IBM points predictive analytics at social Web

They're even tracking those emoticons

The next time you choose an emoticon to spice up a comment about a company, product or service online, know this: There's a chance that a software program is capturing the sentiment expressed by your smiley or frowny for analysis.

The capability is part of a new release of IBM's SPSS Modeler text mining and analytics software, which also allows customers to parse information from social media sites and feeds.

Emoticons' meaning tend to be obvious, but written comments aren't always so, due to industry-specific jargon and slang. To that end, the new release includes 180 "semantic networks" with taxonomies for verticals like life sciences or consumer tech. For example, in a banking context, the software would recognize that a "variable rate mortgage" and an "adjustable rate mortgage" are the same thing, IBM said.

Many companies already use demographic information, sales data and other structured sources to build predictive models in an effort to understand customer behavior and connect with new ones. IBM contends that integrating information from the social Web will add further insight.

SPSS customer Money Mailer, a direct marketing services provider, definitely sees the potential of social media in its business, but is still in the early stages of figuring out how to use it, said John Gramata, vice president of marketing.

Historically, Money Mailer has used SPSS tools for purposes like creating "look-like" customer models, he said. He cited a regional garden center that had a dedicated customer base but was looking to add more. Money Mailer took a sample of information from the company's "loyalty club" database and developed a model for spotting likely targets aggregated from other contact databases.

Money Mailer has an in-house statistician that works with SPSS, but the software's interface has proven easy for some business analysts to work with, Gramata said.

While generally happy with the software overall, Gramata is looking forward to expected speed improvements in the new release, as very large data sets tended to result in a performance hit. "It's always been a fast tool but ... any kind of improvements in speed is definitely a welcome enhancement."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags analyticsemoticonsIBMSPSS

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?