Barb Darrow reports, “The new SAP Social Media Analytics service aims to bring more consumer-centric smarts to SAP customers by pairing NetBase semantic search and analytics with SAP’s own business intelligence expertise. The cloud-based service will let ‘business users look at Facebook, Twitter, [and] news feeds to get insight on market trends, what people are talking about, perceptions and a deeper level of information [about] their purchasing intents or what’s driving their conversations,’ said Byron Banks, SAP’s VP of business analytics solution marketing. A graphical dashboard will bring query results from both NetBase and SAP analytics to an iPad or other screen of choice, the two companies said.”

Darrow notes, “This joint effort is just the latest example of a traditional tech vendor trying to get a handle on the unstructured data explosion on social media sites. Business customers want help parsing that data to fine-tune marketing campaigns or to gauge customer sentiment to guide product development and design decisions.”

She continues, “SAP has a big stake in traditional business intelligence/analytics by virtue of its BusinessObjects unit. But now the company—like its competitors—is trying to get a grip on data that lies beyond the rows and columns of relational databases. That unstructured data—reams of which is generated every minute by people on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs—is a potential treasure trove of companies that make consumer packaged goods or other products. The need to better mine that data helped drive Hewlett-Packard’s $10.2 billion buyout of Autonomy; Oracle’ s acquisition of Endeca and Salesforce.com’s purchase of Radian6 – over the last eight months.”

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Image: Courtesy NetBase