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Intel's proprietary real-time social media tracking technology tackles CES

Intel has built a sophisticated real-time monitoring technology to let it track social media buzz as soon as it happens.
Written by Tom Foremski, Contributor on

How Intel uses proprietary social media tools to collect data on people, competitors, and topics generated around CES.

Above, is a demonstration of how Intel, the world's largest chip maker, uses a proprietary monitoring technology called "Social Cockpit" to analyze the flood of social media buzz generated by the massive Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The Intel system works in real-time to identify and track individuals that have said anything online that's related to a brand, a competitor, or a specific topic. The monitoring technology determines who they are, where they work, their job, their level of online influence, and records what they said, where they said it, and when.

I'd like to know how Intel analyzes this data, and then how it acts on that information.

Here are some additional details about Intel's intriguing "Social Cockpit" technology from inside Intel:

"We can identify who is talking online about a company or a product at CES," said Strout. "Are they from the general public? Are they influencers? Are they company representatives? And from this we look at what company and product they're talking about and what hashtags they are using."

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They have crafted a complete "social cockpit" based on the agency's proprietary search and analytic software that tracks and collects data such as Facebook Newsfeed posts and Likes, Tweets that mention leading tech brands, Fan Page and Twitter follower growth, popularity of YouTube videos as well as posts from top technology blogs and forums.

The cockpit serves as a constantly updating dashboard that fills several large monitors so the teams can track in real time who is getting share of voice, and generally, what people are saying and about what products and what companies.

However, it doesn't look like Intel has figured out what resulting actions to take, or even that it has the right analysis of the social media data. But it knows what comes next, Strout says: "The way of the future is to collect data then apply logic and algorithms to create an easily digestible story that you can act upon."

That's a great description of what journalists do, collect, evaluate, analyze, and then communicate important new information in an easily understandable story.

Algorithms are a lot cheaper than journalists plus they spell better.

It's an interesting thought that if you or I, say anything online about Intel, ultrabooks, AMD or whatever the chip giant is tracking that day, or month, we will be tracked and monitored further. And Intel will keep records of our online comments and activities, who we are connected with, and more.

Intel is essentially building a dossier on on each of thousands, maybe millions of people, what they said, where, about what, when.

Other large corporations are seeking the same type of tracking capabilities that Intel has, and there are scores of commercial services offering to sell the same type of detailed information on individuals.

But by building its own social media tracking technology Intel can save millions of dollars per month compared with using some of the leading commercial services. They charge for every mention of a brand and large organizations can easily rack up monthly multi-million dollar bills for social media tracking services.

Saving money is very important at Intel but it must now figure out how best to understand the data. Commercial services have an advantage of being able to see a far larger data set, which should lead to smarter algorithms, and a more accurate analysis than an in-house corporate system.

Accurate analysis is worth little without timely action. Timely action is rare in any large organization, so it'll be interesting to follow up with Intel in a few months and see how it's been using the Social Cockpit.

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