To QlikView, social media data is just another source of data. It’s nothing special. Okay, it can be unstructured and messy, and there’s a lot of it. But as long as it can be brought into a table, QlikView can be used to explore and analyze it.
While QlikView provides direct connectors to a variety of data sources (e.g., Excel spreadsheets, XML files, ODBC databases, SAP, Salesforce.com, and more), we don’t currently offer direct connectors to social media sites. This doesn’t mean we think social media analytics are unimportant. Au contraire. We are very excited to have partners like Industrial CodeBox, which has built a set of connectors from QlikView to social media data sources like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter — and partners like TIQ Solutions that have built applications to analyze Twitter sentiment. (See the related blog post, “Analyze the Tweetstream with QlikView.”)
QVSource: an API connector for QlikView
This week I talked to Chris Brain, owner and director of Industrial CodeBox, about QVSource. QVSource enables QlikView users to load data from a variety of web APIs without heavy-duty technical skills or knowledge of how to connect to the API. Users point QlikView to QVSource and within a few minutes they are loading data from social networks or other web applications into their application. QVSource provides direct connectors to Facebook, Google Spreadsheets and Google Analytics, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other web services and developers can use the QVSource SDK (software development kit) to create additional connectors. Check out these demo apps on the QVSource web site for Twitter Social Media Engagement and Facebook Pages Social Media Engagement.
Social media analytics ≠ social Business Discovery
Sometimes when we talk about social Business Discovery, people think we are talking about social media data analysis. To be clear, these are two different things. In contrast to social media analytics, social Business Discovery is about enabling business people to collaborate on discoveries and generate multiplicative insights. Users collaborate on creation of analytic apps and can define and answer their own questions in formal or informal groups. They communicate with each other in real time and asynchronously to collaboratively explore data, forge paths to discovery and insight, and arrive at decisions. They explore Business Discovery apps through a social lens to find the data and insights that are most relevant to them. (See these related blog posts: “What’s the Right Context for Delivery of Social BI?” “Social BI: How Do People Work, and What Tools Are Available?” and “QlikView Supports Multiple Approaches to Social BI.”)