A few days ago, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, testified before Congress about the measures taken by the social media giant to protect users’ data. And if there is a theme that emerged in the testimony, it is the significant role that big data analytics play in business success.
It is no wonder that a good number of the world’s largest corporations including Facebook, Google, and Twitter are in the business of selling marketing insights. One area of big data analytics that has recently attracted a lot of attention from corporations, politicians, and government agencies in sentiment analysis.
This method involves analyzing comments and suggestions left on social media sites and identifying their attitude towards a brand by using variables such as emotion, tone, and context.
While the number of likes and followers a business gains on social media are essential, it is the users’ reactions towards the brand or the product that counts. Firms must, therefore, understand the emotional and logical responses of their target audience to be able to market to them effectively.
Sentiment analysis gives businesses insights to better understand the language of their target audiences and adjust their products and marketing approach accordingly. Politicians use it to understand what interests a specific voting bloc and create political campaigns to match their interests accordingly.
While there is no doubt that big data analytics including sentiment analysis are of vital importance to businesses in this age of IoT, they aren’t affordable to all. However, with blockchain, SMBs can now leverage big data analytics without having to worry about costs or compliance.
For instance, SENNO, a Neo based platform, is the first combining blockchain and Artificial Neural Networks in sentiment analysis, allowing businesses to tap into the data at lower costs. Using this platform, businesses don’t have to incur the costs of setting up big data infrastructure. They just need to connect to the SENNO network through an API, and the sentiment analysis is done for them.
Apart from lowering implementation costs, the project seeks to help businesses become compliant with big data regulatory requirements. In May this year, a new and very stringent big data regulation known as the GDPR will come into effect, impacting how businesses in Europe and all over the world collect and manage their users’ data.
The compliance is expected to be very costly, effectively locking out firms without the resources to comply with the big data analytics game.
However, with blockchain tech, businesses will be able to enjoy big data’s fruits at a lower cost and with all its advantages. When it comes to data protection, blockchain offers the most advanced solutions as it applies encryption and hashing to protect data and is not easy to hack given its distributed nature.
The only problem with the blockchain in relation to the GDPR is that data stored on it is not erasable. Nevertheless, with the rate at which blockchain tech is developing, there is no doubt that a solution to this challenge will be found.
Either way, businesses tapping into blockchain solutions have nothing to worry about given that the burden of compliance is no longer on their shoulders. Also, with new solutions being developed, businesses will soon be able to leverage the power of AI without incurring the enormous costs involved in setting up and implementing an independent AI strategy.
In marketing, artificial neural networks are involved to gather and extract actionable insights from big data. The best thing about these networks is that they can learn from data and therefore increase accuracy with time.
In sentiment analysis, neural networks are responsible for identifying and classifying emotions in texts, therefore, enabling targeted marketing. As blockchain solutions for big data analytics continue to develop, SMBs will be able to use them to gain a competitive edge.
Sadie Williamson (2018, April 19) How Blockchain Can Help SMBs Compete with the Big Dogs