With the recently published The Forrester Wave™: Social Listening Platforms, Q3 2018, Forrester offered their perspective into the marketplace. Our view of this market, and our experience with customers, differs from the Forrester perspective in fundamental ways.
Forrester did not identify AI technologies or machine learning as standalone criteria for evaluating social listening platforms. Image analytics, a functionality that requires AI technologies, was 1 of 40 criteria, and not heavily weighted. In our view of the marketplace, AI is a critical differentiator among vendors, and a cornerstone to a strategic approach to analytics.
The Insights That Only AI Can Deliver
At Crimson Hexagon, our vision is to help our customers discover and understand the consumer insights that matter most to their business. We support that vision with AI technology.
We have been using AI and machine learning algorithms since the platform was initially launched in 2007, and have been expanding our AI innovation and sophistication every since.
Essentially, AI is a set of technology building blocks, such as machine learning, text analytics, natural language processing, and many others. AI technologies work behind the scenes, but they enable some very powerful capabilities that are critical when analyzing very large data sets.
Scale. For smaller, homogeneous data sets, you may not need AI to get the information you need. AI tackles the problems that emerge with big, messy data sets, at a scale beyond human capacity. Advanced techniques in natural language processing and machine learning identify patterns in unstructured text. For example, this enables the system to determine general sentiment and emotion, over time, when you search a repository of 1.2T posts. The more training data, the better. This means you get insights that would not otherwise be available: the needle in the haystack.
Automation. Beyond detecting the insights, AI delivers the insights that matter most to you, before you even ask. These technologies match your favorite topics to trends and anomalies, such as a spike in conversation volume around your product, or your competitors’ products. And they automatically deliver the information, as it happens – in your insights feed, or in an alert. No need to manually set up a rule, or a set of rules. The system automates the process.
From data to insights. Not only does AI automate the delivery of the insights that are most relevant to you, it separates the signal from the noise. With advanced algorithms and natural language generation, the system can interpret the data and surface the key actionable components, in easy-to-understand language.
Image analytics. The Crimson Hexagon Platform imitates the way the eye processes visual content using neural networks and deep learning algorithms. Beyond logo recognition, the technology also identifies objects, scenes, facial expressions, and actions. This is becoming increasingly important as volumes of image-based content increase, creating a valuable, and often untapped, source of consumer insights.
These AI capabilities work behind the scenes, but this unique approach makes it possible to discover actionable insights very quickly.
A Strategic Approach to Broader Analytics Initiatives
Our platform harnesses both human expertise and artificial intelligence to provide a more complete and accurate view of the target audience. Our customers often choose us because of our platform’s unique ability to let them frame the research in their terms, using their own custom categories, while the machine runs the analysis at scale. No other vendor offers this capability.
Whether customers start with social listening as an isolated project for social media marketing, or part of a broader analytics initiative, our platform offers the foundation they need to get started and grow as the data maturity of the business grows. Only with advanced AI capabilities can analysts uncover deeper, nuanced insights about their consumers, and enable better decision making across the enterprise.
We believe that a powerful analytics foundation is key to understanding your market and staying ahead of your competition. We will continue to invest in AI, and stay ahead of the technology leadership curve, because our vision for delivering the consumer insights that drive business results relies on these critical technologies.