In the Hands of the Analyst: Unlocking the value of social media for professional market research

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sussex
Department Name: Sch of Engineering and Informatics

Abstract

Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.
 
Description We have gained a better understanding of how social media analysis can be contribute to market research.

We have gained a better understanding of the ethical issues surrounding the application of social media analysis to the area of market research.

We have gained a greater understanding of how demographic information can be obtained from social media data.
Exploitation Route There findings can be taken forward to improve the way that social media is contributing to market research.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Energy,Environment,Healthcare,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Transport

 
Description The overall objective of the project was to create a full service solution for market research, harnessing the potential of social media analysis as a tool for insight. To do this the project sought to move away from standard third party 'black box' analytics tools in two ways: firstly giving greater technical power, autonomy and functionality in at the hands of the analyst; and secondly providing them with the methodological expertise to undertake relevant and complex social media analysis. The project has had a significant impact on the development of the social media analysis discipline. Most notably in the deployment of real time analysis hosted on the Telegraph website during the General Election televised debates, and in the publication of a number of key papers on methodology (The Road to Representivity) and ethics (#SocialEthics) which underpin the technical functionality. Among project partners, the impact has been profound. The investment made through the project has created a stable analytics platform for Method52, significant R&D in crucial areas such as demographic profiling, and iterative improvements in functionality such as the feedback displayed to analysts on how well the machine learning classification system is working. The project has been run by the Public Affairs team in Ipsos MORI, but technology has now been showcased and used by other specialisms within the UK and globally. The ethical recommendations have created new ethical frameworks for social media analysis among all project partners. Outside of project partners, member of the project team have been invited to present at key industry events (Social Research Institute and Market Research Society) contribute to wider debate. As a result of the project, members have been invited to contribute to other working groups discussing how best to conduct social media research. This include, Government workshops including the Social Media Innovation and Analytics Group, and the Cabinet Office framework for Data Science and the Civil Contingencies Secretariat. Access and influence in these groups has been a huge benefit of the project.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Healthcare,Transport
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Police Knowledge Fund
Amount £575,000 (GBP)
Organisation College of Policing 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2015 
End 03/2017
 
Description CASM 
Organisation DEMOS
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Our research team (the TAG laboratory at the University of Sussex) has been responsible for the development of the Method52 software platform that forms the basis of this collaboration.
Collaborator Contribution The Centre for the Analysis of Social Media (CASM) at Demos contributes social science researchers with an understanding of public policy and a network of contacts that delivers significant impact. Ipsos-MORI is a market research team that is incorporating the use of Method52 in their business.
Impact This is a multi-disciplinary collaboration involving Public Policy (Demos and Ipsos-MORI) and Information Technology (University of Sussex). It has led to a number of ongoing, funded collaborations, including a project on Policing Hate Crime, funded by the College of Policing and HEFCE and funding from the Association of Train Operating Companies to investigate the way that Social Media can be used to understand the aftermath of a major train crash.
Start Year 2011
 
Description CASM 
Organisation Ipsos MORI
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Our research team (the TAG laboratory at the University of Sussex) has been responsible for the development of the Method52 software platform that forms the basis of this collaboration.
Collaborator Contribution The Centre for the Analysis of Social Media (CASM) at Demos contributes social science researchers with an understanding of public policy and a network of contacts that delivers significant impact. Ipsos-MORI is a market research team that is incorporating the use of Method52 in their business.
Impact This is a multi-disciplinary collaboration involving Public Policy (Demos and Ipsos-MORI) and Information Technology (University of Sussex). It has led to a number of ongoing, funded collaborations, including a project on Policing Hate Crime, funded by the College of Policing and HEFCE and funding from the Association of Train Operating Companies to investigate the way that Social Media can be used to understand the aftermath of a major train crash.
Start Year 2011
 
Description Institute for Strategic Dialogue 
Organisation Institute for Strategic Dialogue
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The technology that we developed during this award is being used on a number of projects in which we are collaborating with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue.
Collaborator Contribution Researchers at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue bring domain expertise in a range of subjects such as radicalisation, online hate, and extremism.
Impact Several publications appearing here https://www.isdglobal.org/isd-publications/ report on projects in which we collaborated.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Commissioned by Channel4 to produce research featured in Dispatches 'Racist Britain' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Commissioned by Channel4 to produce research featured in Dispatches 'Racist Britain'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/on-demand
 
Description Mashable 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Collaboration with Mashable to study claims of rigging over the US General Election
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://mashable.com/2016/11/11/vote-rigging-trump-twitter/#tAYDSq.XnOqx