Social media analytics: Business Intelligence gives you insight

It’s become common knowledge in business and IT circles that Business Intelligence (BI) solutions can help you rule the world (or your market share, whichever you prefer). I know what you’re thinking – just as well the Bush administration didn’t find Saddam Hussein harboring reporting and analytics tools of mass insightfulness.

But, it’s also become apparent that BI has usefulness in a rather unexpected field – social media. BI tools can be used to visualize data and examine trends in social media, which, could be highly beneficial (not to mention profitable). Check out our recent blog on social media and the Australian election to see how we quickly used some existing tools to understand the impact of the independent members on the national consciousness.

Tapping into social media for Business Intelligence

Stefan Andreasen, CTO and founder of Kapow Technologies, reports in her 1to1 media blog post – “Tapping into Social Media for Business Intelligence” – that organizations can glean valuable information from peoples’ social media activities.

Social Media 1

However, the data accumulated from social media platforms has the potential to be, vast, confusing and definitely unstructured.

Attempting to disseminate this enormous pool of potentially valuable feedback, based on random views and instinct, will only provide a distorted picture, and on its own, is unacceptable.

Insightful analytics and actionable intelligence

But, harness the power of modern BI technologies that have the ability to collate, dissect and report on that data – available through blogs, discussion boards, forums, branded platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and their other quaintly named friends – and you might just have some truly insightful data and actionable intelligence on your hands.

• Who is talking about your organization?
• How often?
• What are they talking about?
• What is their opinion of your current offerings?
• How many hits do these comments receive?

Answering fundamental questions like these about your brand or a competitor, through the use of social analytics, can help you establish the key messages of your next marketing campaign.

If you’re a pizza delivery company and online sentiment shows that the timeliness of your deliveries are frowned upon in comparison to your main competitors, this gives a clear indication of how you need to tailor your next marketing strategy or more importantly your delivery process (You may need to fire some deliver drivers).

Agile real-time reporting and analytics solutions have the ability to make sophisticated observations and connections that human observation alone cannot ever hope to replicate. They have relegated intuition-based decisions to the crinkly-yellowed pages of a long forgotten eon.

Valuable data

Social networking monoliths like Twitter realize the potential value of this emerging data source. They are buying-up companies that track and collate data generated from social media activity and plan on transforming this opportunity into another lucrative revenue stream. For example, Twitter has recently bought Trendly – a tool that helps track and display click stream and search information.

Stay tuned for an exploration of the key reasons to incorporate social media into your data set, its potential benefits, limits, its usefulness and ability to be acted upon.

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