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Industry Analyst, Consultant and author, former programmer, systems analyst with 25 years experience. Spent three years in Europe as an industry analyst and as Correspondent for Information Week and other industry publications. Regularly consults with leading public and private enterprise software, database, and infrastructure companies. An award-winning columnist for leading IT and business magazines, Josh is widely quoted in the trade and business press and he blogs at Enterprise Matters.

2 responses to “Analyzing the Social Media Phenomenon: SAS Weighs In”

  1. @JoeTierney

    Great post! It was extremely exciting to watch the SAS announcement. The world’s largest, private software company had validated the value of SMA and changed the SMA market forever. While the SAS announcement shows SMA is becoming mainstream, it is not as new as many suggest. Infegy’s Social Radar platform has been around for 3 years, providing enterprise clients with an on-demand SMA platform. Advertising, PR, and marketing firms are very sophisticated consumers of SMA solutions. SAS’s solution is years behind the competition and their demonstration highlighted some very significant weaknesses. Their natural language processing algorithm is very underpowered, thus the massive amount of neutral sentiment present in the results (social content is many things, but it is not indecisive). SAS is likely finding the analysis of numbers to be much easier than analysis of the written word. Personally, I feel sorry for any user subjected to SAS’s user interface. Compared to the other enterprise SMA solutions, SAS absolutely takes the crown in one key area – it is by far the least user-friendly option available. While the other players utilize the Web itself to inspire our design, SAS seems to have used a spreadsheet and an old IBM control panel to guide their design process.

    SAS’s $50,000 “installation fee” is an absolute mystery to myself and many others. The Web is infinitely dynamic – the second SAS completes the effort, their work will be obsolete. We’ll gladly work with SAS customers to get them up and running on the Social Radar SaaS SMA platform while providing more accurate analytics, better usability, more functionality and unrestricted flexibility ALL at lower cost. SAS customers can be leveraging Social Radar on-demand before the SAS team even gets started.

    Fundamentally SMA is a disruptive technology and will change the way companies interact with the marketplace forever and, thankfully, change it for the better. Companies will continue to be more aware than ever thought possible. Social media is not just a new channel – it is THE channel. Gone are the days of stuffing a coupon in every American mailbox and of TV commercials yelling at all of us to find one of us. Consumer testing? You don’t need to test – you can simply ask. Ask them as many questions as you want – they’re answering them either way. What features do our customers like the most? Ask them. What new feature do they want the most? Ask them. Which marketing campaigns are working? Ask them again. What do customers like about our competition? Ask anything you can think of. Stop guessing, just ask. We all want companies to listen and learn from what we’re thinking; this ability leads to more valuable interactions for everyone involved. Having one of the world’s best software companies throw their hat in the SMA ring, even if it was a top hat, is incredibly exciting. Thank you for the great post Josh! I agree the SMA market is just getting warmed up.

  2. Semi-Automated Social Media Analytics | International Institute for Analytics

    […] SAS’ social media analytics offering, for example, comes as a service, rather than just software; one analysis suggests that it includes consulting services to improve the accuracy of […]