What We’re Reading: Working in Real-Time

Here at Research Access, we read quite a bit – as you can imagine. Personally, I both love and fear opening Google Reader each morning to find 1000 or so unread items from across the worlds of news, media, business, marketing, technology, and of course – research. (I also subscribe to the daily cartoon xkcd; you should check that out.)

Anyway, as a result of all this reading, I thought I’d make it a regular habit to share some highlights of my Monday morning stroll through the blogosphere. Two articles in particular this morning form a theme that I’d like to expound on a bit: real-time data.

Here are the two articles:

  • USA Today: Wall Street traders mine tweets to gain a trading edge – A discussion of how Wall Street traders have taken to scouring Twitter, applying powerful algorithms to analyze opinions, mood, and even emotion in an effort to predict the movement of the markets.
  • Warc: P&G Gets Real-time – A look at how the consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble is leveraging access to real-time data to gain better insights into sales and purchasing behavior, and even automate market strategy adjustment in response to shifting patterns.

Again, both of these pieces have to do with the mining of real-time data to improve insights and responses to a rapidly changing world. In the case of the Wall Street traders, they’re taking advantage of just how much information people are now willing to share – in real-time – about their actions, behaviors, moods, emotions and motivations. If that can be used to read into market behavior, it can really be used to understand any industry or behavior pattern better (since people share information about everything these days). As market researchers, have you started to incorporate social media opinion data into the research you conduct for your clients? We’d love to hear about your experience.

In the case of Proctor & Gamble, this article in particular focuses on how the consumer giant behind Tide, Pampers, Bounty and more is using real-time sales, inventory, market share and purchasing pattern data to adjust its strategies in equally real-time. The beauty of this approach is that it not only allows for more agile response to shifting patterns in specific markets, but intrinsically, it includes a treasure trove of information about consumers and what motivates their choices. It’s a sales tool, a marketing tool, and a customer insight tool.

We’d love to hear about your experiences using real-time data in marketing or research scenarios. Of course, we’d also like to hear what you’re reading, too!

About Joshua Hoffman

Joshua Hoffman is Technology Specialist at Microsoft and a frequent contributor to Research Access.


  1. I love/dread my Google Reader too! It gets my head swimming on everything that’s going on in the world. Thanks for putting some context to the most important stories.

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