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Social Breakthrough: Twitter Analytics Mainstreams Data

Big news in our world this week. The release of Twitter Analytics is a massive milestone for the social data industry. I see this as a pivotal move by Twitter. For the public, for Brandwatch, and for all companies and technology providers in the social media landscape. Why? Because the availability of Twitter Analytics to all users bolsters the social data and analytics industry in a number of ways.

First and most importantly, it helps to educate the wider Twitter public on social analytics. For the average person on social media, social data and analytics sounds like an extremely techie (and tricky) computer science college course. But with Twitter Analytics, the science and mass number crunching are hidden away behind a beautifully simple dashboard. 

Another great thing about the new tool is that it mainstreams data in a relatable way. Us humanoids have a natural curiosity to know what is being said about us, by whom, and the reach of our words and opinions. This couldn’t be truer for our online personas. We thrive on “likes” and “favorites.”

Is this just another narcissism driver? Giving the inhabitants of the Twittersphere the keys to their analytics does more than drive a cultural “look at me, look at me” mentality. It accustoms a non-analytics head with seeing numbers, charts, and trends from data that they are familiar with in their day to day lives. Their own Twitter output and activity.

As a leader in the deeper social intelligence arena, one of our goals at Brandwatch is to educate the businesses and the public about the usefulness of social data and analytics. Our partner Twitter has made a huge advancement in that respect, as well as for the overall competitive social data market.

They are the first of likely many companies, to put forth an open data type of social analytics platform. We welcome this as an opportunity to innovate new analytics and data products and challenge the entire industry to do the same. Let’s put our business hats on - this puts the pressure on the bottom of the food chain. Now that Twitter’s in the analytics game, don’t be surprised to see products and players that aren’t innovating start to feel some pain (or even disappear).

Does this have any impact or possible benefit to the folks that are already familiar with social data?  

Twitter’s new Analytics tool is ideal for generalist PR practitioners and the general masses, but let’s be honest - it’s not be the right fit for those looking for deeper insights. For digital marketers in particular, they need more sophisticated technology and analytics firepower to identify trends and gain insight into campaigns and whitespace conversations for brands and clients. Data you can get your hands on and wrangle with.

In the PR and marketing world, Twitter Analytics is going to be great for grabbing quick snapshots. However, it’s not a professional grade tool for deep or historical social data analysis like Brandwatch’s Twitter Hindsight offering (full access to all public tweets back to 2006). Now that the whole Twitterverse has access to data and some fundamental analytics, the social intelligence conversation is mainstream. Your mother, college friend, and colleagues know about it. It’s no longer just for the data nerds.

The launch of Twitter Analytics is just the start. Social intelligence -- insights from and the application of data from social listening and analytics technologies -- is a business and technology topic that needs to stay at the forefront of the news and the public’s mind.

Social data has taken the limelight. And it’s here to stay.

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