Mining Gold from Legacy Content to Create New Products and Revenue Streams

Mining Gold from Legacy Content to Create New Products and Revenue Streams

Mining Gold from Legacy Content

Prioritize the Content Conversion Effort and Reinvigorate Your Materials

Greg Fagan, Sales Director, Data Conversion Laboratory


Your Challenge: Piles of paper and thousands of document files are collecting dust or taking up server space, possibly completely ignored since initial publication. Hard copy books, binders, journals, newspapers, microfilm, training materials, slides, PDFs, and more are out there and might actually contain valuable information, but in all likelihood, you’ll have a challenge trying to find them, much less make sense of the piles.

Your Solution: You can mine through the data and find loads of gold. And if you are ready to convert content into reusable formats with digital outputs, such as XML, SGML, HTML5, DITA, and/or EPUB, your content will no longer be stuck in outdated formats. You can future-proof your content and be ready to unleash new revenue streams. And it doesn’t have to be an impossible task.


To keep pace and pull ahead of the competition, most organizations’ content-related departments focus primarily on producing a constant stream of content and data. But these organizations, serving industries such as publishing, financial services, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, also have years of legacy content that contains still-relevant information. The opportunity to reach new audiences continues to expand exponentially now that digital formats can be easily shared and accessed anywhere in the world. At the same time, audiences demand for high-quality content that is easy to find and use remains high.

Many organizations first consider converting legacy content to meet compliance needs or to distribute to support partners, but these reasons only scratch the surface of the opportunities that exist. Reviewing the content in your archives and discovering what offers the most potential for reuse and repurposing means you don’t have to reinvent or recreate important assets. You’ll save time not having to create materials from a new initial concept, and save money not only in the initial production and delivery, but going forward. Data will be easier to manage, update, syndicate, publish and share. Here are just a few possibilities:

  • Deconstruct training content locked in slide decks to create standalone simulations that can be accessed on any device, even a mobile phone.
  • Mine journal content to produce historical comparisons with current hot topics.
  • Collect financial data from legacy reports to show historical trends in graphical formats.


Several factors contribute to the fear and anxiety associated with content conversion. Taking on a conversion project represents serious investment of time and resources. With the sheer volume of content in your archives, the project size can seem overwhelming and never-ending. Add to that the cost in dollars and staff time away from other projects, choosing team members and leaders to manage the project, might appear impossible. These concerns are valid, but putting the right plan in place will get you started without the fear factor. With a proper analysis, customized process, and expertise of a trusted partner, your risks are limited and maximum return on investment (ROI) is guaranteed.


You have three options when you convert legacy content. First, you could choose to convert nothing. Second, you could decide to convert everything. The third and often most effective choice is to convert high-priority content that makes the investment begin to pay off immediately.

Converting legacy data is an investment that results in increased revenues and decreased expenses. Maintaining data in a more structured, easily configurable format increases opportunities to deliver better customer service and decreases time to market. That opens up opportunities for expansion into new markets and capturing larger shares of existing markets. Converting to structured content provides data versatility as well. Additionally, you can reduce publishing and translation costs while you increase authoring productivity and information reuse. If you want to realize these benefits, work with a vendor that has the content expertise and technological sophistication to help you manage your conversion successfully from beginning to end.


To implement a content conversion strategy successfully, consider these five steps you can take to fully vet the content, determine who it should reach and how, develop a business case to share with management, and finally, implement the plan.


Keys to Success

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Digitized, structured content that is search-engine optimized enhances your brand and shows you are an authority in the market when you quickly deliver what audiences are searching for. DCL’s years of conversion experience, full end-to-end process consultation, and automation technologies can help you implement a content conversion project to increase revenue and decrease costs. Our experience crosses a wide range of industries and covers a huge variety of content. We’ve converted large-scale repositories into digital, flexible collections, including extensive math, tables, and images in various formats. Our optical character recognition (OCR) process allows us to separate text from image content, convert into structured digital formats separate from formatting and design elements, and incorporating metadata makes it easy to search and use. We have developed fully-automated multi-step solutions that operate 24 x 7, to process the source content and return high-quality, converted, validated and enriched references.

By collaborating closely with customers, our efforts allow quick implementation and ROI that is easy to recognize. Experience the DCL difference with a consultation and evaluation of your content conversion needs.