Thursday, February 20, 2014

Oh, patents! Actionable information

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Huh? What’s actionable information?

Actionable information is hot, hot, hot these days! In a nutshell, this is raw data, transformed into knowledge that can be acted upon, where the raw data is culled from the fabulously rich archives, and ongoing stream of communication, of social media networks such as Facebook®, Twitter®, Google Plus®, LinkedIn® or fora…!

Actionable information is thus produced when extracted by analysis software that alerts a business to trends in the flow of social media communication, so that such a business can make faster and more informed decisions. Form a business perspective, it is based on the premise that the real source of wealth in social media is the information that people naturally and unknowingly provide about what is “hot” when they are communicating!  

Thus, there are data mining companies (e.g.; Topsy Labs and Dataminr) whose mission it is to design software that can make sense of the stream of social media, extract trends, and alert associated business partners.  The relevance of actionable data becomes particularly clear when you recall, for example, how Tweets alerted the world to such uprisings as those of Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China; or later to the drama unfolding in Cairo’s Central Tahrir Square in Egypt, and to a lesser degree in the Central Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey; as well as now in Kiev, in Ukraine. This sort of tweeted, posted or otherwise cited information on a social network, when properly filtered and identified early, can then alert the large news networks immediately so that the stories can be covered much faster, and the situations potentially resolved with less turmoil.

Indeed, actionable information is hot on more counts that one…

The patent US2013297581, titled Systems and methods for customized filtering and analysis of social media content collected over social networks, assigned to Topsy Labs, is one such patent that transforms raw data into actionable information. In particular, this patent discloses a way of including, in the analysis, the author or subject’s opinions or sentiments (e.g; likes) and/or influence,  in regards a particular object on the social network. This is one step beyond the compilation of actionable data based on keyword analytics such as the number of keyword or term mentions, or re-tweets; or the velocity at which a particular keyword or term is picking up in a particular time-frame of 7 days.

This is a patent connected to several related Topsy Labs patents, mapping the territory of the data mining of social media content, such as for example:
  • US2013297694 titled Systems and methods of interactive presentation and analysis of social media content collected over social networks
  • US2013 321862 titled System and method for customizing analytics based on users media affiliation status
  • US 2014040371, titled Systems and methods for identifying geographic location of social media content collected over social networks
  • US2013304818 titled Systems and method for discovery of related terms for social media content collected over social networks.

Below appears the abstract for US2013297581, titled Systems and methods for customized filtering and analysis of social media content collected over social networks.
Abstract: A new approach is proposed that contemplates systems and methods to filter and/or rank a plurality of content items retrieved from a social network based on the sentiments expressed by the authors of the content items and/or the influence level of the authors over the social network. First, content items matching a set of keywords submitted by a user are retrieved from the social network. The sentiments and/or the influence levels of the authors of these content items are then identified in real time. Once identified, the sentiments and/or influence levels of the authors are used to filter and/or rank the retrieved content items to generate a search result that matches with the sentiment and/or influence level specified by the user. Finally, the customized search result based on the sentiments and/or the influence levels of the authors is presented to the user.


And now for something personally actionable…I would love NYU to incorporate a Topsy Labs® or Dataminr® function to alert me when a hot topic is being hatched on the forum of my medical translation course! That would would prevent me from missing any further point..!

Cathy image Copyright © Cathy Guisewite

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