This week, The Social Intelligence Lab meets Tamara Lucas, Associate Director at Convosphere…
When did you first become involved in the ‘social intelligence’ sector?
I’ve been working in the “Social Intelligence” industry since the days we just called it social media analytics and social media monitoring.
I did my first social media analytics report back in my first job in 2010, while I was still finishing my studies. I had always been interested in data and used the flexibility my managers gave me to put into practice the saying “what we don’t measure, cannot be improved”.
However, it wasn’t until 2012, when a reputational crisis impacted one of my clients, that I started my deep-dive into social media monitoring tools. The most exciting part of those initial years was the feeling of being a part of shaping the foundation of a new discipline.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I wasn’t sure about what I wanted to be professionally or study, that’s why I chose something with multiple options. However, since I was little, my dream was to be a Disney cast member.
Who knows, maybe in the future I can combine been a Social Intelligence expert with being a Disney Villain cast member in a Disney theme park!
What, in your opinion, are the key benefits of social data analysis for organisations?
Social media data analysis helps organisations to answer business questions. It can be questions about their consumers, helping them to understand their audiences and using the available data with a clear market research approach.
But social media data can be used in a wide range of departments in an organisation. From measuring and understanding the outcome of a campaign, to informing product development teams on customer’ unmet needs and new required features; or even, get a deeper knowledge of specific professional’s profiles so HR departments can work in a user-centric approach based on their personality, interests and common complaints of the job.
As I always say, as long as you know what your business question is, social data analysis can help to answer it.
What aspects of your work do you most enjoy?
Being able to combine quantitive and qualitative data to find unique insights about almost any given topic.
It can be similar to being a detective, and that is pretty cool.
What are the biggest challenges in your day-to-day work?
I can picture three biggest challenges in my day-to-day work:
● The loss of trust in social media.
● Avoiding the biases that any analyst can suffer.
● The changing ecosystems: Being up-to-date – in a quickly changing environment.
Are you worried about regulatory restrictions impacting on your work in the future?
As I mentioned before, one of the biggest challenges in our job is being “up to date” and that means in every aspect of our job, not only in regards to the tools or platforms we use – but ethical and legal obligations.
In terms of a regulatory framework, I am not picturing them as restrictions but as a regulatory framework that help us to work ethically and morally with the available data allowing users of these platforms a greater visibility to how their data is used and in the end greater trust in social media and online platforms.
Which social data analysis tools do you use? Do you have a favourite?
I consider myself a Tool Geek and I am lucky to work in a company that is tool agnostic. Both, Convosphere and the clients we work with, use different tools. We all know that there is not a single tool that works for every industry and type of clients, so being able to play with them, use different tools for different types of projects and, even, combining different data analysis tools is something I am always interested to explore.
I don’t have one favourite tool in the market, or at least, not yet. I have favourite tools depending on the business question I need to answer or the type of analysis I need to perform.
Do you think the ‘social intelligence’ community needs its own professional body?
I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I believe the industry can benefit from some universal standards, metrics and measurement practices, even of some proper training and qualification. However, on the other hand, a professional body can limit the creativity and the innovation on the sector, as at some points standards could set barriers to do something different.
Name a book you would recommend to others
I liked reading the book “Storytelling With Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals”. I think it is important to be a good analyst as much as a good storyteller. Good analysis and insights recommendations won’t have any impact if we don’t know how to make it work for all types of audiences and communicate effectively with them.
Name a social account that everyone should follow
I recommend the World Economic Forum account, in Twitter or Facebook as I liked both. Although it is not directly related to our work, I feel really interesting the stories they share, giving me a wider perception of the world in which I live.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to follow you on social?
It would be super cool if Walt Disney would follow me.
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