Whilst I may have been one of the first proponents of Agile Business Intelligence, I am the first to admit that I have been rather late jumping on the social media bandwagon. However I am firmly convinced that social media such as twitter has a huge role to play as a source of data for business intelligence and data warehousing systems.
Without further ado, I would like to discuss 4 different types of information that can be extracted from twitter to add value to your BI system.
- Industry and Consumer Trends: The value of trending topics and hash (#) tags cannot be understated. I'm not recommending that you extract every #tag, but you should build up a taxonomy of tags related to your company, competitors and industry. From the frequency, tone and relationship of the tweets containing these tags you can see any relationships between the trend and other information in your warehouse.
- Global vs Local trends: With the addition of geocoded/localised tweets you can break trends into regions allowing for more targeted analysis.
- Company comments: Tweets which mention you company can be extracted and analysed for tone and content. You can then compare positive and negative tweets against sales or customer interaction, often providing early and regular feedback on potential issues
- Product discussion during promotion: Twitter can be very useful at guageing the efficacy of marketing and promotion campaigns. This can be achieved fairly simply by comparing changes in twitter trends with the location and content of your marketing. This, of course, is only relevant if the target audience of your marketing/promotion is on twitter.
I hope this gives people some ideas of ways to extend classic business intelligence systems with interesting data. If anyone else has any further ideas, leave them in the comments below.