How Historically and Contextually Rich Data Leads to Better Insights

Crimson Hexagon’s unique approach to data access, storage and usage.

What’s the point of social media analytics?
For analytics to be useful, it has to uncover insights that you can use to make better business decisions. If you can’t get any insights, or the insights aren’t relevant to your business, then what’s the point?
Those insights could take many forms. What are customers saying about your products and company? How about your competition? Who is your target market, what do they care about, and how do you reach them effectively? What trends are affecting your industry and how should you respond? Those are all interesting, relevant questions that you should be able to answer.

Insights that matter

To answer them, you need analytics to make sense of the raw data. But for analytics to be insightful, it needs to show a meaningful difference, compared to some reference point. If your analytics shows that your target market is 50% male and 50% female, that’s probably not much of an insight. But if it shows that your current customer base is 80% male and your target market is 80% female, that’s a big difference—and therefore an insight that you can apply.
In other words, your analysis must exist in a meaningful context. What’s normal, so you know if this is unusual? What happened last year, so you know if you’re better or worse now? What is the rest of your industry doing, so we know if you’re up to par?

 More data = deeper insights

To provide the context to your analysis—the context that makes the difference between a bunch of facts and insights that you can actually apply—you need a very important ingredient:
Data. Lots of data.
The more data you have, the more context you can apply to obtaining better insights. You need data about your company and products today, of course. But you need that data going back years, to cover past campaigns and product launches. You need data on all your competitors—in fact, on your entire industry. You need data on your current customers, and the customers you want to have.
If you’re sipping through a straw of posts based on keyword mentions of your brand, you don’t have nearly enough.
It’s essential, then, that data access be a fundamental part of your social analytics strategy and vendor selection. You need to consider what data sources and platforms are available, how far back you can go historically, and what volume of data you can analyze. Above all, there are two key questions:

What’s the price tag? How long will I wait?

For cost, you need to have confidence that you can afford the data you need—past, present, and future. This can be challenging, since historical analysis could require very high data volumes, and ongoing analysis could have unpredictable spikes. Some types of data, such as broad-based industry or market segment data, could simply be unaffordable.
For timing, you need to have confidence that your platform can provide the insights you need quickly, even for multiple years of high-volume data. Insights that arrive too late can be useless, and you can’t always predict well in advance what you’ll need.
Here at Crimson Hexagon, we have a simple approach:
Data is free and fast, because we store and manage all the data for you.
You can use as many keywords as you want, for as high volume as you want, for as long an historic time period as you want, for no extra charge. And even for a five-year analysis with a million posts per day, you’ll be looking at results in less than a minute.
We do this because we’ve been proactive and comprehensive about data collection, amassing over 700 billion posts over eight years. And because we’ve built a customized, scalable system for turning that data into insights quickly, and with as few restrictions as possible to your usage.
This data and infrastructure is also the key to our unique audience-analysis capabilities. Every day we analyze every single public post on Twitter and Tumblr to understand the behavior of thousands of audience segments. These insights into market behavior and preferences are essential to understanding and targeting your audience effectively. And they’re only possible by having broad access to data.
More data means more context. More context means better insights. And better insights means better business decisions. Read our case study on a key health issue built on historical data insights within the healthcare industry.

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