There's a series of AT&T television commercials running in the U.S. that portray how quickly things move in today's digital age.
Twitter, Facebook and YouTube (among others) make it easy – and difficult – to keep up with the latest news, trends and funny baby or animal videos.
By the time you see these items on your desktop or mobile device you quickly realize you are behind the times. That was so :27 seconds ago. Or worse.
In the world of analytics this has never been more true.
27 seconds (or less) is all a retailer, telecommunications provider or insurance company has today to effectively interact with a customer and take the appropriate action – making an offer, fixing a problem, or identifying possible fraudulent activity.
Time is the essence…especially in the world of social media.
Reigning in social media chatter has become a necessity. It’s not just listening to what people are saying, but understanding what they are doing, what they’re thinking and how to better engage with them.
Henkel, a leading producer of laundry and home care, cosmetics and toiletries and adhesive technologies based in Germany, recently deployed IBM social analytics to better understand what its customers were saying about its brands in the social sphere, and more importantly where, so it could refine its message and take better action.
One of the interesting discoveries for its cosmetics business was that customers that were talking about hair were doing it on a cooking social network. They figured that once at a site, people were likely to remain on that site and continue talking about various topics. Knowing this, Henkel was able to better optimize keywords and better market appropriately on this same site.
While Henkel is finding success, many organizations are still unable to tap this precious resource due to lack of understanding of analytics or lack of in-house analytics skills.
This is why more and more universities are creating programs specifically focused on analytics, including Northwestern University, who recently announced two new programs, a full-time Masters of Science in Analytics in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and a part-time Masters of Science in Predictive Analytics program in the School of Continuing Studies.
Students coming out of college today are byproducts of the digital age and intuitively understand social platforms. They are not only the largest consumers of digital information, but also the purveyors of the content, and are the ones that will parlay their social media prowess into a lucrative career that will turn this social data into business value.
Scott Kellert, a student at the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern, commented that organizations will soon realize they need his skills to turn vast quantities of data, especially social media data, into something meaningful that can be quickly applied to improve the business.
“What I love is that analytics can be applied to everything – from insurance fraud to marketing to student retention,” said Kellert. “The new program at Northwestern will take my skills to the next level. Future employers will have confidence that I will know exactly what to do when I encounter large data sets and how to get value from them.”
Value is the operative word…and quickly.
If 27 seconds is all organizations have, they better be precise – and be adaptive to data that changes every minute to catch trends as they are happening, such as in the entertainment (X Factor) or fashion (high-heeled shoes) industries.
Think about if organizations are actually still using a spreadsheet to analyze their data, let alone social media data.
Forget 27 seconds, that’s so five years ago.
What do you think?
For more information on IBM Business Analytics:
· Watch a demo of IBM Cognos Consumer Insight.
· Read a case study on BBVA, who recently deployed IBM Cognos Consumer Insight.
· Download the whitepaper, “Social Media Analytics: Making Customer Insight Actionable”