Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Analyzing Social Media Data

In an article in 1to1 Media magazine (published by the Peppers & Rogers Group), Elizabeth Glagowski reports that Onder Oguzhan, a partner in Peppers & Rogers Group's Managed Analytics division, observes that the market for integrating social media analytics is still in the nascent stages.

"Some companies are experimenting, but it is not widely used yet," he says. It is common to see social media analytics at a departmental level, particularly marketing. But scientists are creating new algorithms to establish the relationship between customer information and social data, writes Glagowski. "The ideal scenario is to tie outside data with internal information to make decisions based on holistic data," says Oguzhan.

Integrated data "can explain what is driving people to a site, what they did when they got there, and why," says Mark Chaves, an SAS product manager. "It is a way to get from correlation to engagement." Other data sources primed for integration with social media data include outbound marketing campaigns data and voice of the customer insight, he suggests.

If it were easy to do, opines Glagowski, companies would have integrated their social data already. But integration poses many challenges. "The biggest challenges are that it is unstructured data and that it is not a representative sampling of customers," says James Taylor, CEO and principal consultant at Decision Management Solutions, and coauthor of Smart (Enough) Systems: How to Deliver Competitive Advantage by Automating Hidden Decisions. "To use the data effectively you must adopt text analytics technologies to mine the text and you must be able to map it to customer records so you can see what kinds of customers you are talking about."

Chaves adds that much of the data collected from social media are short-term, in 30-, 60-, or 90-day increments. That may not be a long enough timeframe to give a complete picture to integrate with other data. However, social data quickly changes. Companies must be able to manage the data in near real time.

In additoin, says Oguzhan , the amount of social data available is growing quickly, causing data warehousing and scalability issues. In addition, there are privacy concerns when companies use publically available individual information without permission. "Social media tools are housing more individual information than on any other platform," he says. "You don't want to use it in ways that aren't appropriate or that customers don't appreciate."

No comments:

Web Analytics