The Worth of Unstructured Data
Data generated by digital processes are gaining importance not only for market research but also for the top management of companies. Web Analytics (tools to analyse data for web usage optimization) make it easier to integrate this kind of data into management information systems. Unstructured data of websites and social media, however, are most commonly being disregarded. Entries in blogs and websites, comments on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or YouTube and the manifold tools to evaluate, react and share content offer valuable information about trends and changes in the markets. Unstructured data give companies alternative opportunities to identify new strategies, segment their markets and evaluate their portfolio of products and services.
Focus on Music Business
The project Smart Data for Music Business Administration (SAMBA) focuses on the music business for two reasons: Firstly, there is an especially large amount of semi- and unstructured data available on the Internet in this sector. Secondly, advanced modes of data analysis and data-based management are being rarely used. Based on the use case of the evaluation of life cycles in the music industry it will be exemplarily investigated to what extent social media data can be used for the strategic and operational management in music companies (labels, agencies, publishers, radio stations, etc.). The use case was selected, because it can be regarded as a central challenge in the value chain of the music industry:
Well-established methods of context-based Music Information Retrieval (MIR) will be adapted for specific application cases. A special focus will be given to the deduction of new data sources and their integration into existing information systems.
The first goal of the project is to establish a technical infrastructure for a continuous acquirement and indexation of music-related data from social media. Based on this, new services for the music industry shall be created in order to solve information problems in the music economy.
These technical tools can be applied in the evaluation of the life cycle use case: Through the methods generated in the project information about specific criteria like trends and the development of the popularity of songs, acts and genres, which represent their life cycle, will be gathered automatically from social sharing platforms like YouTube and Soundcloud. Also user evaluations in the form of comments will be integrated through sentiment analysis or topic extraction.
The obtained findings are also applicable to other sectors of the consumer goods industry. Tools that make use of automated analysis of unstructured web data might be applied to existing management information systems.
The second goal of the project is to help building and further developing the interdisciplinary linking of competences between the Institute of Media Economics and the Institute of Creative Media Technologies at St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences in the fields of social media mining and data-based management. This goal is not only important for the further development of the courses of studies in media economics and media technology, but is also key to knowledge transfer activities to our partner companies.