IBM, Twitter to track brands, trends

IBM has announced a partnership with Twitter in a play to track the impetus behind business decisions, through the use of data collected from tweets worldwide.

IBM aims to ‘help businesses predict trends in the marketplace and consumer sentiment about products and brands’ via its partnership and has started training of 10 000 employees to consult businesses on the best use of Twitter data.

Itself a brand name in the industry for over 100 years, IBM has taken this strategic step in an effort to shift the company focus away from hardware and towards a higher-value cloud and data analytics product service

In July, IBM chief executive Ginni Rometty announced a partnership with Apple to offer iPads and iPhones loaded with applications geared toward enterprise clients.

“Here we are seeing an alignment of old tech and new tech companies. It is the second such deal that IBM has announced in the last couple months. They realize they don’t have all the answers and a lot of other companies have asset offerings that can be matched well,” says Scott Kessler, analyst at S&P Capital IQ in New York.

In April, Twitter acquired social data provider Gnip to investigate the 500-million tweets sent daily on its network.

Enterprise clients will now be able to filter the data based on geography, public biographical information and the emotion expressed in the tweet.

The company previously allowed third-party companies such as Gnip, Datasift and Dataminr to buy access to tweets and re-sell that data to corporate clients.

Reuters’ parent company, Thomson Reuters also sells sentiment analysis of Twitter data, which monitors the emotional sentiment behind tweets toward topics and companies.

While other data analysis software for businesses exists, Twitter hopes the partnership with IBM’s established businesses will draw in customers.

“Data is the phenomenon of our time,” says IBM’s Rometty.

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