Leading tech company IBM (NYSE: IBM) unveiled Thursday a new social sentiment capability based on analytics technologies to help cities around the world measure and understand public opinions on key city issues and services such as public transportation or education.
The company also unveiled findings from the latest IBM Social Sentiment Index on traffic, which looked at public sentiment across India’s largest cities – Bangalore, New Delhi and Mumbai.
Analysis of publically available social media showed that the worst congestion is primarily caused by accidents and bad weather (three out of four times) when looking at the three cities together.
It also indicated some interesting variations between the cities analyzed. For example, social conversation in Mumbai about stress around traffic is about half as high as Bangalore and New Delhi; references to the impact of rush hour on congestion in New Delhi are between five and seven times more negative than in Bangalore and Mumbai.
IBM Social Sentiment Index
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With a wealth of online content and public commentary on social channels such as Twitter and Facebook, city officials need new ways to measure positive, neutral and negative opinions shared by citizens regarding important city issues, suggests IBM.
IBM’s advanced analytics and natural language processing technologies used to analyze large volumes of public social media data in order to assess and understand citizen opinions are now available to city governments around the world via new capabilities delivered with the IBM Intelligent Operations Center (IOC) for Smarter Cities.
The IOC – which combines IBM software and services to integrate city operations through a single dashboard view to help cities improve efficiency – is now augmented with social media analytics capabilities.
It will help city officials make more informed decisions by looking at unfiltered citizen attitudes and actions, distinguishing between sincerity and sarcasm and even predicting trends as they surface online.
Combining the knowledge that population will rapidly increase in Bangalore, New Delhi and Mumbai in the coming years, with sentiment on commuters’ preferred mode of transportation, could help these cities more accurately plan for needed investments in transportation infrastructure and its potential impact.
City officials could also gauge where public awareness campaigns need to be administered to shift commuters to different modes of transport in order to alleviate growing traffic congestion.
Public social media content was analyzed by IBM Cognos Consumer Insights, which assessed 168,330 online discussions from September 2011 to September 2012 across social platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Forums and News Sources and derived 54,234 High Value Snippets through a series of advanced filtration techniques for insight analysis.
The IBM Social Sentiment Index helps companies tap into consumer desires and make more informed decisions by looking at unfiltered consumer attitudes and actions, distinguishing between sincerity and sarcasm, and even predicting trends, says the company.