Butterfly Effect: Analytics and Social media
Posted by Varun Chhibber, Associate Consultant, MFGCSI- Digital Transformation Practice, Infosys
Recent posts by Priya Thampi had me thinking about the fascinating world of Analytics. Social media explosion has given an altogether different twist to the saga and the organizations today have very powerful tools at their disposal to gauge the pulse of the consumers.
Analytics earlier was confined to the boundaries of structured data (tables, charts etc.) and then came Social media! It brought along with it an avalanche of unstructured data and since then organizations have been struggling to grapple with the new found realities and needs of the latest social media rampage.
It's just unbelievable to see organizations predicting consumer behaviors with such precision today, recently a store successfully predicted a teenager's pregnancy even before her father found out! Not only did they predict it, they used it to recommend products to her carefully blended with an assortment of different products in a catalogue so as not to alarm anyone.
Organizations are looking at the vast field of social media and picking up signals which were earlier ignored or deemed insignificant. Today looking at a tweet or a comment on Facebook we can tell about the sentiments behind that tweet/ comment. This kind of sophistication was unheard of earlier, and organizations had ever increasing data related to them but didn't knew what to do with it.
Today an organization can keep track of the chatter that's going on about them in social media and even segregate it on the basis of sentiments(Positive/ Negative/ Neutral). This helps a lot in taking swift affirmative action. Imagine the damage a disgruntled customer can cause if you let it go unchecked on social media sites, and if that customer happens to be a powerful celebrity, it can turn into a huge image crisis for you!
Sentiment analysis helps us to collect all the chatter going on in the social arena and categorize it on the basis of sentiment associated with it. This information can then be used by the various departments e.g. customer service department can pick up the negative chatter about a service and directly contact the customer to assuage the dissonance. By doing this not only are you serving your customers better but at the same time you are converting the negative chatter into positive chatter as this could provide you with Brownie points in terms of the positive comments that will follow your quick redressal of the situation.
So beware whenever a distant butterfly flaps its wings (consumer writing a review/ comment/tweet) in the social media eco system, it can form a hurricane (PR crisis) for all you know!