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smiling business man pushing a light bulb button having a great idea

Business Intelligence: IBM and Twitter Mashup

Back in October of 2014, IBM announced that it would be beginning a very important partnership with social media giant, Twitter.  This partnership would allow businesses that used IBM services to utilize Twitter data to improve their marketing strategies.  IBM already had such platforms available, like the Watson cloud platform, an enterprise solution to help businesses sort through the internet data to improve their businesses and make informed decisions based on what consumers are doing online.

The purpose of the partnership between IBM and Twitter is that Twitter now shares its data with IBM so that IBM can use this data to help companies make even more education decisions.  This partnership allows businesses who employ IBM’s enterprise solution services to ask very specific questions about consumer analytics, such as why sales in a certain city are so much higher than everywhere else, and get a detailed and very helpful answer, based on Twitter data.

This partnership was long in the making, and it happened as IBM was building up its strategy to become a bigger competitor in the analytics arena.  As the realm of online marketing analytics grows and grows, companies like IBM compete against other analytics giants to find better angles that allow them to offer more insightful advice to companies. Teaming up with Twitter was a great way to gain more insight from the World Wide Web to sell to companies in such a competitive space.

IBM has been slowly improving its foothold in the analytics space up until the partnership, with technology such as Watson, the supercomputer, who appeared in a media stunt on the TV show Jeopardy.  Watson Analytics was the true item being promoted, which is a cloud application that is revolutionary in working with big data.  IBM strives to provide their customers with as much accurate marketing analytic data as possible, and teaming up with Twitter seemed a wise next step.  The company is now able to benefit from the enormous stream of data that constantly flows in from Twitter.

Twitter also benefits from this partnership, since it can establish itself as useful in the analytics space, for more than the standard social media monitoring purposes.   It is able to show its value to enterprise customers.  This is an important delineation for Twitter, as it struggles to keep increasing its user numbers and maintain timeline views, which have steadily slowed and decreased, respectively.  Even with falling views, Twitter can continue to increase its profitability by establishing itself as an invaluable marketing tool.

What This Means for Users

The partnership between Twitter and IBM is exciting for Twitter users who are marketing strategists or even small businesses looking for new insights and tools for evaluating what customers are doing and thinking.  IBM and Twitter plan to join forces to make applications that focus on helping businesses make better, more informed decisions for their companies.  The release of these applications will first integrate Twitter data into IBM’s software, ExperienceOne.

This is not the first time that Twitter data has been used in such a way.  In April of 2014, Twitter made an important purchase of the vendor, Gnip.  Gnip was a business that harvested and sorted social data from Twitter and other such sources, for similar purposes to what IBM plans to do with this data.  Gnip already provides a platform that allows business to make innovative decisions based on data from Twitter.  Because of its previous purchase of Gnip, Twitter had the platform already in place to integrate with IBM after the partnership.

Additionally, companies have always monitored Twitter independently to study what customers are saying about their products and services.  The IBM integration with Twitter will simply allow this type of data analysis to be more refined and sophisticated.  Companies who use the services presented by the IBM-Twitter analytics partnership will be able to ask very specific questions with multiple variables, and receive applicable data from all across Twitter to apply to answering that question—answers that they can then apply to the marketing solutions they then put in place.

For users who do not have an interest in using IBM and Twitter’s analytic tools to build a brand or gain business marketing insights, this merger will not change the Twitter user experience.  Analytic software like Google Analytics already affect the way that internet users view the web, and what advertisements are shown to internet users.  A casual user’s tweets about their company already available to companies that are aware, through the use Google Analytics’ JavaScript and Cookies, that that particular customer has purchased one of their products or may purchase one of their products in the future.

The partnership between Twitter and IBM will only make the analytic information more complete and more beneficial for the companies’ own strategies and marketing approaches.  For example, if sales are dipping more on the West Coast, a company will be able to determine why that may be happening based on this new stream of Twitter-based analytics, and adjust their West Coast strategy accordingly.


IBM and Twitter’s goal in partnering is to provide companies with all of the tools they need to make wise decisions for the future of their marketing strategies.  IBM is a leader in creating ways for companies to make use of the newest technology and marketing platforms, and Twitter is one of these new marketing platforms.  IBM will be integrating data that it gets from Twitter into the Watson Analytics application, and the two companies will also be working to develop specific tools for specific industries.

They will create software offering marketing and analytics solutions for different industries that require different sets and types of data, and answers to different types of specific questions.   One can also expect these different tools to include analytic features that are focused specifically on either product-centric businesses or service-centric businesses.

Business intelligence is one of the fastest-growing markets today, with companies spending millions of dollars to have data turned into real marketing solutions, so this partnership between IBM and Twitter could mean major benefits for both the two companies and their customers.

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About Sean Donahoe

Sean is one of the most recognized industry leaders in business and marketing. As a popular speaker, author, consultant he has helped over 50,000 students world wide find success in their businesses and has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and businesses of every size grow and thrive...

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