Saturday, March 3, 2012

IBM Business Analytics Goes Hollywood

Social media users weighed in their Oscar® picks and pans, according to the University of Southern California Annenberg Innovation Lab, IBM (NYSE: IBM) , and the Los Angeles Times who measured social media sentiment related to the 84th Academy Awards. The project, dubbed a ‘Senti Meter’, relies on new sophisticated analytics and natural language recognition technologies to gauge positive and negative opinions shared in millions of public tweets.
Focused on the Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Picture categories, the goal was to establish a model for measuring the volume and tone of worldwide Twitter sentiment to better understand moviegoers' opinions. The results are intended to illuminate how advances in technology can help identify important consumer trends. In this case, movie studios are now able to better understand their audience preferences and use social media to improve their marketing programs and in turn improve box office results.  

The Times has published information about the project including an infographic illustrating ongoing sentiment. The analysis was updated at
www.latimes.com/senti-meter as sentiment evolved leading up to the Academy Awards last February 26, 2012.

"This project is about identifying 'The People's Oscar,' which means moving beyond pundits' opinions of who the winners may be, to understanding who real moviegoers want to see receive the highest accolades of the industry," said Professor Jonathan Taplin, Director of the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab. "We want to illustrate how new technologies can capture valuable information and opinions derived from the voices of influential movie fans."


The work between the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab and IBM is part of an ongoing collaboration to explore how technology can be used by organizations from news outlets and journalists, to movie studios and retailers, in order to better understand, respond, and predict public sentiment.


"The ability to apply a quantified measurement to social media chatter surrounding the top films and performances of the season, and to do so over a period of time, adds a valuable new dimension to The Times awards coverage," said Times Assistant Managing Editor Arts and Entertainment, Sallie Hofmeister. "We're very interested in developing and embracing new technologies to inform our reporting and working with IBM and USC has made this early stage social sentiment tool possible."


“These powerful analytic technologies have so much potential and can greatly impact the business especially in a very active social media market like the Philippines,” said Victor Silvino, Country Manager for Software Group, IBM Philippines.


In the case of the Oscar race, innovative analytics and language software from IBM that distinguishes nuance and sarcasm was used in order to pinpoint relevant opinions of the nominated films, actors and actresses and show noteworthy trends. To date, USC Annenberg and IBM have also applied similar techniques to film forecasting, sports and fashion retailing in an effort to identify social media trends and better understand public opinions.
For more information about: The University of Southern California Annenberg Innovation Lab visit

For more information, visit www.ibm.com.
www.annenberg.usc.edu; IBM and analytics, visit www.ibm.com/analytics; or Los Angeles Times, visit www.latimes.com/aboutus.

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