How did social media impact the Super Bowl experience?
Written by TechPurdue // February 29, 2012 // Admitted Students, Alumni & Friends, Business & Industry, Computer and Information Technology, Computer Graphics Technology, Current Students, Faculty & Staff, Latest College News, Security and Forensics // No comments
A positive and successful Super Bowl experience in Indianapolis could be a boon for the city for future events and return visits.
A group of researchers with Purdue’s College of Technology helped state officials collect public social media posts before, during and after the event to analyze public opinion and reactions related to the Super Bowl XLVI marketing campaign. They are also analyzing general public perceptions of Indianapolis hospitality, accommodations and safety.
With the help of two software packages – Radian 6 and Visual Technologies – the group provided daily and weekly updates to Indiana’s Office of Technology. The software was donated by the two companies in support of the research project.
“Social media analytics tools are used widely in marketing and customer service,” said Mihaela Vorvoreanu, assistant professor of computer graphics technology and co-principal investigator for the project. “We are exploring their application in different situations, where they can be put to use in the service of the general public.”
“This software allows you to generically look for problem areas. When a lot of people text or tweet about a specific topic, it will show up in the data,” said Eric Dietz, associate professor of computer and information technology and principal investigator for the project. “How do you look for safety problems? You have to identify the right terms to be aware of. We will be giving recommendations to the companies on how to make them better. We should have a new purpose for this software: public safety.”
The five-person research team included two students: Geovon Boisvenue, research assistant in the College of Technology’s computer graphics technology program, and Israa Bukhari, research assistant affiliated with the Purdue Homeland Security Institute (PHSI). Cliff Wojtalewicz, managing director of PHSI, is also part of the team.
“It is great experience to make sense out of large quantities of data, to recognize trends, and issues, and be able to present the information in an actionable format,” Vorvoreanu said. “Also, it is very exciting, and maybe a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be able to be involved with an event as big as the Super Bowl.”
In their final report, the research team identified what they learned from the project and how social media chatter can be used effectively for future events:
- Social media analytics can be used proactively to identify topics and issues discussed by the public and respond to them swiftly. Future research needs to establish procedures for identifying issues very early in order to respond to them faster, or even anticipate them.
- The use of social media analytics can help with the early identification of routine operational issues under the state’s jurisdiction. Further research can assist the state in putting in place an ongoing social media analytics effort that will monitor routine and seasonal issues.
- Social media analytics can be valuable tools for evaluation. Social media chatter provides a detailed view of public opinion; collecting this amount of data through surveys and interviews would be prohibitively expensive and would require a monumental effort. Social media analytics provide access not only to raw data, but also to instant analyses that can act as quick evaluations of event success.
- The team is interested in investigating other research questions trigger by this project, such as the predictive potential of social media chatter and privacy considerations.
(Photo: Graduate students Israa Bukhari and Will Shelby share their Super Bowl Village experiences via social media channels. – Cory Nyugen)