Puzzling through Social Data Sources

Social listening may seem simple, especially if you’re getting a pitch from a software company. Just enter your search terms, and ta-da—social data. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Each software product collects data differently, and the data that’s returned may come with nuances that aren’t obvious to the casual user. Since social listening is all that we do, I’m sharing what we’ve learned working with millions of social mentions from about over a hundred institutions. Hopefully it will help you make an informed decision about how to approach social listening for your campus.

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Meet the Analysts: Sarah Marks

Sarah is all about connections—people, data, ideas, you name it! She brings this energy to explore data to her role as an analyst, where she makes intuitive connections between client goals, research questions, and her datasets. She’s also one of the fastest learners I know because of her natural ability to make these connections. Clients who work with Sarah get the benefit of not only her teaching assistantship experience in marketing management, but also her academic research experience in cognitive science. When Sarah gets to the analysis and insights stage of her research projects, she’s unstoppable—it’s at this point that she zooms out and takes a look at macro trends, applying her marketing and cognitive science background to assess what’s really going on. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Sarah about all things cognitive science (or related to Trader Joe’s)!

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Meet the Analysts: Reed Scherer

What I like about working with Reed is that he is simultaneously highly analytical and conscientious. I think you’ll understand what I mean after you read his answers to the questions below. And his experience says the same thing: over the years, he’s worked with people of all ages mentoring and coaching them as well as dedicated his expertise as an accounting manager and social listening analyst. Some may consider Reed to be equally right brain and left brain, but whatever you may call it, it means that Reed brings both skill in analysis of social data as well as a unique ability to communicate the human impact of his work. Academically trained as an economist at school, Reed is your go-to for big picture questions, anything basketball related, and about his cat, Joe.

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