Dataminr Is Changing the Process of Gathering and Verifying News

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Dataminr, a firm that analyses social media trends, has been used to turn the never-ending Twitter stream into actionable data for finance companies and even for CNN’s breaking news department. Since the CNN partnership, Dataminr has been gathering strength, emerging as an indispensable tool for stock traders and journalists.

Big Data is what drives so much of the advertising industry, and so many decisions in social networking. The problem is that when there’s so much raw data, finding the valuable information can be difficult. Dataminr analyzes each tweet using around “30 indicators of significance,” says Ted Bailey, Dataminr’s CEO and Chairman.

The Dataminr methodology started with correlating stock market motions with Twitter discussion before the fact. By figuring out how markets are impacted by talk, the company was able to build a system that would provide rapid analysis. According to The Economist, Dataminr’s typical edge on the competition is five or ten minutes, a gaping time difference when it comes to stock trading or breaking news.

Now, Dataminr is getting the scoop for CNN. “Not typically but sometimes it is the first we hear of something,” Kenneth Estenson, the head of CNN’s digital operations told The Economist. He added that the alerts from Dataminr are becoming a core part of the publication’s news-gathering techniques.

Dataminr can apparently give market traders even more lead time on a disaster – up to six hours according to Bailey. “We were able to detect that and alert our clients on Wall Street to that conflict and its potential disruption over six hours ahead any single other source they had access to” Bailey said in relation to a siege on Iraq’s largest oil refinery.

At various points in its development Twitter has been a medium for citizen journalism. Indeed, the attempted Twitter ban in Turkey shows just how much power structures fear its impact. In trying to verify breaking news on social networks, Dataminr is poised to get it right at a much higher rate than any other data source.

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