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Sas Seeks to Improve Data Mining of Social Media

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No one doubts that social media--all the stuff on Facebook, Twitter and other online forums--provides a rich lode of user sentiment that companies ought to be able to exploit. And not just to sharpen their marketing, but also to improve their products and services--potentially, the ultimate source of customer views and a crowd-sourced suggestion box.

But the challenge is how to make sense of the ocean of information, find meaningful patterns and use it as guide for action. The digital tools for social media monitoring and analysis, analysts say, are still primitive. The current ones focus mainly on so-called sentiment analysis, giving companies a broad-brush approval rating at best.

SAS Institute, the leader in advanced business intelligence and data analytics software, thinks it can do better. It is introducing a software service on Monday called SAS Social Media Analytics that analysts say seems to represent a step ahead in social media analysis tools.

The new SAS service is powered by the natural-language processing technology that SAS picked up in 2008, when it acquired Teragram, a Cambridge, Mass., specialist in that niche of artificial intelligence.

From The New York Times
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