and academic and government institutions, will increasingly work together to develop 360-degree views of the customer, business or societal challenge they seek to solve.

  • It will no longer be sufficient to own the richest content sets, faster machines, better algorithms, bigger audiences. The best solutions will come from organisations and disruptors that draw lines through those assets looking for information synergies. They will come from players that recognise customers and organisations want a real value exchange for sharing their data and intellectual property. They will come from innovators who live the challenges of their industry’s specialist community.

    This will drive new business models. Publishers, information providers and business media players have learnt to monetise content directly through paid-for products, or indirectly through advertising and marketing services. They will now be able to add to their revenue mix the monetisation of content via new partner channels for co-created offerings, and the monetisation of audiences though permission-based use of their data for new products.

    These opportunities bode well for business media. Unique, proprietary, enriched data will continue to attract a premium as it is difficult to substitute with cheaper or free sources of data generated as ‘digital fumes’ or by-products of other data collection processes. Brands continue to be essential, flying the flag for ethical and trustworthy value exchanges between businesses, customers and audiences in specialist communities. Leaders in leveraging Big Data will partner beyond their sectors to deliver disruptive innovation, morphing business media beyond its current borders into the neighbouring realms of technology, digital services and beyond.

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Breadth and depth in specialisms


  • Jeremy North

    Jeremy North, Managing Director, Academic Publishing – Global Books


    The business of Academic Publishing is often discussed in broad brush categories – humanities and the social sciences, or science, technology and medicine. These categories serve an important function in discovery but they also hide a growing trend in the sector; that of increasing levels of specialism.

    In a world of increasing volumes of information, data and free material, the demand for highly specialised and detailed content is increasing. Upper level students and academics plough deeper and deeper into niche areas of study, and academic publishing businesses like ours have responded in kind.

    For example, Informa is the world leader in the academic study of Witchcraft, just one of thousands of specialised topics and communities we cater for. We produce thousand-page text books that undergraduate criminology students regard as indispensable, as well as highly technical hardbacks written for senior engineering professionals.

  • In some cases, authors and individual works can be the basis of an entire discipline. The Informa archives count Freud, Einstein, Russell and Sartre amongst those who have become synonymous with their subject. New areas emerge every year in response to increased interest, new sources of funding, and a more granular approach to what might have previously fallen under broader topic matter. Good examples would be gender studies and sustainability.

    Behind each discipline, and every artefact published, is a relatively small network of highly knowledgeable specialists. These networks typically comprise authors, peer reviewers, institutions, funding bodies, those cited and those who will go on to cite the work in future works.

    To meet the needs of such specialists as well as the evolving tastes and requirements of consumers, publishers need to combine depth of content with breadth of subject areas and categories if they are to succeed.

    But a vastly diverse portfolio can leave researchers seeking a digital needle in a content haystack. The solution to this is discoverability – making sure the right content is found by the right person at the right time – and this is critical to our customers’ success, and ours in turn.

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