New approaches to research and analysis on the Social Web
Knowledge is a key differentiator in our conversation economy. The way intelligence is being discovered and managed is playing an increasing role in helping analysts and researchers continuously deliver exceptional content and identify information trends.
Today, experts and amateurs all have the same online bandwidth to express their opinions and insights, or to share their knowledge and experiences with others. This sheer mass of this content can at times can be overwhelming. However, there has never before been a greater opportunity for uncovering the information gems that exist within this collective intelligence.
From researchers and business analysts to journalists, all are expressing similar difficulties in finding credible online information sources. Search engines can overwhelm with low quality or out-of-date information; the voluminous conversations happening in real time on the Social Web are diminished in value if underlying intelligence or sentiment is not easily aggregated for further analysis.
Ideally a single information feed is required in order to isolate trusted information sources from general noise and chatter and knowledge workers are now looking to Social Business Software (SBS) to:
- continuously listen in real time to vast amounts of online information, automatically identifying experts, trends, and newsworthy topics for further action and analysis
- provide immediate alerts to new and emerging information that matches areas of interest and expertise.
- instantly aggregate social media sentiment against emerging content identifying influencers and / or the most important conversation threads.
Tuning in to information sources
According to Google engineers, one trillion unique URLs were discovered in 2008. In 2009 a study concluded there were 25.21 billion indexable pages on the Web.
When you combine these numbers with the 3 billion social media conversations that take place every day in the USA alone, an understanding begins to emerge of the sheer volume of information. According to some members of The Next Web it would take – excluding social media posts – 57,000 years to read.
Facts and trivia aside, large segments of information need to be daily repurposed and progressed to meet varying research and business objectives. Taking the manual approach to sourcing information is becoming less and less feasible. Knowledge workers are now using social business software to enable them to automate monitoring or ‘listening’ to specific areas on the Web. These areas could be any additions or updates to resource sites, blogs, wikis, professional forums, social networks and more.
SBS, using prescribed criteria, spiders these targeted areas and delivers content summaries into a user's dashboard activity stream. Users have the ability to then drill down deeper from any of the summaries for further analysis should they so wish.
Importantly, multiple information sources have been qualified, compiled and presented to users in a single view with extraneous noise reduced to a minimum.
What's the buzz?
The Web has always been a constant source for trends but identifying emerging trends of substance is getting increasingly difficult. Discovery after the tipping point in many cases is not ideal for knowledge workers or commercial concerns.
But again social business software can help. SBS identifies buzz and provides automatic alerts to who the biggest influencers are and where the important conversations are taking place.
The software also provides a number of tools that help users follow and measure how market trends, ideas, or news is being virally spread and with what degree of sentiment – positive or negative – is attached to the topic.
Discovering information on the Web is one aspect to social business software but huge amounts of collective knowledge also lives behind an organisation's firewall. The challenge is how to combine these two sources effectively.
In many cases knowledge work requires collaboration with other colleagues. Here SBS acts as the common denominator providing the perfect platform where members, even across geographical locations, can collaborate in an easy to use environment.
Additionally, having discussions taking place within the SBS means users are given further assistance through the notification of relevant information that already exists either internally or externally. This saves considerable time in the knowledge working process and importantly helps avoid any duplication of effort.
In summary leading SBS suites, such as the Jiglu Social Business Software suite, assist across the entire knowledge process from creation to retention. This provides considerable savings and benefits by reducing time spent in manual research, automatically discovering information trends, through to retaining collective knowledge for future use.
The result is users gain many competitive advantages in what is now called a conversation economy.