Business Intelligence: Actionable Insights for Brand Management

  • Monitoring, analyzing and moderating brand mentions globally
  • Revealing brand recognition and perception trends
  • Measuring ads and media content customer reach

Context

Our customer, one of the leading US consulting agencies specializing on brand building, helps its clients to successfully overcome the most sophisticated issues of monitoring and influencing their brands online.

This challenging task would be irresolvable without smart software able to collect and analyze brand mentions, detect issues and facilitate related decision making.

Influencing Public Image Online

Big B2C players, such as food producers or home electronics manufacturers, constantly face the challenge of managing their brand perception across multiple product lines and consumer audiences. Along with continuous investments in research, production processes improvement and quality management companies have to encourage positive customer feedback while mitigating the negative impact of bias in social media.

Our customer – one of the leading US consulting agencies specializing on brand building – helps its clients to successfully overcome the most sophisticated issues of monitoring and influencing their brands online. This challenging task would be irresolvable without smart so ware able to collect and analyze brand mentions, detect issues and facilitate related decision making.

Transforming Professional Knowledge into Software Solution

None of the single so ware solutions on the market adequately met the highly specialized needs of our client. Working for huge enterprises with hundreds of products often targeted at different consumer segments our customer required a powerful integrated solution grounded on the company’s unique knowledge and experience.

Objectives

Benefiting from Analytical Process Automation

After working for quite a long time with several isolated software tools — and facing unwanted delays, workflow interruptions and weak consistency — the customer’s executive team came to the decision to invest in business process automation. The underlying business objectives were clearly formulated and aimed at:

  • Eliminating time loss associated with transferring/merging stats accrued by different applications
  • Reducing efforts spent on locating and accessing distributed data
  • Increasing analytics efficiency with rich visual aids

The achieved objectives were expected to facilitate the accomplishment of global business-critical tasks: to boost cost-effectiveness, to support strategic decision making and to fasten brand management issue reaction time.

Building an Integrated BI Environment

In accordance with the described business goals the higher-level functional scope of the future system resulted in 5 major blocks, requiring to:

  • Collect brand and product mentions from blogs, forums, news, social networks — all in line with a set of configurable criteria.
  • Detect positive and negative mentions (based on configurable set of keywords) and organize unstructured information into BI-ready data mart.
  • Add stats from internal/offline sources and map them to the data collected online
  • Enable analytical data processing
  • Provide interactive presentation layer for analytical results output

To achieve these goals Itransition was entrusted to build a secure BI portal, uniting online data gathering tools, third-party software modules and the internal data processing center.

Solution

End-to-End Processing with Emphasis on ETL and Visualization

The BI portal delivered by Itransition encapsulates 4 major solutions providing an end-to-end data processing capability.

  • A central BI storage with processing kernel serving at the same time as a service-oriented integration point
  • Application integration & ETL solution to attach to the data collected by third-party software and directly from the other available data sources to the processing kernel
  • Report designer to allow analysts to compose custom queries
  • Presentation layer visualizing dynamic data and instance relationships

For better understanding of how the system works the diagram below represents a high level architecture of the whole solution.

ETL and Integration Challenges

Extracting data from the multiple sources and loading it to the BI central storage was a fundamental task to be completed to enable further analytical processing. The major challenge for Itransition was the integration of several third party modules not initially designed to work together.

API Integrations

The two existing web tools, utilized for gathering information throughout the Internet, have been seamlessly connected to the BI portal via API integration. In addition, Itransition integrated Google API thus enabling the monitoring of Google Analytics stats and Google Insights trends.

XML parsing

One more software module brings the data reflecting brand behavior in offline resources such as TV or print publications. The software has poor interoperability so we had no chance to work with API and required to find an alternative solution to extract the data from remote servers and upload it into central BI storage. To overcome the issue we engineered XML parsing mechanism to load the data from external system rapidly and return it as a part of web content.

Text files processing

A sufficient piece of information was available in CSV files only. Itransiton team made the data contained in those files an integral part of the BI data mart by developing a connector to file repository that automatically extracts and transfers the data to the system.

Transforming and Aggregating Data

The information extracted from the variety of sources is then to be prepared for analytical processing. This involves not only advanced Data Manipulation functionality but also Data Quality Management techniques including cleansing, normalization, consistency verification, avoiding duplications, etc. Finally, the data is mapped to the analytical database structure to serve as a reliable and representative data mart easy to work with.

The nature of business data the customer deals with requires processing of huge information volumes gained from multiple sources and updated frequently, so we had to develop a really scalable and high performance solution for fast dynamic data aggregation and presenting it in a variety of analytical views.

Built with best database development and OLAP practices the analytical kernel allows 360-degree picture of brand behavior in social media and is flexible to configure/customize reports and analytical views to match specifics of the brand under monitoring.

Presentation Layer

All the efforts spent on data gathering would have no value without providing analysts with the possibility to easily recognize brand state, dynamics and trends via data visualization. Itransition created rich presentation layer combining traditional data visualization tools with advanced techniques of semantic analysis and instance relationship visualization.

The aggregated information is presented in customizable dynamic grids, drilldowns, charts and visual indicators.

Development Process and Project Results

Smart Development Approach Leading to a Long Term Partnership

Since early beginning, the top priorities from the project management perspective were risk mitigation and smooth knowledge transfer between the customer’s in-house and Itransition teams. This focus was perfectly supported by Itransition’s composite iterative approach to Software Development Life Cycle meaning fixed transparent deliverables on high-level iterations combined with a formal Agile development inside low-level development phases.

By consequently accomplishing compact tasks and meeting the expectations on every iteration, the Itransition team gained the customer’s confidence and, in the end, was entrusted to deliver the whole complex system.

The provided cost-effective conditions together with a very positive collaboration experience secured by Itransition’s mature knowledge sharing practices allowed the customer to integrate our remote team into the business process — thus cutting TCO without losing control over critical business software. For the time being Itransition provides continuous improvements and new modules development as well as maintenance and support of the software delivered.

Valuable Line-of-Business Software

As it becomes clear from business context, the software solution delivered by Itransition is a core business-critical instrument for the customer. The solution not only boosts the customer’s operational efficiency, but gives the possibility to provide clients with value-adding services. Moreover, the tool appears to be extremely useful for the customer, as it helps to identify weak points in his own business processes and to make appropriate improvements and investment decisions.

Screenshots

Highlights

  • Solutions

    Media Content Distribution

    Collaboration Tools

    Business Intelligence

  • Industries

    Media & Entertainment

  • Technology

    Ruby

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