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Anna Hodge, IBM Communications Intern, Journalism Major, Syracuse University

Anna Hodge, IBM Communications Intern, Journalism Major, Syracuse University

By Anna Hodge

Insight is central to any decision. Whether it’s where to go to dinner or the platform to focus on in a political campaign, information and insights are crucial to making the best choice. Now, imagine if you could get insights in real-time. How might you use them to make better decisions?

That’s the idea behind IBM’s Social Sentiment technology, developed by IBM Brazil. The technology examines in real-time what is being posted on social networks. From this, we are able to learn from the things people are saying – good, bad and indifferent – about any given topic, company, person, idea, trend, etc. The technology was originally piloted by IBM Brazil Research which used it to analyze more than 10 million tweets during the 2013 FIFA Confederate Cup. The sentiment-sifting technology is now analyzing social media sentiment during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. 

The technology analyzes posts looking at various angles, including slang, sarcasm and colloquial language. The posts, in Portugese for example, are captured by a high-tech system with artificial intelligence that is trained to learn to interpret whether posts are positive, negative or neutral. The information is then provided to a manager or, in the case of the World Cup, a coach via their smart phone.

Having the social analytics on hand, in real-time, has the potential to affect our decisions, making them, if nothing else, more thoughtful. For example, consider the impact it will have on political campaigns, plots of soap operas, company brands, concert line-ups, and even government policy.

As the plethora of social platforms gain increasing prominence around the world, so too will the value of understanding the messages emanating from them.

After all, reactions from fans or customers are crucial to the ultimate success of brands. Getting those reactions instantly, could be a game-changer. For example, a TV producer looking to create an ongoing series is very interested in gauging and understanding the reactions of the show’s viewers. But such sentiments provided instantly could play a direct role in influencing existing plot lines, as well as those in future seasons.

In the same way an organization wants to monitor its status on Wall Street, Social Sentiment technologies enable companies to gauge how they’re being perceived socially. As much as a politician wants to win an election, the sentiments of his or her constituency are just as important, and can be monitored in real time.

To be sure, the Social Sentiment technology has the potential to move from the soccer pitch to the board room. With insights gained from real-time access toboth negative and positive feedback from millions of people, decision makers will be empowered to make not just the right decisions, but the best ones.

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9 Comments
 
September 25, 2014
2:03 pm
September 19, 2014
10:14 am

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August 19, 2014
9:21 am

This is certainly an amazing app! And fans will continue to love it as long as wins on the soccer field can be attributed to insights provided in real time. We do know, however, that the Brazilian national team came crumbling like a house of cards in their semi-finals game against the German powerhouse. What responsibility do the fans have in this case, and what is the fan perception of Ei (the app) when things go terribly wrong? Are there currently any measurements of fan-feedback after the loss by Brazil?
There is little doubt that this app will spruce up some TV shows and tremendously impact political campaigns and social mobilization. On the football field, however, I think the football (soccer ball)will continue to be round and, oftentimes, unpredictable.


Posted by: Innocent Chia
 
August 14, 2014
12:09 am

I’d just like to point out that it’s called the FIFA *Confederations* Cup, not the ‘Confederate’ Cup.

http://www.fifa.com/confederationscup/


Posted by: Dave Wharton
 
July 26, 2014
12:29 pm

Very well written, Anna and indeed the data and insights from social platforms drive enormous improvisations and innovations in today’s marketing. Being a social media enthusiast and small entrepreneur our primary target is to connect/engage with people (target audience) as much as possible, understand their needs/preferences and accordingly strategize social media campaigns. Continuous analysis of data and conversions can lead to huge knowledge of technology, understanding of the market behavior and decision making.


Posted by: Sujan Meko
 
July 2, 2014
2:36 pm

I believe this technology has a great potential.. Very Nice..


Posted by: Praveen Kumar
 
June 27, 2014
8:33 am

Faster ? For sure. Real insights ? Don’t know. At least more work for spin doctors and perception management. Better decisions ? Not convinced (yet).


Posted by: Jos Blykers
 
June 26, 2014
6:18 am

Hi,
Is the FIFA 2014 World Cup Sentiment analysis available to the public? Could you please point me to the URL?


Posted by: Rajesh Singh
 
June 26, 2014
3:07 am

In other words: Big Brother si watching you again a bit more…


Posted by: Georg v. Frundsberg
 
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