Future of social media data research to be debated at inaugural Social Intelligence World conference in London

Dr Jillian Ney.

More than 200 social intelligence professionals – those whose main job involves the analysis and interpretation of social media user data – will gather in London on 30 November to debate the challenges facing the discipline following high-profile data scandals.

Social Intelligence World will invite ‘social listening’ practitioners from across the globe to network, participate in interactive sessions and presentations with sector leaders and work together to solve challenges facing the growing field. The conference’s organisers, Dr Lawrence Ampofo and Dr. Jillian Ney (the first person in the UK to gain a PhD in social media research) believe that the event is the first of its kind to be organised “by practitioners, for practitioners”.

Dr Ampofo said: “Part of the reason that myself and Jillian were moved to create the Social Intelligence World conference is that social intelligence professionals typically work alone or in very small teams so can often feel isolated within their own organisations. It’s hard to discuss your work with anyone when no one in your company really understands what it is you do!

“We’re interested not just in what the social listening community is doing with social data right now, we also want to find out how they would like to use it in the future and how we can best protect the growing profession as it evolves. What part will AI play in social data analysis in the future? How do we make social intelligence more important to businesses and convince them to commit real budget to it? How can professionals help to change the public’s negative perception of social listening?”

Dr. Ney added: “There’s a lot going on in the industry just now: the recent Cambridge Analytica data scandal; Facebook restricting data access; high profile acquisitions like Brandwatch and Crimson Hexagon, and some vendors closing their doors entirely, so there will be no shortage of talking-points.

“A key issue is that there’s currently no formally accredited training or education for social listening professionals, and a real lack of best practice - which makes it difficult to know if you’re getting the most value from your initiatives. It’s time for a dedicated conference such as this, organised by practitioners, for practitioners, to go deep on issues, and provide solutions to increase confidence in the industry and safeguard the future of the discipline.”

John Savage, chief commercial officer of Symanto, one of the conference sponsors, said: “Social Intelligence has huge untapped potential to help understand consumers more deeply than ever before. Social Intelligence World gives Symanto and our industry the forum it needs to discuss, collaborate and shape how we optimise that opportunity in a way that adds genuine value to consumers’ lives.”

Social Intelligence World will be held at The Crystal in E16 on 30th November. For ticket and sponsorship details, visit https://socialintelligenceworld.com/

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