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Information Builders Dives into Social Media Analytics

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Posted March 18, 2013 By Pedro Hernandez     Feedback

Business intelligence software maker’s Big Data-powered analytics platform gains new social media insight gathering capabilities.

Just weeks after giving WebFOCUS BI the Big Data analytics treatment, New York City-based Information Builders today announced the launch of new social media capabilities. The aim is to help organizations better focus their marketing strategies and sniff out new revenue opportunities by drawing insights from the millions of tweets, Facebook ''likes" and social mentions that surge across the Internet each day.

Social media is serious business, and it can exert tremendous power over brands, according to Information Builders CEO Gerald Cohen. "The rise of social media channels has given customers an unprecedented voice and power over brand perception," he said in a company statement.

With the release of WebFOCUS Social Media Analytics, Information Builders is signaling that companies can take a proactive approach to how they're perceived across social media channels. The product can also enable organizations to capitalize on market opportunities by integrating with customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms.

"By providing complete insight into what people are saying online and integrating this information with other enterprise data and systems, the solution highlights how social conversations relate back to the state of the business," said Cohen.

In keeping with the company's self-service, mobile-friendly approach to business intelligence, WebFOCUS Social Media Analytics gives users the tools to dive into the product's interactive dashboards, generate charts and uncover insights from social interactions and conversations. By integrating with other business suites, businesses can quickly jump on trends; adjust their marketing messages; or course correct in the event of a social media faux pas.

Company-supplied examples include:

  • Conduct sentiment analysis on all posts, blogs, and other social media messages
  • Mash up content into a single view to immediately detect patterns and trends across channels, geographies, customers, and other categories
  • Analyze how spikes in positive and negative sentiment on competitor channels affect company sales
  • Determine which products sell best in which locations, and uncover the reasons behind this trend

Information Builders joins an increasingly competitive market for social media analytics tools, a scene in which IBM casts a huge shadow.

In March 2011, Big Blue launched cloud-based social media analytics services based on the IT giant's acquisition of Unica and Coremetrics. Later that same year, IBM launched new InfoSphere BigInsights and Streams software that leveraged the Big Data processing capabilities of the popular open source Hadoop platform.

Fortunately for Information Builders and companies like it, there appears to be plenty of room for other social media analytics innovators.

Last summer, social analytics and engagement software specialist Attensity launched its Pipeline product, which can scour over 150 million social media and online sources. Attensity Pipeline's semantic engines enable analytics and routing within seconds, giving social CRM processes a near-real-time edge. Attensity's approach appears to be paying off. Big name customers include Charles Schwab, EMC, JetBlue, Siemens, Travelocity and Whirlpool.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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