The Globe and Mail

Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Globe Investor

News Sources

Take control of your investments with the latest investing news and analysis

Press release from CNW Group

Xerox Tackles Big Data Challenge: Social Media Analytics is Great, But What Should I Do with the Info?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Xerox Tackles Big Data Challenge: Social Media Analytics is Great, But What Should I Do with the Info?

11:32 EDT Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Xerox researchers teach computers to identify, route useful data to the humans who can best respond


NORWALK, CT, Sept. 18, 2013 /CNW/ - It's one thing to detect a customer's tweet and figure out (accurately) if the person is happy or frustrated -  but then what do you do with that information?

While social media listening tools on the market today make it easier to monitor and analyze the millions of conversations happening across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, blogs and online communities - using the information to make sales or improve customer satisfaction remains a very hands-on, time consuming process.

To help, Xerox (NYSE:  XRX) researchers are working on an automated data analytics platform that teaches computers to more accurately determine the sentiment of comments (pleased, angry, confused), and quickly route that information to the right person or team. The automation helps organizations respond faster to customer data, and in a much more relevant way.

"When humans have to step in and evaluate the context of a tweet or route a post, it slows things down and reduces the overall value of social media data," said Tong Sun, who leads the data analytics laboratory at Xerox Research Center Webster in New York. "We're piloting a platform that lets computers do the heavy lifting."

The advances made in automation and accuracy could help a customer care agent address an issue before it becomes a crisis or allow a sales executive to make the most of a real-time event in the market. In a recent pilot, businesses were able to respond to comments in hours instead of days or weeks.

"Studies have shown responding quickly to an issue raised on social media channels leads to happier customers," Tong said. "And we know that targeting the right customers and communities makes for a more profitable marketing campaign."

How it works

Many of the social media monitoring tools on the market today use a simple keyword-centric approach for determining the sentiment of an online comment, making it difficult to detect things like sarcasm or abbreviated wording. To understand the context accurately, Xerox researchers with expertise in text mining, machine learning and predictive modeling created an analytical platform that quickly and accurately extracts the sentiment by reviewing it in context of ongoing conversations. The platform is then able to assess, prioritize and deliver the insights to the best contact (a customer sales agent or a sales or marketing team), so they can address issues or opportunities.

Already piloted with several customers, the technology is available now as part of Xerox Customer Care offerings and also will be offered to sales and marketing organizations across many industries including financial services, telecommunications and retail.

About Xerox
Since the invention of Xerography 75 years ago, the people of Xerox (NYSE: XRX) have helped businesses simplify the way work gets done. Today, we are the global leader in business process and document management, helping organizations of any size be more efficient so they can focus on their real business. Headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., more than 140,000 Xerox employees serve clients in 160 countries, providing business services, printing equipment and software for commercial and government organizations. Learn more at

About Xerox Canada Ltd.

Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, with regional offices nationwide, Xerox Canada provides extensive, leading-edge document technology, services, software and genuine Xerox supplies for graphic communication and office printing environments of any size, in industries such as financial services, retail, telecommunications, healthcare, education and transportation. Xerox Canada offers and delivers an exclusive portfolio of leading managed print services (MPS), communication and marketing services (CMS) and specialized business process outsourcing (BPO) - such as managing paper-based work processes - and information technology services. LaserNetworks, a leading managed print services provider, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Xerox Canada Ltd. For more information visit

Note: To receive RSS news feeds, visit For open commentary, industry perspectives and views visit,,,,

Xerox® and Xerox and Design® are trademarks of Xerox in the United States and/or other countries.

Image with caption: "Tong Sun (right), who manages the Xerox Scalable Data Analytics Research Lab in Webster, NY works with researcher Saurabh Kataria on a data analytics platform for social media that helps organizations respond faster to customer comments, and in a much more relevant way. (CNW Group/Xerox Canada)". Image available at:

SOURCE: Xerox Canada

For further information:

Media Contacts:
John Quinn, Xerox Canada, +1-416-733-6828,

  • The Globe and Mail Newspaper

    Newspaper delivered to your doorstep. subscribe

  • Globe Unlimited

    Digital all access pass across devices. subscribe

  • The Globe and Mail App

    The New Globe and Mail App for iPhone®, iPad® and Apple Watch download

  • Globe2Go

    The digital replica of our newspaper. subscribe

  • Globe eBooks

    A collection of articles by the Globe. subscribe

See all Globe Products

Advertise with us

Your number one partner for reaching Canada's Influential Achievers. learn more

The Globe at your Workplace
Our Company
Secure Service
Customer Service
Advertising Privacy
Globe Recognition
Mobile Apps
Other Sections