Headlines: July 10th, 2012

A sentiment analysis has been applied to tweets about the Wimbledon Championship to reveal a range of insights into fan and sport pundits’ opinions around the games. The same analysis technique could be applied to get citizen’s reactions to policy decisions about public services as well as to delivery issues.

The IBM Social Sentiment analysis of over 1,270,000 tweets about the Championships found that Murray is the most popular men’s player with the highest percentage of positive tweets. Radwanska secured the highest percentage of upbeat tweets among female players. Murray and Radwanska’s top tweet rankings eclipsed their spots in the official tournament seedings, where they ranked fourth and third, respectively.

Interestingly Angelique Kerber took the second spot in the women’s positive tweet rankings – highlighting strong support for the German player despite her not ranking in the top 5 seeds.

The analysis also showed that the top three unexpected talking points on Twitter that related to Wimbledon 2012 are late running matches, “big serving” players dominating the Championships and major upsets as top players were knocked out unexpectedly.

Speaking of the findings, Alan Flack, Wimbledon Client and Programme Executive for IBM commented: “The ability to apply a quantified measurement to social media commentary surrounding the players and the event over a period of time, adds a valuable new dimension to the colour surrounding the Wimbledon Championships. The Social Sentiment Index again demonstrates that
analysing data is not a game – it’s an important way to understand different constituencies and gain competitive advantage.”

The IBM Social Sentiment Index uses advanced analytics and natural language processing technologies that can be applied to analyse large volumes of social media data in order to assess public opinions. The Index can identify and measure positive, negative and neutral sentiments shared in public forums such as Twitter, blogs, message boards and other social media, and provide quick and unexpected insights into consumer conversations about issues, products and services.

The social sentiment analysis represents a new form of market research. It holds out the prospect of gaining new insights into how people view developing events such as changes to public policy and the delivery of public services.