Data Driver: Internet & Social Media


What started out a communication mechanism that will continue to work even if a nuclear bomb from erstwhile Soviet Union takes out of couple of large cities in United States, now has beco

me something sort of air we breathe today. Here is a mocking representation¬† of the new elementary “need” in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

A study published recently found that withdrawal symptoms due to lack of internet connection is similar to drug withdrawal symptoms and affects a person psychologically. Internet has ingrained into our day to day lives to such an extent that it is taken for granted and a popular joke goes like this, “I did’nt even think such functions existed in my computer until the internet went down

Internet has virtualized several activities that one ever dreamed of never ever happening. Think of banking, dating, shopping, games, movies, education, auctions, business, driving and the list keeps growing. All activities listed previously creates plethora of data, which in turn feeds the DIKW model.

Source: Internet

Clickstream: A quick exercise first. Go to a travel website such as (cleartrip, makemytrip etc) and randomly search for flight tickets between two random cities for a random date. Check the prices and different options presented before closing the browser window. Now, go back to regular browsing activity such as e-mail, social media, news, research etc. Pay careful attention to the areas of the web pages where advertisements are typically displayed. You will find your travel search done previously crop up as “offers”. If you are wondering how is this possible and it looks like someone has been watching you all the time, welcome to clickstream analytics and repeat this story again for every e-commerce related website in the world.

Every event i.e. mouse click, key stroke, search phrases, time spent on pages, browsing history etc are captured and stored. This data is analyzed and used primarily in two ways i.e. Improve the website itself (or) User sentiment. As users enroll and share more information about them in different portals, this becomes key ingredient analytics.

Source: Internet
Source: Internet

Social media has become such a strong force that presidential and prime ministerial campaigns are executed on this platform. Image and acceptance in social media are deciding factors for corporates too because one irate customer can do massive damage to a brand. Any information, good or bad can go viral in matter of seconds and once it gains momentum, the speed of propagation becomes exponential. Corporates have invested in digital marketing teams that focus exclusively on managing online and social media based marketing efforts. User sentiments are dynamic and trends have to be spotted early on in order for organizations to react. Social media also serves as feedback loop for any initiative undertaken by an organization such as product launch, CSR initiative or customer comments.

Data Combo
When Clickstream and Social Media data are merged, it becomes a potent force to be reckoned with because human behavior can be predicted easily. Privacy is a major concern and users preferring anonymity are on the rise. There is a trend where social media websites that promise on keeping identity under wraps and chatting apps that destroy messages once receiver has read the message are slowly gaining popularity.