IBM’s new freemium Watson data service already promised great things to marketers. Now, Big Blue has partnered with Twitter to crunch all the data generated by the vast Twittersphere and offer it to you. What on earth?
You’re not alone if you’re a little awed by this development. Too wonderful for words, and possibly too “big data” to entirely wrap your head around, this marriage of computing and open-source data titans could legitimately cause a person to swoon and reach for a stiff drink.
The basic concept is simple, if stunning. IBM proposes to take the oceans of information generated each day by Twitter users (that’s roughly a billion data points each day) and convert it into news your accounting firm can use. That means you’ll have insight into who’s talking about what, what people like, what they wish for and every possible other angle hidden in the constant tornado of Twitter talk that swirls around the internet.
It’s a lovely thought, and IBM clearly understands just how meaningful such an accomplishment would be. In their press release IBM’s President, CEO and Chairman Ginni Rometty says, “Twitter provides a powerful new lens through which to look at the world—as both a platform for hundreds of millions of consumers and business professionals, and as a synthesizer of trends.” “This partnership, drawing on IBM’s leading cloud-based analytics platform, will help clients enrich business decisions with an entirely new class of data.”
IBM goes one step further, claiming the partnership “will help transform how businesses and institutions understand their customers, markets and trends – and inform every business decision.” The funny thing is, this isn’t hyperbole if the promises pan out.
The value of such a proposition is obvious, but can an endeavor of this magnitude possibly work in practice? The public doesn’t entirely buy into the concept, judging by the fact that both companies’ stock sank lower in the days following the announcement. That could be because it all seems just too good to be true.
Think about it: if this really happens and really works, you’ll be living in a marketing paradise. No more confusion, no more wondering whether you’re going down the primrose path or heading into the deep, dark, wolf-infested forest with no way out. You’ll be able to swiftly examine real-time data from a huge section of humanity that lets you know
- What’s working and what’s not?
- Where is an unfilled niche just waiting for you to fill?
- How much demand exists for a particular service or delivery method?
- How does the public in general feel about your firm, and what in specific do your clients like or not like?
This could be the Holy Grail of industry-specific feedback and detailed data breakdowns that you dream of. No wonder it’s a little hard to take at face value!
Nobody knows yet just how valuable this proposed service will turn out to be, but it sure looks like about the most exciting thing since the first pizza was slung onto a hot stone. Big data has long held all kinds of vague promise; with the IBM-Twitter teamup, the payoff begins to emerge from the mist as something with clear, present and extremely large value for today’s business leaders. Feel free to jump up and down inside as you watch the developments (maintaining a staid, professional calm on the outside, of course).
What’s your interpretation of all this excitement? Pure hype or earth-shattering progress you can’t wait to try, or somewhere in between?