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Making Social Data Actionable

Social Media Companies

What does Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and their huge access to Social Data got to do with in in-memory technology and business objects from SAP. My thoughts on this matter maybe quite out there but I truly think that this is something that cannot be unavoidable for both companies in the not to distant future, “a path that is destined to meet as so to speak”.

As Social Media grows up and their need for marketing and ad potential for delivering social data to Ad Companies, online retailers and its eventual growing user and business communities. As revenues and business trade grows within its network, as games and merchandising grows, how will they truly be able deliver actionable reports pouring over so much data coming in from a multitude of angles.

“Social networks such as Facebook now servers up nearly one-third of the display advertising that the internet users see in the U.S. according to comScore and deliver twice as many ad impressions as its closes rival Yahoo”. (Bloomberg Businessweek – Everybody needs a Sheryl Sandberg by Brad Stone

Now after reading this article and a previous article before called “Why Social Isn’t Helping Online Retailers Find Customers” by Mikal E. Belicove ( in which he claims that online retailers in the U.S. reaped an impressive $176 billion in sales last year, an 11 percent increase over 2009. That pretty much establishes Web retailing as a legitimate tactic that should command respect from those who market and sell their wares exclusively within a brick and mortar environment. Mikal claims that in a new study they found that “while online sales continue to compete well with physical retail establishments, most online merchants believe that social media-related marketing does little in the way of lifting sales — calling into question what if any benefits businesses actually derive from participating in social media”

This made me think, coming from a career around SAP focusing on enabling of ERP Data to Web Systems and making it available for the masses in the corporate world. I had always been engaged in approaches that Enterprises had to take with access to their internal data using ERP based technologies such as SAP and business intelligence tools like Business objects.  Making corporate data actionable and ready for reporting and available on demand to its user and vendor communities is what most ERP systems pride themselves at and at which these corporations make key decisions on. So It dawned on me that this type of technology would be crucial for Facebook and Social Media companies in general especially for their internal departments and as well for its Marketers, Online Retailers and advertising members (“Vendors”). How do the vendors who advertise on Facebook view reporting on their ROI or on how effective their marketing campaigns have been? Do they get meaningful data reports and trend analysis? Well I decided to look further into them and Facebook currently gives access to analytics that is now provided on its user and business pages but it’s very simple and  I don’t think there is a way of integrating that data back into ERP systems?  What if Facebook Managers and Executives had access to real-time data so each department within Facebook could now deliver actionable reports and plans, what if the key performance indicator reports could be presented via mobile devices and online web enabled dashboards, what if they began using technology that is behind how Business Intelligence tools make available reports in the corporate world.  Could that help Facebook and social media companies become more refined internally as well as to make meaningful data available to its so called Vendors and user communities. A lot of what if’s huh but can a real world ERP system provide the right solution for Social Media companies or does a new type of system need to be built from the ground up that is able to analyze Social Network data types and then present that data in a more actionable way. Should a system exist I wonder how it would look like?

Now recently I have been looking at SAP’s new solution HANA using in-memory technology to process business reports. Enabling instant access to and analysis of massive amounts of information, SAP® In-Memory Computing technology helps companies identify and act on new opportunities, better manage their business networks and develop smarter, more dynamic planning processes. The volume of operational data available for business insight often exceeds the amount of data that traditional disk based systems can process within a reasonable time. This got me thinking could this technology herald a new growth in making actionable data available on the fly, on any device at any time. How would that revolutionize the Social Marketing Industry?

This got me thinking again do social media companies really need efficient processing and analysis of massive amounts of data by packaging and using SAP’s intelligent use of in-memory technology, columnar database design, data compression, and massive parallel processing. I wonder if these two companies will end up working together in the future?

A recent study by Oxford Economics found that 30 percent of the companies surveyed have implemented some kind of real-time IT system, and 65 percent of the remainder have plans to do so in the near future. In addition, early adopters are reporting significant benefits: On average, companies that have implemented such systems are seeing average revenue gains of 21 percent and cost reductions of 19 percent. In fact, among early adopters, 77 percent report revenue gains with even higher revenue gains in certain industries like oil and gas.

What if Facebook began using in-memory technology by SAP to analyze its Social data, create  actionable reports for their internal and external users. Building a Business intelligence tool for facebook could help it achieve a revenue gain of 21% or above according to Oxford Economics? Wouldn’t that be a great sell to shareholders or for now investors.

According to Mikal’s article “Sixty-two percent of online retailers say their return on investment is either unaffected by social media or that the benefits remain unclear, according to Forrester Research’s The State of Retailing Online 2011: Marketing, Social & Mobile, which was released earlier this week to members of, the online retail division of the National Retail Federation.

Although the online retailers polled say they are underwhelmed by the results of their marketing efforts within the social networking utility Facebook and micro blogging platform Twitter, they do point to a number of benefits such as building brand awareness and improving customer service”.

The user communities within the enterprise the executives and corporate departments and teams to make key decisions within their companies, this same technology would be so crucial to help Facebook especially within its various departments and its growing international presence not to mention its merchants, advertisers and online retailers.  Implementing technology by SAP will deliver them actionable data reports that they will eventually seek thus helping them to remain at the forefront of social data execution and analysis.

Facebook and Google+ as a potential future platform of the internet is alive and well and I personally think that in the not to distant future a new generation of us will grow up only knowing one platform on the internet which eventually will be all around the world and they will be using Facebook as “THE” platform for all their interactions whether its social, commerce, shopping, entertainment and don’t forget when businesses start to use Facebook as we are already seeing now. I wonder how they will be able to create actionable reports on all that data!

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      Author's profile photo Tom Cenens
      Tom Cenens
      Hello Anton

      I'm not always positive about all SAP products and services but on the social media front SAP stands strong in my opinion.

      SAP already offers possibilities which enable customers to capture the sentiment of customers on their products which fetch data from social media and also do something with that data. Business Objects Event Insight for example can be connected with other applications to provide such functionality.

      Real-time data capturing is great but it also requires real-time data analysis. It makes no sense to capture real-time if no one is looking at the data so the in-memory technology is not always the best price/quality option, it depends on the scenario.

      Besides those products SAP is also providing ways to have social media integrated into SAP products like the new CRM solutions which can read out twitter tweets and as an effect you can actually handle those tweets, creating tickets to support your customers, tweet back an answer from within CRM and so on.

      SAP is on track in being active on Social Media, recognizing the importance of Social Media and at least giving the customers the opportunity to integrate social media in the SAP products they use.

      SAP is already enabling customers to make social data actionable on different pointers. There are also already examples available of Facebook apps that use SAP as back-end.

      Kind regards


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author
      I think you misunderstood my blog, what i was implying was that social media companies should look at SAP's technology and use that for analyzing social media data and content and being able to present that data to their various users (vendors,customers, etc) in a more meaningful way.

      everyone right now is focused on integrating social media into their solutions which pushes data into their platforms and I am all for that and SAP is way ahead of the curve I agree with you on that point. But the users who get the social media content back need to be able to use it a more meaningful way and most business communities have grown up using ERP BI tools to analyze and understand their own corporate data so I would presume that if social media companies use the same technology to present that data back to their business communities it will make understanding social data more easier. I have not read anything about any social media companies using SAP related technologies in house? have you?