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Claudio Pinhanez, Manager of Service Systems Research, IBM Research - Brazil

Claudio Pinhanez, Manager of Service Systems Research, IBM Research – Brazil

By Claudio Pinhanez

Analysis quantifies social media sentiment of country’s national game.

Brazil is a country of 194 million people. And 194 million soccer coaches. But only the (real) coach Luiz Felipe Scolari’s opinion has ever been heard – until Ei! IBM Research – Brazil’s new tweet-crunching tool, tuned to everything about Brazil’s national team, now gives everyone a voice.

The team is testing Ei! (an expression to get someone’s attention, analogous to “hey!” in English) at all five of the national team’s 2013 FIFA Confederation Cup games happening in Brazil through June 30. In five-minute increments, beginning one hour before a game, the two hours during the game, and one hour afterward, Ei! grabs hundreds of thousands of tweets about the match, players, related news, and, of course, the coach.

Ei! uses IBM Infosphere Streams as its supporting platform and runs on a SmartCloud Enterprise public cloud based in Germany. During the games, Ei! is constantly analyzing positive, neutral and negative sentiment of the tweets. For example, the popular (but polarizing) player Neymar scored Brazil’s first goal within the opening three minutes of their game against Japan. Something to cheer about, right? Not according to the fans. More than 96 thousand tweets mentioned Neymar during the game, but more fan comments about his performance were negative at 60 percent!

Sharing the insight with Brazil … and the coach

Neymar doesn’t live up to fans’ expectations in 3-0 win over Japan.

Neymar doesn’t live up to fans’ expectations in 3-0 win over Japan.

We gave Coach Scolari special access credentials to view the data on his smartphone. So, he could tune into the analysis of his players and games at any time. Although we don’t know if Scolari necessarily paid attention to the negative sentiment toward his star player during the Japan game, the fans overwhelmingly approved of Neymar’s performance in the 2-0 win over Mexico: 86 percent positive tweets, to 14 percent negative out of more than 140,000 tweets posted about him.

Check out his goal and assist on the second score and you’ll see why the fans approved!

Brazil TV network Rede Bandeirantes also has exclusive access to Ei! For every game we select two to three stories related to what emerges from the data. Then Banderiantes incorporates the sentiment breakdown in their post-game commentary. For example, during the game against Mexico, the story was all about how country declared “that’s the Neymar we want to see!”

How we analyze the tweets

The analysis performed by Ei! starts with language simplification around Brazil, soccer, and the players on the national team. We convert all variations of related verbs used on Twitter, in terms of its various tenses, into a single form. We also consolidate all synonyms for players, such as striker Givanildo Vieira de Souza, whose nickname is “Hulk” (that is commonly misspelled as “Ruck”).

We started with a sample of 500 tweets about one of Brazil’s games before the Confederation Cup to help the system learn about how words convey positive and negative sentiment about soccer. From the sample, we estimated a value of influence for each word as it impacted the whole tweet. So, when a new tweet comes in during an actual game, Ei! simplifies and puts a value on each words to determine their influence on the meaning of the tweet. Once we established the influence of certain words, we could surmise the sentiment of hundreds of thousands of tweets.

Finally, Ei! and its ability to understand Portuguese (and everything about Brazilian soccer) was combined with IBM Infosphere Streams so that it could manage in real time the hundreds of thousands Confederation Cup – and next year, possibly the millions of World Cup – tweets.


What Else Can Ei! Analyze?

My team thinks of this analysis as a demonstration of what IBM can do for any decision maker, such as a Chief Marketing Officer. Think of the CMO as the coach. He or she could listen to what customers are saying about the company brand.

Just in the same way Ei! analyzed a storm of tweets when outraged fans reacted to Coach Scolari’s decision, to remove another star player, Oscar, during the second half of a “friendly” match (not a game of FIFA Confederation or World Cup consequence) , so it also could gauge the response to a CMO’s branded message.

Scolari certainly did not expect the negative reaction to Oscar’s benching, since he had publicly announced it before the match – and in context, fan reaction would not have changed his decision. Ei! showed that fans pay attention even to brief statements and seemingly inconsequential statements. In the same way, an organization may want to know how and why their message is received on Twitter, as it could impact brand perception and ultimately, sales.

Follow Ei!’s analysis of every Brazil FIFA Confederation Cup game on our website.

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If you could do this in soccer mad Brazil, you could also do it in cricket crazy India.

We are as equally passionate about our cricket as are Brazilians about thheir soccer.

And a billion and more to count!!!!!!!!

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Posted by: Sanjay Prasad
July 2, 2013
11:46 pm

That’s indeed a very nice article Claudio ! Just a quick question – Did this application used the IBM software – Social Media Analytics (SMA – formerly known as CCI) ? As well, someone put a comment that in US less than 10% of population uses Twitter – so is the statistics in other countries as well. Would your application be able to ingest any other sources of data – blogs, forums, facebook etc. ?

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Amazing to know how IBM analytics are able to “digest” the huge flood of data through Social Media channels. My only doubt is whether the “single-minded” Scolari would consult such insights to know how the public audience rates his decisions…

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Wow! This is great analysis of a soccer game by IBM. Delighted to know that IBM is using analytics and cloud computing in the world of soccer.
Twitter is a great platform for people to express themselves. And when people’s expressions and IBM’s analytics come together, great things happen.

Posted by: Kiron D'lima
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Its nice to know that analyatics is playing a key role in business organizations in helping to listen to the pulse of the people , But how would analyatics handle scarsam from twitter tweets since half of the users use wit and the meaning may vary ?

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July 2, 2013
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Its awesome that analytic’s is playing a bigger role helping companies listen to the people’s pulse ,But how would analyatics handle scarsam since almost half of the tweets would be people of wit who give a indirect opinion ?

Posted by: Subhash Battina
July 1, 2013
10:57 am

The only problem with this analysis is the target population, twitter users. In a country with high levels of income inequality it is not really measuring the whole country and “giving everyone a voice.” What percentage of the population actively uses twitter? If its anything like the US it is less than 10%.

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Great to see the strength of analytics. It would be nice to know the analysis results during the convincing final win of Brazil.

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June 30, 2013
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Posted by: prasanta
June 29, 2013
3:39 pm

Outstanding article Claudio! And IBM is really leading the way in the way Analytics is changing the way humankind is and will look at life……the possibilities are limitless!

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June 29, 2013
8:49 am

A great way to demonstrate IBM capability in managing information velocity and volume to get meaningful insights.

Posted by: Sambit Misra
June 28, 2013
3:54 pm

Great job Claudio! This is exciting stuff… Infosphere and it’s many adaptations. Good to see you again!

Posted by: Dorian D'Ausliio
June 28, 2013
11:42 am

Thank you, Brian! And we’ve fixed the link at the end.

Posted by: Chris
June 28, 2013
10:58 am

Great article. One minor point the link at the end is broken – I assume it was supposed to point at http:/

Posted by: Brian O'Donovan
5 Trackbacks
October 21, 2016
2:34 pm

[…] Claudio Pinhanez veio em seguida para entrar fundo no tema da reunião. Claudio é cientista do Laboratório de Pesquisa da IBM Brasil e líder de pesquisa na área de Análises de Redes Sociais. Ele contou o que está por trás de um projeto de análise de sentimentos e a complexidade inerente a uma empreitada como essa. Em 2013 ele liderou o primeiro projeto do laboratório na Copa das Confederações, onde a proposta era analisar o sentimento dos torcedores no Twitter em relação à seleção brasileira durante a Copa. […]

Posted by: IBM junta Time de Craques para falar sobre Análise de Sentimentos em Redes Sociais – Mauro Segura
September 28, 2014
2:49 pm

Measuring Brazil’s Passion for Soccer

Claudio Pinhanez, Manager of Service Systems Research, IBM Research – Brazil By Claudio Pinhanez Analysis quantifies social media sentiment of country

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June 23, 2014
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