IBM joins the social media monitoring melee

4th May 2011

IBM has become the latest vendor to add a social media monitoring tool to its business analytics software portfolio after releasing Cognos Consumer Insights.

The offering is the latest addition to an increasingly crowded market and is intended to help marketers understand consumer opinions and spot trends related to their products and brands via a dashboard that displays tables, cross-tabs, pie charts and trend charts.

Timothy Powers, who handles external communications for IBM’s business analytics unit, said in a blog: "The ability to now incorporate social media data from IBM Cognos Consumer Insight into predictive analytics solutions gives businesses a comprehensive understanding of their customers."

By understanding customer preferences and buying patterns, businesses could now build predictive models to better determine future outcomes and proactively work to retain dissatisfied customers, he added.

The tool includes language analysis capabilities developed by the vendor’s Almaden Research Lab, which flags topics and can identify positive and negative sentiment in consumers’ online comments.

It is also integrated with IBM’s Hadoop-based Big Insights engine to provide database-like management capabilities for text and incorporates predictive analytics technology from SPSS, which IBM purchased in 2009.

The aim in supporting predictive analytics functionality is to help marketers understand which topics matter most to different customer segments so that they can develop campaigns that are likely to have the biggest impact on the bottom line.

Over time, the tool will also be integrated with IBM’s Unica marketing management and Coremetrics web analytics offerings. The former is intended to make it easier for marketers to monitor responses to Unica-based advertising campaigns and product promotions, while the latter will provide feedback to website modifications or changes to shipping-and-handling charges.

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