Brian Solis at SMCKC: Interpret Data or Perish!

by Eric Melin on January 4, 2013

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Here’s a challenge to forward-thinking companies in 2013…

…from Brian Solis, speaking at this morning’s Social Media Club of Kansas City breakfast at the Google Fiber space, via Google Hangout.

Don’t become one of those businesses that receives “big data reports full of amazing data that gets emailed out and no one ever reads.”

(I think it’s time for a slow clap.)

Here’s why: Companies can usually show through traditional means that profit is coming from one type of customer. The employees who will make a big difference for their companies in 2013 are the ones who can translate important social consumer information for their executives; the ones who can show data-based evidence and make the case for the digital strategies necessary to move the company forward.

We all know that using all the likes and followers you have on Facebook and Twitter isn’t going to help you much in your pitch to your CEO for more social adoption. You need to make the connection between data analytics and business goals. If you can’t interpret data, they’ll find someone who does.

Community managers and social media managers have been on the rise since 2010, although HuffPostLive’s Community Manager Tim McDonald predicts it won’t be the most hired position of 2013. Solis agrees there is a need for change and is pushing for employees in these roles to become what he calls a “human algorithm.” That’s someone who can unite business intelligence and social data to extract meaningful insight; someone who is actively pushing to gain real meaning from big data.

Last month, he wrote:

“One place where the human algorithm can have an immediate impact is in social media listening. In addition to tracking simple data signals such as conversations, sentiment, share of voice and service inquiries, data can present insights into preferences, trends, areas for innovation or refinement, R&D, co-creation, et al. Even though sophisticated tools can help track data points that can lead to these insights, it still takes a human touch to surface them and in turn advocate findings within the organization. It’s the difference between insights, actionable insights, and executed insights.”

It’s so good to read that. We’ve been giving advice like this to our clients for a while, but I LOVE the way Brian phrases it here. That’s just one takeaway from the SMCKC Google Hangout with Brian this morning.

In other, awesome local news: It was also announced at the breakfast that the SMCKC is the first recipient of the Outstanding Chapter of the Year award, picked from over 350 chapters worldwide. I’d like to issue a huge congratulations to the leadership and membership of SMCKC. From the Give us a Gig initiative, the community effort of Paint the Town Green, the MLB All-Star Game Social Media Command Center, and all the philanthropical campaigns SMCKC has been involved in in the past year, it is richly deserved.

At The Pivot Conference in New York in October, I was speaking to someone I had just met and talking about how great SMCKC is and how it’s one of the top Social Media Clubs in the country. I kid you not: he laughed. Snorted, to be exact. It was one of those reactions where I could tell he didn’t mean to be so obvious, but it just came out that way.

Being in the middle of the country has its advantages, my friend. It was almost like our little secret—how great Kansas City is for tech, innovation, and community—and clearly this guy wasn’t in on it yet. But I think the secret is officially out.

Congrats, SMCKC! I’m proud to say I was there way back in 2009 …

Instagram photo by kcwineguy

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