Socialcast, which makes Twitter-like status update software for businesses, Oct. 6 is planning to announce analytics software for its microblogging platform, becoming the latest vendor to create business intelligence tools that help companies gauge social activity.
Called Social Business Intelligence, the suite provides feedback about what topics are top of mind with employees using the Socialcast microblogging platform, and lets users drill down into the conversations people are having about those topics, according to Socialcast.
SBI runs network analysis to ferret out informal connections between individuals and groups, looking at posts, comments and "liking" activity over time.
The software also scrutinizes interactivity patterns between users, showing proactive and reactive relationships between employees in a corporate network, as well as moments of transition from passive to active usage. Users can see graphical charts of community discussions rendered by SBI's visualization capabilities.
With SBI, Socialcast joins companies such as Jive Software in blending business intelligence tools into enterprise social media as a way to give customers an idea of what people are saying in social networks. A Socialcast spokesperson explained the company's rationale for SBI:
""It is becoming more widely accepted that microblogging and real-time information exchange has a place in the communication structure of companies, but now, there is a drive at the management level to understand 1) why employees are using microblogging, 2) what they are using it for, and 3) what return on investment does it bring to the company.""
By understanding these social graph and communication patterns, companies can better divine and address competitive threats, or seek out new contacts and opportunities.
Socialcast's move follows Jive's launch of Jive Market Engagement, a tool that lets marketers get a handle on what users are saying about their brands online. For that tool, Jive partnered with and licensed analytics technology from Radian6. Mzinga also features analytics capabilities in its OmniSocial platform.
Socialcast built SBI entirely in-house over the past year, beating enterprise microblogging rivals such as Yammer and Present.ly to the market in weaving business intelligence into their status update tools.
It will be interesting to see if Socialcast sees an uptick in sales by offering SBI as a way to help companies cut through the less useful or even inane chatter on corporate social networks.
Social Business Intelligence is a premium feature, which will be available to Socialcast Enterprise customers using Socialcast on premises or as SAAS (software as a service), hosted on Socialcast's servers.