How to use Social Data Analytics to Optimize Business Performance

By Alex Gonçalves

Analytics is the pursuit of truth. We want to find the truth because we want to take the best possible decision in face of any given situation. The concept of analytics is to understand all the different parts of a problem to then be able to find improvement points from the facts in the past, and also to predict the future outcome of present decisions.

Businesses today are making better use of analytics than ever before. They are investing in collecting and connecting all the possible data they can about their own operation and also competitive information, the external data about the market, and every relevant event in the world. This means there is huge investment in data collection systems, data processing, integration, but also in hiring and training people to become the specialists who will push forward on the data-driven strategies.

Among the different data sets that give businesses strategic advantages is social media data. In social media, however, we are faced with many challenges when it comes to analytics. Many of us don’t come from a technical background, and therefore, can be confused by the details around social media data sources, integration, available data, and data processing systems. We might also not have the time to constantly use all of our mathematical knowledge either, and may need help when creating and working with new metrics to accurately measure what we need. On top of that, social media is a field that is evolving very quickly, and analytics in itself is also evolving far beyond social media, and into artificial intelligence.

To get ahead in social media analytics, we will then essentially need to cover two points:

  • The foundation of social media analytics: how to understand and deal with any social media network, strategy or campaign by understanding the basic elements that are common to the entire social data landscape.
  • The broader picture: how social media analytics integrates with, and affects other areas of the business. This is perhaps the ultimate challenge businesses will face, the integration of all available data so that strategic insights can lead to higher returns on investments.

To give us such real-world context and insight, I have brought together years of research and professional work in social media analytics into the book, Social Media Analytics Strategy. The book will focus precisely on these two main points of study.

It will take us on a journey of discovery where, by the end of it, we will be ready to tackle any project or process using Social Media analytics. Exclusive interviews are included, with global experts in fields that cover social media analytics specifically, but also business intelligence, data integration, artificial intelligence, machine learning, project management, and even the “human side” of things. As we will see throughout the book, the “human side” of the analytics process will be key to its ultimate success.

The ultimate objective when studying analytics is that we can shape the best version of our “analyst selves.” Meaning that we can grow and truly become thinkers in the field, reaching a point where we can effortlessly approach any project with a sharp analytical mind.

To conclude the initial studies in the book, we glimpse into the future of analytics and prepare to understand a more complex analytical solution: Prescriptive analytics. A stage when all possible decisions, future scenarios and consequences are taken into account so that the analytics system can truly optimize the decision making process, and hence optimize business performance.

This is an invitation for you to dive into the world of analytics and make the best use out of it. Then, your next step will be to bring your insights back into the world and share it with us so that together we can grow the field and learn from each other. As an author, professional and above all a passionate enthusiast in the field, I look forward on hearing from you and extending this conversation further.

About the Author

Alex Gonçalves works for Quintly (professional social media analytics), training and providing analytics to social media teams around the world from global companies such as Peugeot & Citroen, Danone, Autodesk, and Monster Energy, as well as from global PR agencies such as Ogilvy, Leo Burnett, Publicis, Mediacom, Mindshare, Havas, and many others. Alex's global experience combined with his professional experience has given him an understanding of the different contexts of digital marketing around the world. He has lived in the United States, Germany, England, Czech Republic, Portugal, and Brazil. He currently lives in the United States, where he continues to expand his work and help professionals improve their use of social media analytics.

Want more? Find more in depth information in Social Media Analytics Strategy: Using Data to Optimize Business Performance by Alex Gonçalves, ISBN: 978-1-48423-101-2.