Making Sense of Social Data with CEO Dan Neely

By November 14, 2017 Perspectives No Comments
Dan Neely CEO of Networked Insights discusses what social means

Walking in to Networked Insights and removing his backpack, Chief Executive Officer Dan Neely launches in to a story about his young children and the word cattywampus. 

“…and there are toys all over the house and when I ask them, ‘what’s going on here?’ They all respond, ‘it’s all cattywampus, Daddy!”

Here is the man who started multiple companies, one of which houses a powerful engine that can crunch billions of posts a day and can understand human inference to reveal actionable insights, but he’s joking about a famous SNL skit that used the term “cattywampus.”

buford calloway from snl

Even though his comments may seem out of context and not relevant to his daily duties as company leader, it is a perfect example of the methodology Networked Insights employs when it builds its products. By exploring what’s happening in the context of people’s lives, rather than just what they’re talking about during a specific point in time, reveals a deeper, richer tapestry of insights, or information that can be used for better audience discovery, building and ultimately targeting.

Example: Neely may be a CEO of a tech company, but he’s a father of young kids who would rather talk about funny anecdotes of his life when he can.  

The social space is a muddy, busy world teeming with more solutions than questions and we’re on a mission to clarify. So, beyond the break down found here: The Social Space + Networked Insights Definedwe sat down with the Chief Executive Officer at Networked Insights to get his take on the social sphere and how NI fits within it.

Let’s start from the beginning. What does “social” mean to Networked Insights?

DN: “Most people think of social as the platform on their phones. They think of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, but in reality, our definition of social is anywhere a consumer or a person can contribute something to the web. So it could be that they’re on ESPN.com and read an interesting article and decide to comment on it, or it could be that they’re on a ratings or review site, and they comment on a rating or review. It’s is not just a moment in time where they are engaging with someone on a social site or app. To us, fundamentally, it’s all unstructured data, whether that be text, photo, video, all of our data is valuable to us. The reality is, when you’re trying to look at holistically who a person is, you need to get to all of those interactions across all those platforms, so you can get to what they care about.” 

Interesting. How does Networked Insights leverage all that data, how would it benefit marketers?  

DN: “What we’re about is people and understanding what’s important in their lives, versus posts, which is about what’s important to the marketing expert in their search of the data. We want to understand everything about a person, not just posts. Because if you understand what defines me, you understand who I am as a person, versus what I said at a point in time.

This is what marketers care about, interesting insights and intelligence about people. If you’re able to engage with me as a person would engage, you’re more likely to create content that would be interesting and relevant to my life.”

Makes sense. What are some ways insights have been used?

DN: “A lot of marketing is the test and learn approach. Try something, test it, and if it works put more money behind it. But with our insights, you’ll just know what to do. You’ll know how to put the content in the context of the person or audience because we can look holistically at their lives. Like the Halloween example we had in the company.

We just knew that’s what was interesting to them, because we’re able to look at what’s holistically going on with their lives as they think about their children, that’s interesting, versus if we did a search on life insurance, we’d find that people decide to buy life insurance in January, not that interesting.” 

Neely is referring to the 655 percent video engagement increase that The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® saw on their Facebook page after using data and insights derived from Kairos, Networked Insights audience analytics engine.

By employing a powerful digital strategy shaped by insights based on social conversations, they were able to identify the right audience for their brand (DIY Parents), the right content for that audience (Halloween costumes), and exactly the right time for them to consume it (Oct. 3).

Wow! What about some other benefits for brands?

DN: “Well one, I don’t waste as much money on test and learn because I know the thing that is interesting to you at this point in time. And two, you’re going to find things you didn’t know to look for because when you use the brain of Kairos, it’s holistic on people’s lives, not just the things chosen to build queries around. And three, our machine has no bias.”

Last thought, who would use this kind of data?

DN: “Anyone that cares about the input of people or customers can use this data.”

To learn more about how Networked Insights can help you, get in touch here