IBM Targets the Future of Social Media Analytics — GigaOM
IBM announced a new product dedicated to helping customers perform sentiment analysis of social media data on Thursday, as well as a new program with the Yale School of Management’s Center for Customer Insight to train students in advanced data analysis skills. With businesses increasingly getting hip to social media as a way of connecting with customers, and with an industry-wide need for analytics skills, both the product and project are well-timed.
The new product, called Cognos Consumer Insight, is built upon IBM’s Cognos business intelligence technology along with Hadoop to process the piles of unstructured social media data. According to Deepak Advani, IBM’s VP of predictive analytics, there’s a lot of value in performing text analytics on data derived from Twitter, Facebook and other social forums to determine how companies or their products are faring among consumers. Cognos lets customers view sentiment levels over time to determine how efforts are working, he added, and skilled analysts can augment their Cognos Consumer Insight usage with IBM’s SPSS product to bring predictive analytics into the mix.
The partnership with Yale is designed to address the current dearth of analytic skills among business leaders, Advani said. Although the program will involve training on analytics technologies, Advani explained that business people still need some grounding in analytic theory and thinking rather than just knowing how to use a particular piece of software. “I think the primary goal is for students to learn analytically,” he said, which will help know which technology to put to work on what data, and how.