• Establish what works and what doesn’t (and to what extent),
• Figure out how best to express these concepts and/or tie them to traditional analysis, and to
• Build a proven track record of success.
I think the most important aspect of this is to build a proven track record of success. For someone who does either reporting or a predictive type of analysis, establishing credibility as someone who is right the majority of the time, if not all the time, is key.
As for individual articles, finding out how to best express concepts and tie them into traditional work is important. If your work is going to be successful, it is most likely going to be unique. Finding a way to reconcile the new work with the old work is key, especially when working in a field that already has a bit of history, such as sports journalism. At the same time, making sure your ideas are being expressed is equally important.