In a bid to solve their client’s toughest business challenges, IBM recently announced a partnership with social media giant Twitter. By merging Twitter’s huge data pool with IBM’s sophisticated cloud analytics programme, IBM hopes to streamline business decision making.

Half a billion tweets are sent per day and there are currently 288 million active users on the social network so it makes sense for IBM to exploit Twitter’s data to aid their customers. And it’s not just IBM who are cashing in on the partnership. Data-licensing is a growing segment of Twitter’s business- in the first half of 2013 alone the company generated a staggering £21m from selling tweets.

By giving companies access to Twitter’s “firehose”, companies are able to use analytics programmes such as Bluemix and Klout to gain valuable customer insights. Since launching the project in October, IBM has turned tweets into insights for over 100 organisations worldwide.

Although IBM can’t disclose the names of clients, they have released several case studies on surprising insights gained from their Twitter alliance. One case saw a global food company turn to IBM for help understanding their customer’s behavioural habits. By combining Twitter data and their own customer loyalty data, they learned that people with similar taste in certain products visit the stores at specific times of day.

This allowed the company to target customers with offers at the most receptive times of day and prepare for product demand surges in advance.

IBM Analytics Manager, Alistair Rennie recently published an article describing the various ways that the partnership is helping companies to gain valuable insights and forecast for the future. By tapping into Twitter streams, he said businesses had been able to “understand customer sentiment, develop hit products and services, and anticipate sudden shifts in moods and markets.”

IBM has already trained more than 4,000 engineers on using Twitter data for business projects and it plans to extend this number to 10,000 over the coming months.

Although IBM’s partnership with Twitter is far from exclusive and the company has a number of competitors, they are unique in the way their analytics extend beyond marketing. Additional IBM Twitter analytics uses include churn analysis, talent management and product development.

Although it’s still early days for the partnership, IBM’s unique analytics service which can pull data from various sources suggests businesses will choose them over all others. Watch this space.

Author: Global Knowledge is a leading IT and business training provider. Providing learning to public and private sector companies, organisations can choose from classroom, virtual and on-demand training. For IBM training courses and more visit the website.

By Eddy

Eddy is the editorial columnist in Business Fundas, and oversees partner relationships. He posts articles of partners on various topics related to strategy, marketing, supply chain, technology management, social media, e-business, finance, economics and operations management. The articles posted are copyrighted under a Creative Commons unported license 4.0. To contact him, please direct your emails to

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