Putting the Data in Data Discovery – Qliktech & Gnip Partner Up

Gnip is excited to announce that Qliktech is the newest member of our Plugged In partner program. While we partner with many different types of companies – ranging from innovative social analytics products to well-known big data services and software providers – Qliktech is a unique and exciting addition to our program.
Qliktech is discovery software that combines key features of data analysis with intuitive decision-making features, including (to name a few):

  • The ability to consolidate data from multiple sources
  • An easy search function across all datasets and visualizations
  • State-of-the-art graphics for visualization and data discovery
  • Support for social decision-making through secure, real-time collaboration
  • Mobile device data capture and analysis

Our partnership means that joint Qliktech and Gnip clients can easily marry social data with internal datasets to create nuanced visualizations that surface performance indicators and real-time changes that can impact the decisions those clients are making.

To put the powerful capabilities of this new partnership to good use, Gnip will be co-sponsoring a partner hackathon on April 6th at Qonnections– the Qliktech Partner Summit.

Along with HP Vertica and Qliktech, we’ll enable partners to hack on behalf of Medair, Swiss based humanitarian organization that provides support for health, nutrition, water and sanitation, hygiene, and shelter initiatives to countries experiencing natural disasters or emergencies.

A series of recent academic papers have highlighted the usefulness that social media plays in obtaining real-time information following sudden natural disasters. This hackathon will follow in those steps, using Twitter data from during Typhoon Haiyan, which landed in the Philippines on Nov 8th, 2013. Using Gnip’s Profile Geo enhancement, we’ll provide data from the Philippines during that period, allowing other Qliktech partners to experiment with how Medair could leverage this data, within Qliktech, in future situations that require real-time analysis and response.

It will be a great time, but more importantly, will harness the power of the Gnip and Qliktech relationship to accomplish something everyone can be proud of. And that’s a pretty good start to a new partnership!

Quantifying Tweets: Trading on 140 Characters

Social media analysis… for traders? That statement 5 years ago elicited a much different response than it does now. The market now recognizes the importance – and the impact – of social media channels, and as such, has recognized the need to monitor and trade off the research created from that data.

One of the earliest and most important voices in this conversation was that of Joe Gits and the Social Market Analytics team. Which is why we are incredibly excited to announce that they’ve joined the Plugged In to Gnip partner program.

Social Market Analytics quantifies social data for traders, portfolio managers, hedge funds and risk managers. Their technology extracts, evaluates and calculates social data to generate directional sentiment and volatility indications on stocks, ETFs, sectors and indices – providing predictive indicators for clients. They have succeeded in turning qualitative text into quantitative indicators that can easily be incorporated into trading strategies – broadening the types of traders and firms who can now access and incorporate social signal into their decision making.

As shown in their recently announced agreement with New York Stock Exchange (allowing NYSE reseller and distribution rights to their sentiment feed), SMA is helping bring social analytics to a wider group of financial firms than has ever been possible. That client base requires the highest-level of enterprise reliability in the products they buy –  which means SMA’s product requires the strongest data foundation possible. And Gnip is honored to be the company providing the reliable and complete access to the social data that fuels this solution.

To see what their technology looks like, check out the webinar we recently held with them.

Welcoming Estimize, Gnip’s Latest Premium Publisher

At Gnip, we’ve always had a theory that financial firms would be hungry for social data. What has happened has surpassed our expectations, though; we’ve seen an incredible hunger from firms wishing to use social data as a news source, a sentiment signal and a research set.

One of the ways we’ve measured the success of how this sector uses social data is by how often our customers ask for additional social data sources. One of the most consistent asks we’ve heard has been for for Estimize, a crowdsourced earnings estimates platform that provides open sourced financial estimates with incredibly transparency, making it a valuable and unique set of social data.

We’re excited to now be the exclusive provider of Estimize’s social data, delivering our trading customers yet another competitive edge driven by social interaction. Estimize has a community of 2,50 vetted analysts that create estimates that beat comparable Wall Street reports more than 67% of the time. In the short few years since Estimize has been founded they’ve become a force, and we believe this dataset- and the power of this dataset- will continue to increase substantially over time.

Watching how the financial industry has incorporated social data from StockTwits, Twitter and now Estimize is proving the utility of social data and we’re excited to be on the vanguard of that.

For more information, please visit Gnip.com/Estimize or email info@gnip.com.

SEC "Likes" Social Media

If there’s one person in the world who gets the intersection of the social web with investing, it’s Howard Lindzon. So when the SEC ruled Tuesday that company postings on sites like StockTwits/Facebook/Twitter were as good as news releases and company websites (as long as investors were aware of the use of those sites), I immediately turned to Howard for his thoughts. And sure enough, he had a great post today.

One of the most powerful points he made spoke to the fine line that StockTwits walks as a finance social site. They carefully split the difference between 1.) allowing managed /curated content, tools and control necessary for compliance and governance and 2.) enabling the spontaneous, multi-source, lighting-quick conversation paradigm that makes social media so incredible. As he put it:

Rules matter and if they are clearly stated and thoughtfully enforced, communities can thrive (learn, mentor, make a little coin). We [ed. StockTwits] added some basic financial features like the ability to create disclosures/tracking and the removal of the delete function to ensure trust is at the forefront.  No matter what others call us or think, Stocktwits is a NEWSWIRE. Information is flowing from one to many, all day, every day and it is full of context.

The social web will continue to grow and the power of the content being created on that web will continue to impact even the most regulated industries. How other platforms can adapt and fuel that change, like StockTwits has done, will be fascinating to watch.

Check out the full blog here.

Power Up Those Analytics: Alteryx Gets Plugged In

Earlier this morning, George Mathew – President & COO of Alteryx – announced during his speech at the Inspire 2013 conference that Alteryx is now a Plugged In To Gnip partner.

The journey of this partnership is one that we’ve enjoyed, and it has been a natural fit from the beginning. Alteryx is a desktop-to-cloud analytics solution widely recognized for both ease of use (even across a wide range of user skills) – as well as powerful capabilities that can handle complex problems. With those characteristics, an integration with social media data just made sense!

To top it off, Alteryx has an office and a vocal presence here in Boulder, so we’ve gotten to know many of the members of their team, and have been consistently impressed with their enthusiasm for big, social data and – most importantly – the creative and valuable insights that the right analytics tool can derive from that data.

The release of Alteryx Strategic Analytics 8.5 is a great example of what this partnership means for enterprises that need to incorporate social analysis quickly and simply. Within 8.5, users benefit from a pre-built integration with Gnip. As an Alteryx user, you enter your Gnip credentials within the Alteryx tool to access your Twitter stream. You can then plug that social analysis tool into the multi-step algorithm or joined data analytics you are creating. This type of integration enables business users from across an entire enterprise to leverage social data in their everyday decision making by simply adding this tool to their analytic workflow.

We’re very excited to have Alteryx in our Plugged In program, and look forward to working together.

Netbase's Report: Social Listening vs Digital Privacy

Yesterday, Netbase released a digital marketing reporting done in conjunction with J.D. Power. The report, “Social Listening vs Digital Privacy: A Consumer Study” was done in Dec 2012 and surveyed more than 1,000 US consumers. The survey and analysis focused on customer awareness of social media listening and engagement, and those consumers’ views on this use of their online conversations.

Now, full disclosure – Netbase is a member of our Plugged In partner program – but this survey got me thinking.

You can see a summary survey infographic and explanatory post here. From Gnip’s standpoint, this report aligns closely with a core tenet of our own vision, as well as a key reason behind our creation of Plugged In.

More specifically: A strong, sustainable social media data ecosystem requires an understanding of and adherence to social media network terms of service, data compliance and respect for the user.

If you look at some of Netbase’s findings, that context explains why the mission above is so important. Many consumers value their privacy – but value it within a specific context. And they want actions to come from their words! (50% want companies to listen to improve products and 60% want companies to respond to complaints).  Walking the fine line of helping brands understand consumer opinion while still respecting consumer privacy and personal space requires an understanding of what data is and should be available. As Netbase says (paraphrased) – “don’t intrude but instead build relationships”.

For brands to continue to have access to social data- and to be able to build better products and serve customers better because of that access- there needs to be an understanding and acceptance of what compliant and reliable social data includes.

We’ve made this part of our core mission by focusing on publicly-available social data accessed in alignment with the Terms of Service for that data. We’re grateful for Netbase and our other partners who continue to help us ensure this ecosystem grows more mature through their support of that mission.

Twitter Shouts: Huntsman's Out!

At Gnip, one of the most fascinating aspects of social media is ‘speed’ – specifically in regards to news stories. We continue to see a trend towards the ‘breaking’ of news stories on platforms like Twitter. Both the speed at which a story is broken as well as the speed at which that story catches on show the incredible power of this medium for information exchange. And as we’ve pointed out before, different social media streams offer different analytical value – Twitter versus a news feed for example.

Last night proved a great example of this as word of  Jon Huntsman’s withdrawal from the GOP presidential race crept out. Interestingly, the news was broken by Peter Hamby, a CNN Political Reporter–on Twitter. While CNN followed up on this news a few minutes later, it seems the reporter (or the network) realized the inherent ‘newswire’ value of breaking this news as fast as possible…and used Twitter as part of their strategy to do so!

This Tweet was followed with what we’ve begun to see as the normal ‘Twitter’ spike for breaking news – the chart below, built by our Data Scientist Scott, shows how quickly Huntsman withdrawl was retweeted and passed along. When looked at in comparison to an aggregate news feed (in this case, NewsGator’s Datawire Firehose, which is a content aggregator derived from crowdsourced rss feeds and contains many articles from traditional media providers), some interesting comparisons are brought to light.
Comparing the pulse of Twitter and NewsGator articles breaking Huntsman's withdrawal from the GOP primary race.
Comparing tweets of “huntsman” and news articles breaking Jon Huntsman’s withdrawal from GOP primary race. The blue curves show the “Social Activity Pulse” that characterizes the growth and decay of media activity around this topic. By fitting the rate of articles or tweets to a function we can compare standard measure such as time-to-peak, store half-life etc. (More on this in a future post.) The peak in Twitter is reached about the same time as the first story arrives from NewsGator, over 10 minutes after the story broke on Twitter.

Both streams show a similar curve in story adoption, peak and tail. What’s different is the timeframe of the content. Twitter’s data spikes about 10 minutes earlier than NewsGator’s. NewsGator’s content is more in-depth, as it contains news stories and blog posts, but as we’ve seen in other cases, Twitter is the place where news breaks these days.

 

Social Media Knows As Much About The Holidays As Santa Does

The holidays are an exciting time at Gnip…and not just because our CEO loves bringing random bottles of excellent Scotch to the office. Around this time of year we get some visibility into the incredible ways our retail and consumer product clients are using social data. In fact, Mashable recently highlighted a study by Mr. Youth (a marketing firm) with an incredible stat that helps prove how valuable social data in holiday shopping truly is:

“66% of respondents who bought something on Black Friday did so as a direct result of social media interactions with friends and family.”

While that stat speaks to the impact social media has upon us as individuals, think more broadly about how powerful it is to analyze that data in aggregate, in real-time. Companies are leveraging data from WordPress blogs, Twitter mentions, Facebook likes and multiple other sources to inform critical realtime decisions for inventory management and operational planning, sales and marketing planning, revenue forecasting, and many others.

Example Scenario for Using Social Data: It’s holiday time, 2011. Your company begins to aggregate ‘mentions’ of a new product from Twitter, Facebook, WordPress blogs in realtime. You take that data and analyze it for # of mentions about the new product, geography of posts (where available), demographic information within user profiles (what keywords are most consistent within Twitter user profiles that mentioned your product?), etc.

You spread that data among multiple divisions, providing additional forecast, regional buying pattern, and customer habit data. Your teams use that to:

  1. Manage supply chain: Redirect inventory to areas with highest potential sales and (depending on how far out you are) use as a data point in the S&OP system for manufacturing forecasts to keep ahead of the holiday demand.
  2. Target marketing spend: Use regional buying patterns and customer habit data to inform what demographic you are, and aren’t, hitting. Do you need to reposition your marketing plan?
  3. Incorporate product feedback: Are there consistent reasons why people are buying your product – or why they aren’t? Information on quality, packaging, price, etc will be incredibly valuable for future products.
  4. Calibrate investor expectations: Inform your IR team of potential positive/negative performance feedback to give them running room ahead of any announcements.

Those are just some of the more common use cases we’re seeing. But new opportunities are popping up on a daily basis. We spotted this gem in a recent WSJ article about finding a parking space during crazy shopping times:

Bud Kleppe, a real-estate agent in St. Paul, Minn., watches Mall of America’s Twitter feed for parking updates. (The mall sends them out under the hash tag #moaparking.)

Imagine collecting data from update systems like this and using it measure parking turnover across prime shopping days. Now, overlay the turnover of spots in specific sections against a map of stores and you have some interesting potential for data on economic performance and forecasting. When incorporated with other traditional retail data and compared on a store-to-store basis, you’ve built a unique and realtime analysis tool.

You’re only limited by your imagination in how you can apply social media data to you business. The more software developers, corporations, and people use social media, and the more things they use it for (like parking updates!), the greater the possible use cases for analysis of that data and the more valuable it becomes.

Launching Gnip MarketStream & Partnership with StockTwits

While the market has been on its roller coaster ride across the past month, Gnip has kept its collective head down and stayed busy on behalf of our Investment Management clients (hedge funds, HFTs, asset managers, etc.). That hard work has paid off and we have two exciting announcements to make today.

  • Launch of Gnip MarketStream: Our hedge fund clients have been quite vocal in their desire for a package incorporating the most relevant social data streams into a single low-latency, high-volume solution. We’re proud to answer their needs with the launch of Gnip MarketStream, a realtime data solution that packages the incredibly rich and broad “voice of the market” Twitter stream with the uniquely deep and targeted “voice of the trader” StockTwits stream.
  • Premium Partnership with StockTwits: An integral component of the Gnip MarketStream is StockTwits social media data. We’re thrilled to announce this partnership with StockTwits, the leading realtime financial platform for the investment community and creator of the $(TICKER) tag. The StockTwits stream is a curated, defined-demographic, realtime social data stream focused on investment decisions and analysis. Gnip now provides streaming access to the full StockTwits firehose of social data, and offers access to historical content as far back as 2009.

While the use of social media data by the investment community has included use of this data in news analysis and equity research, the primary adoption of this data across the last six months has been as a trading indicator. By combining the strengths of both the Twitter stream and the StockTwits stream, Gnip MarketStream provides investment professionals unparalleled access to relevant social data at time when social media has become an increasingly vital channel for news and market sentiment.

For more information about Gnip MarketStream or StockTwits data, contact trading@gnip.com.

Why Traders Use Social Media: Speed & Amplification

Gnip’s asset and investment management clients are consistently impressed by two aspects of our social data that differentiate this data from their other sources: Speed & Amplification.

Speed

Speed relates to the ability of social media content to be ‘instant’; an ability fueled by millions of global users who can break news and sentiment more immediately than traditional media sources always can.

A prime example is news of the death of Osama Bin Laden. Keith Urbahn, the former chief of staff for Don Rumsefeld, is widely credited with the breaking that story… through Twitter!

After Keith’s tweet, multiple retweets quickly followed. Within 19 tweets on this subject, a company called DataMinr had identified this as an important and breaking story. DataMinr, a “global sensor network for emerging events and consumer signals,” then issued a signal to their clients, alerting them to this important piece of information.

How does this play into the ‘speed’ characteristic? Because it would be over 20 minutes before that story appeared on traditional news sites. Access to a data stream that can beat traditional media sources by over 20 minutes requires no explanation as to its value for traders and investors.

Amplification

Amplification speaks to the ability of social media as a ‘crowd-sourced megaphone.’ The propensity of users to like, share, and retweet content from other users gives those consuming social media data an extremely easy mechanism to measure what content is most important to the world – and compare that content against other content in real time.

A prime example is the passing of Steve Jobs. We wrote about Steve Jobs’ passing a few weeks ago – that post is here – but there’s an important item to revisit:

The impact he had on us made his death that much more profound and the reaction on Twitter was immediate and immense. Word spread rapidly, peaking at 50,000 Tweets per minute within 30 minutes. At that point, Tweets about Jobs accounted for almost 25% of all Tweets being sent globally.

Access to Gnip’s social media data stream allowed our clients to measure, in the moment, the amplification of this story to measure the importance the world placed on this piece of news. While I doubt any of us needed to see those numbers to know Steve’s passing was an important piece of news, that’s a clear example of how ‘amplification’ works.

Our clients use amplification as a measure to weigh the importance of breaking news, upcoming events, market and product announcements, etc. against other stories. By capturing a realtime snapshot of what the market considers important – and what it doesn’t – they’re able to add an important factor to their existing algorithms.

None of this is to suggest that either social media data speed or amplification should be a sole factor in investing. But when the Gnip social media data stream provides clients with an additional factor to help understand or predict market fluctuations, the value is obvious.