Optimal Conducts Social Media Analysis Demonstration in Topic Detection

Date: June 20, 2011
Location: College Park, MD

Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) has developed a social media analysis tool kit as part of its framework to enable real-time public policy decision-making. The tool kit and associated approaches are based on the extensive review and testing of commercially available social media applications conducted over the past year, and also includes multidisciplinary collaborations with universities and experts in social media analytics.

Using the tool kit, which was refined by additional environmental scanning and compatible tool integration, Optimal conducted a demonstration on behalf of its federal agency client on topic detection. Topic detection is the ability to determine what is emerging in social media as a topic in blogs, tweets, Facebook, websites, etc., within a certain policy context, such as in health policy. Optimal examined and matched historical news articles, press releases, announcements, policy changes, and events with the volume of social media activity online over the past year, to determine the accuracy of the demonstration.

Furthermore, other areas of social media analysis include:

  • Sentiment analysis of individual Facebook posts and tweets to determine users’ emotions
  • Trend analysis of particular topics of interest
  • Geographic mapping based on topics and sentiment
  • Demographic analysis (e.g., age, gender) of the population of interest
  • Analyzing important terms and the relationship of topics

The results from the social media analyses are displayed in a dashboard with a compilation of all tools required for client requirements.

As technology moves at an ever faster pace and takes on an increasingly larger role in the lives of every citizen, public policy data design, collection, analysis and reporting is not currently keeping pace. Optimal is taking the lead by focusing on real-time policy decision making.