A few weeks back I had the pleasure of emceeing & presenting at SummitUp – a social media conference in Dayton, Ohio. I presented to a breakout session on the topic of social media and data analytics. The presentation focused primarily on establishing the paradigm that social [...]
A few weeks back I had the pleasure of emceeing & presenting at SummitUp – a social media conference in Dayton, Ohio. I presented to a breakout session on the topic of social media and data analytics. The presentation focused primarily on establishing the paradigm that social media transcends individual conversations and represents rich data with can be both aggregated and analyzed to uncover deeper truths relative to areas of thought ranging from computation, innovation, emotion, and process. Much of the discussion of social media to date is centered in trust and transparency at the individual conversational level. These important discussions are rooted in understanding the mechanics of this new conversational landscape. Make no mistake, these are critical concepts to understand and embrace. Recently it seems new conversations are emerging around the concept of using data analytics to better understand the meaning of these conversations and those having them. While still in its infancy, I expect to see this discussion mature rapidly, taking center stage in the minds of many businesses in 2010.
One of the leading voices in this conversation is Avinash Kaushik, who among many other things, is the author of the newly released book Web Analytics 2.0. The book is great. It is easy to understand, even for a non-technical marketing nerd like me, and offers up some very useful information on how to better understand and measure the activity on the web to get real results. Accompanying the book, is Avinash’s blog, entitled Occam’s Razor. One of his recent posts examined the concept of social media analytics, specifically with regard to Twitter, the popular online microblogging platform.
In the post Avinash highlights four useful tools for gathering quantitative and qualitative information out of Twitter – Klout, GraphEdge, TweetPsych, and Twitter Stream Graphs. Each of these tools has different useful attributes, and hint at the emerging potential of social media analytics. I particularly like Klout, as it offers up some pretty amazing insights.
Moving forward I am interested in seeing how social data analytics will grow more robust. I imagine each of these tools having the ability to calculate multiple users simultaneously. Another interesting idea would be the ability to run these tools on followers of your brand and then sub-segment the results on numerous variables. Further, as online identities continue to aggregate with tools like Google Friend Connect and Facebook Connect, it will be easier to track the conversations of individuals and groups of people across multiple platforms – providing businesses with rich internal and external insights on both a micro and macro level.
Where it really gets interesting to me (i.e. makes my head start to spin a little) is the idea of then combining this external data with internal company data. For example integrating facebook, linkedin, twitter, blogs, and other sources of external with individual customer records in a crm system. Then taking that data and running it against something like gps data, or transactional and financial data to create entirely new sources of information. The potential is amazing, and as things like mobile technology, social platforms, online transactions continue to grow, the possibilities expand with them.
My thanks to Avinash for writing both a great blog post and a great book. Both are helping me to think in new and exciting ways. I hope you will take the time to check them out as well.
What about you? What do you think about social media and data analytics? What ideas excite you? Where do you see the opportunities of the future?