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I’ve been umming and ahhing over this one for a week or so and the immediate answer just wasn’t in my field of vision. There’s lots of talk about data mining Twitter feeds as a use for company feedback. SAP already have something called the “sentiment engine” as part of their Business Objects Text Analysis suite that was using the Twitter API’s to gather information on a company or product and predict what the buzz was.

Twitter signups are lacking one major piece of information and that’s an age range for user accounts. It makes slicing any form of decent information a real challenge. Facebook at least asks you for a date of birth but extracting it something I have never tried.

Tesco learned the hard way about not knowing age segmentation when the Clubcard was in its early days. Pensioners were not wanting money off vouchers for Coca Cola as they simply didn’t drink the stuff. They weren’t quiet about it either. Localisation would work well with Twitter analysis as you can define a geocode radius to the result set.

So we can easily find out what people think about our products but never find out what age they possibly could be.

Original blog post on the Sentiment Engine in the Insurance Technology Blog.
More on the SAP BOTA here.