Mining Data Gold in the Social Stream

Posted on 12 May 2011

Business Service Management Commentary on IT Service Management, Service Level Management & Performance ManagementWe talk a lot about different kinds of analytics here at Business Service Management (BSM) Hub including web analytics and other kinds of business intelligence, but one growth area we haven’t discussed very much is social analytics. 

In fact, it has such potential to bear valuable data that Mashable reports Wall Street is betting on this as a huge growth market. Guest writer and media analyst Andrew Graham writes:

Wall Street’s interest in using social networks is far-reaching. Many other social media platforms are receiving attention from investment managers who are searching for the next edge; looking to slice and dice content from social networks to arrive at meaningful conclusions.

The question is can you really find the kinds of answers that Wall Street might be looking for in online social networks? It’s hard to know, but there is a lot of potential, certainly for marketers looking to better understand their customers, which provides a much more manageable data set than trying to pull more general trends from the social media fire hose. 

It’s clear that your customers are out there having conversations about your products and you have to understand what they’re saying. There are tools from services like Radian 6 (recently purchased by Salesforce.com), BuzzLogic and Alterian to name but a few.

Using these tools you can build a better understanding of what people are saying about your products before a situation develops, whether it’s and unfavorable post in a popular blog or a Twitter thread about a problem with your latest release. And it doesn’t have to be all negative because your customers can be your best marketers too, and it’s important to hear what they like as well as what bugs them.

Clearly it makes sense to understand what your customers are saying about you on social networks — whether it’s good or bad — to give you insight into your customer’s thinking. I’m not completely convinced that can translate into a broader analysis of trends that can influence actual investments, but that hasn’t stopped Wall Street from tilting at wind mills before.

For today, it’s enough to understand that you as a company can analyze that data and find information that is meaningful for you and it’s all part of the company data pile.

Photo by deltamike on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons License.
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