Deciphering Data Analytics at the Social Media Forum 

Today was my first day back at work after a five day birthday break, and what a great day it was! I attended another Social Media Leadership Forum event, this time on data and analytics, hosted by Thomson Reuters in Canary Wharf.  You can see the Twitter conversation from the event using #SMLFsession. 

Justin Hunt (@justinhunt) opened the session by looking at the latest trends in the world of social. He started by talking about the new memo app, which basically is an anonymous digital forum – across organisation, where employees can give open and honest feedback. You can see more here To be honest I am not sure how productive and beneficial something like this would be, but would love to hear anyone’s stories where it has been implemented effectively…

Justin also mentioned that the have now launched SMLF radio – so I will definitely be tuning into that soon, they also asked for speakers, so hopefully some of you will hear from some IBM experts soon too.

Justin then spoke about the “Masters of Data Collection – Google!”. He said that recently a Google exec said to him from a career progression point of view – data science is where it’s at! Now if only I was good at science :-). Justin also spoke about the Google Loon project – balloons with wifi so more and more people can get online. Check out more at

Justin also spoke about a new concept by Brendan Dawes on data visualisation – called the Happiness Machine, and we watched a brief video. I LOVED the idea – see what you think here
We then got in to the panel, and it was great to see Gareth Mitchell (@garethmj74) from IBM on stage. He spoke about how IBM utilises a tool called SystemU – which analyses an employees social psychology and assesses how to use that to interact most effectively with them, this can ultimately remove barriers to performance and help your employees achieve more. He posed the question is an employees value simply monetary or is it their social network? I would hope it’s starting to be the latter.

Gareth also spoke about matching personalities to sit at the end of the social media services to interact most effectively with people. By talking back to the individual in their natural language organisations can increase engagement and return. Understand customer segments then you can be authentic in way you talk back to them. Gareth spoke about the importance of understanding your objectives before you start on your data journey, and have a programme in place to manage across platforms – an ecosystem, with one person having an overarching management role.

Tom Ball (@tomball1985) from Immediate Future (@iftweeter) – a fantastic social media agency – was also on the panel. he spoke about how in many organisations he sees the biggest challenge is organising people to manage the data and knowing what to do with it.

We then broke into groups and had a question from each panellist to discuss: is our social a point in time or is there longevity in social strategy, is our social married up to the business objectives and what role does social play in our customer journey. I had a very interesting discussion with one lady from Reuters and another from Pearson.

We then went back to the panel, with several more interesting comments. Gareth spoke about how there needs to be a leader at the top of your organisation, who should give you the space to fail a lot before you can be successful on social. He said that both intuition and data scientists are needed – someone who is creative and thinks about the problem working with the data team – this should never be down to one individual but a group collaborating together. Context and experience are replacing traditional marketing, and data in isolation can be dangerous, if it is the only lens used.

Toni Kasparek from Thomson Reuters then joined the panel. She spoke about how social data analysis is no longer just in marketing, it’s going into other areas of the business, looking at patterns of behaviour and integrating with product teams, this drives investment and innovation, and allows the voice of the customer into future content.

Overall a fascinating ever, as usual can’t wait for the next one!!

In other news

This week was my birthday (thanks to all those that remembered and sent me birthday wishes 🙂 ), had a four day celebration including a girls night out, a birthday brunch, a birthday night away with the hubbie in Somerset (including afternoon tea) and a birthday dinner with my family.



About beckyowen

I am a European Social Media Strategist at IBM. I love everything about Social Media, and like testing out new tools and techniques. I am also an on going Weight Watcher, but sadly LOVE all types of cheese and chocolate!
This entry was posted in Events, Networking, Social Media and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Deciphering Data Analytics at the Social Media Forum 

  1. Pingback: 5 do’s that will help embed a data driven culture | immediate future

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