Strength in Numbers

The sharing economy isn't stopping at goods and services — it's coming for data

A recent TED Talk video about the power of sharing got me thinking about the sharing economy. Today’s society has become one that where optimally allocating our resources —distributing, borrowing, trading, and updating — has taken on extreme importance. From ridesharing carpool options that minimize the cost (and carbon footprint) of transportation to phone apps that allow us to swap items we no longer use to social media sites that encourage users to document their ideas, consumer technology has grown through the idea of sharing. It empowers communities to work together and amplify each other’s strengths for the greater good of everyone.

While we understand that some information is confidential by nature, sharing social insights surrounding general conversations or unowned content can often provide insights and new strategies that would otherwise have been undiscovered. Sharing market insights can help to develop credibility and establish trust with consumers, show your initiative, and boost positive sentiment around your brand. Similar to the theory that Starbucks purposefully misspells your name on the cup just so you post their logo online, sharing your social insights only increases the conversation about your company. Therefore, Crimson Hexagon has provided the functionality of sharing dashboards with anyone on the web through unique and secure URLs.

I decided to try it out for myself and generate a dashboard that would be valuable to share with a larger audience. Because I am new to Boston, I used that as my inspiration for creation. I set up searches for iconic Bostonian landmarks like the Red Sox, Faneuil Hall, and the Freedom Trail. I also threw in monitors for the age old rivalry of Mike’s versus Modern Pastry- maybe this would officially decide which one I go to (first, that is…).

While going through my results, every time I found something interesting or helpful (such as the sentiment and emotion of Mike’s and Modern or the demographics of the Red Sox), I would save the visualization to my Dashboard. In the end, I realized that as a less-than-enthusiastic baseball fan, I probably would enjoy checking out Faneuil Hall or the Freedom Trail over attending a Red Sox game and that based on emotional Joy of posts, that Mike’s Pastry was going to be my first stop for cannolis. And now, all of those insights are saved to one place for me to easily inspect, update, and watch for any dramatic changes.

All of this information is valuable, something a wider audience than just myself could benefit from being exposed to. So why keep it to myself? By opening up my Dashboard to others, I may influence Boston tourists or fellow interns, but I also allow others to share their opinions with me. Perhaps I missed something or disregarded a certain perspective, and by sharing my findings with the public, I open the door for collaboration. The opportunities for sharing dashboards are endless. I could share these insights with vendors in Faneuil Hall to help them understand their target audience, with Red Sox marketers that need to sell an additional number of tickets, with the executives of Modern Pastry to help boost their social media presence, or, well, with social media users reading a blog post about Boston!

Insights from social data can help businesses learn valuable lessons surrounding topics of target audience, brand health, industry analysis, and much more. Data can unveil truths like the fact that Harley Davidson should never have broken into the perfume business (Hot Road scent? No thanks) or that Mattel would not find much success marketing to young, single adults. But these incredible realizations could be hindered if they are not shared with all of the right people. That means conducting social media research and making sure all teams are aligning their content with the results. From design to marketing to product to engineering, every member of the team should share the wealth, supply each other with necessary data, and help put together the pieces of the puzzle.

There is a strength in numbers and Crimson Hexagon aims to give its users as many of them as possible. What you achieve with those numbers is up to you, but sharing them is a great place to start.

For more information about Dashboards, visit our website. 

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