The proliferation of social networks in recent years has drastically altered the way customers and companies interact. Information spreads rapidly on the internet, and streams of social media content act both as sources of news and trends, and an environment to circulate them.
Companies can now gather more information than ever about their customers and audiences from these information streams - but finding useful signals among all that noise is another matter. In this context data mining is proving to be a key technology for supporting business development: it allows companies to listen to what customers are saying on a large scale, to track reactions to specific events, and to make informed decisions about how to respond in turn.
The LT-Accelerate conference took place on 21-22 November 2016, bringing together businesses who make use of natural language processing technologies to track and analyse customers, and better support their needs. These technologies have become crucial in the age of the internet, where customer service has shifted from one-to-one private interactions to a public, many-to-many dialogue on a global scale. Complaints and reviews are now shared across a broad range of social networks for anyone to see.
In the age of the internet, customer service has shifted from one-to-one private interactions to a public, many-to-many dialogue on a global scale.
Over the course of the conference, presentations showcased a variety of innovative approaches to processing the heterogenous information that can be gathered from the diverse channels customers now use to express their opinions. Panellists and attendees discussed ways to derive insights from this information to inform decisions about marketing and other business strategies.
The range of ideas and challenges covered at the conference demonstrates just how broad the value of language processing technologies can be in the age of social media. The companies represented ranged from newly-formed start-ups to Internet giants, working on everything from open source software to closely-guarded proprietary algorithms, in a wide range of different economic sectors.
The full programme and slides from the conference can be found on the LT-Accelerate website
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