Social Media AND Text Analytics

December 23, 2011
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OdinText is proud to sponsor a new summit on Social Media Analytics organized by Text Analytics News

OdinText is proud to sponsor a new summit on Social Media Analytics organized by Text Analytics News

It seems everywhere you turn there’s someone talking about “Social Media Analysis.” Yet most of what you find are wannabe digital consultants who espouse trite marketing tips elegantly repackaged while having next to no experience with data analytics and especially text analytics.

Not so – for long. I was excited to hear that there is finally a forum that will look at social media from a more analytical POV. Unlike so many other ‘Social Marketing’ events, this new event is organized by Text Analytics News, which was the first to support the Text Analytics profession well before the current boom.

With so many ‘Social Media Monitoring’ firms hopping on the text analytics band wagon, now more than ever, I think it’s important for those of us who pioneered the use of text mining to share a little of what we have learned in regard to social data over the past few years. While awareness and interest in the subject certainly is at an all-time high, there is also a serious shortage of the analytic experience necessary to go beyond simple PR related analysis.

I’ve posted an audio link to a discussion panel on Social Media Analytics that took place at the most recent Text Analytics Summit West. Feel free to listen if you have time (55 min.), if not I’ve summarized what I feel were some of  the more important takeaways below.

  • Robin Seider of Radian6, recently acquired by Salesforce.com, noted what many of us are now coming to realize, that it was in great part the simplicity of the Radian6 tool which allowed the company to in a relatively short time acquire thousands of customers across several business areas. She also admitted that in part because of their now broad client base, her future role is partly to leverage and incorporate other text analytics suppliers to help client segments address their own specific use case issues.
  • Bill Tuohig of JD Power agreed that no one text analytics tool is best for every situation and that traditional market research will continue to play an important role in answering the new questions discovered through social monitoring, which of course is passive.
  • Steven Ramirez of Beyond the Arc, addressed the problem many of us are having in explaining to customers that text analytics tools can’t “auto generate” what to do, and that unlike popular opinion on the subject, usually the best thing to do is to, as quickly as possible, narrow and filer down on a smaller set of data. This latter point is one that I’ve been stressing for quite a while to clients who come to us asking “tell us what they are saying on the web”.
  • All three including moderator Cliff Figallo from Social Media Today, seems to agree, as I do, that the analytic skills needed to leverage social media and text analytics are in short supply. Most software firms offer very little in terms of guidance. It’s incumbent on clients who want to go beyond simple and basic PR tracking to invest in not just the tools, but also build competence in how to best leverage them.

I’m hoping that this new summit will play a part in helping to educate our clients and service providers who might utilize our software. An engaged and knowledgeable user base is exactly what is needed in order to bring clarity to this market. While there are several use cases for social media text analytics (beyond CI, CS, MR, PR… to even HR), and no one company will effectively offer a solution for all, there still certainly needs to be a winnowing within this area.

I hope to see you at the event. As long time enthusiastic supporters of the Text Analytics Summit, Anderson Analytics‘ – OdinText is proud to also sponsor this new event. If you’d like to attend feel free to use our discount code (ODINSMA).

Whether you plan on attending or just have a question about text analytics, as always, please feel free to reach out.

@TomHCAnderson

@OdinText