07 Mar 12 Social media driven analytics for better insights – An emerging opportunity

Last week’s Oscars had all the usual drama with the unforeseen winners and the expected list of movies winning the golden statuette. In the hours leading to the award ceremony, the Twitter-verse was abuzz with predictions and expectations from the event. And, all this time, a team from IBM was monitoring all activity on Twitter using a tool called the Senti-meter, developed in collaboration with the Los Angeles Times and the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Innovation Lab. The Senti-meter tool tracked all the sentiments from Twitter before, during and after the Oscars to predict the winners and losers. This tool has been designed to crunch large amounts of real time data in seconds and predict public preferences. With more than 150 million tweets a day, this application has the capability to analyse public tweets and create real time dashboards of public sentiment. This technology was used for other major events as well including the Grammys, the World Series and the Super Bowl.

Evolving nature of analytics
Analytics, as a technology, has evolved from sifting through existing data that has been lying around in servers for years, to a more proactive version which encompasses collecting data from various sources and producing up-to-the-second reports, analysis and trends. Services providers in this space must take a page from IBM and build capabilities which will allow them to churn out data using real time analysis. Apart from Twitter, there are other platforms such as other micro blogging sites, social networks, blogs and forums to tap into, for social media driven online insights. Next generation analytics will be able to ignore online “noise” and focus on impactful online feedback. This service relies heavily on linguistic and semantic analysis to identify varying shades of sentiments (positive, neutral and negative) and identify sentiments which carry value. These include posts which have been retweeted / shared often, online clout of the user, the number of followers and other such parameters.

What’s in store in the future?
Social media driven analytics has far-reaching applications beyond the world of sports and entertainment. Fields such as news publications, retailers, electronics manufacturers, automotive manufacturers and brand experts can benefit from services to identify key issues that frame everything from marketing strategies to customer segmentation and brand sentiment. Social media driven predictive analytics represents a significant paradigm shift in how businesses interact, understand and discover actionable customer insights. Experts have predicted a 30-times fold increase in online data over the next decade, and this is the right moment for service providers to draw raw online data to provide real time decision support for their clients, and for the clients to harness this emerging technology to understand their customers better.

ValueNotes Research
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