Insight on social software and big data analytics

Teradata and Mzinga announced the results of a recent industry survey exploring the use of social technologies and big data analytics in business.

The survey’s primary goal was to create an industry benchmarking report providing professionals with insight into the adoption, use and current state of social business software and big data analytics in businesses.

“The survey results indicate that a wide variety of industries are interested in analytics and the power that analytics can provide them in making business decisions,” said William Rand, assistant professor and director, Center for Complexity in Business. “However, there seems to be a lack of knowledge of how to best implement analytics, and a lack of consistent support for analytics across different platforms. This indicates a strong market need for education and consistent implementation of world-class analytic systems.”

Eighty percent of survey respondents reported using social technologies in one or more areas of business, including marketing, employee collaboration, customer service and support and sales.

While the majority of businesses currently utilize social technologies, opportunities exist to attain maximum impact and greater ROI by developing customer and marketing strategies to target trust and influence in their business.

  • While business are attaining some value through social technologies, 49 percent state that they are not using social technologies to their full potential, while only 12 percent of respondents acknowledge that social technologies have helped in their day-to-day roles and responsibilities
  • The top use cases for social technologies that will impact areas of trust and influence include customer experience, service or support; marketing or brand experience; employee collaboration and knowledge sharing; and sales.

As greater emphasis is placed on the impact of social technologies, professionals are struggling to understand analytics and how to measure ROI and value in their business.

  • 75 percent of respondents do not measure ROI for their social business programs, while the majority of use occurs on a case-by-case basis
  • Of those who do not measure ROI, 31 percent don’t know if their vendor provides analytics, 14 percent have a vendor who does not provide analytics, and 44 percent do not work with a vendor for analytics at all
  • Some respondents also are unaware of what information analytics can provide, whereas others state a desire for more thorough, advanced training on their analytics’ capabilities
  • Many participants claimed to be influential in their company’s adoption of social technologies but were unaware of how their use could be successfully measured, or stated that analytics were too difficult.

As organizations seek to gain business intelligence through data analytics, market opportunity exists to provide greater accuracy, insight and performance from social technologies.

  • Big data technologies are still ahead of the market: 42 percent of respondents are unfamiliar with big data technologies
  • Respondents realize the importance of analyzing and gleaning insights from social interactions happening in real time, but are unable to indicate a time frame in which they will implement a solution to do so
  • The top metrics respondents want in a big data solution include customer feedback and preferences; user, behavioral and content trend analysis; and ROI.

The survey was conducted online in the spring of 2012 and drew more than 500 participants from a wide variety of professional disciplines and industries, including media, financial services, consulting, marketing, human resources, engineering, and others.

The complete survey is available here (registration required).

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