Business analytics vendor SAS has unveiled software that uses information from social networking and media sites to help firms such as banks combat fraud and improve their understanding of customers.
The firm says its technology helps tap into the wealth of information social network and media sites provide, enabling organisations to uncover hidden relationships between individuals and data, detect patterns and trends, and mine text and other unstructured data.
SAS Social Network Analysis applies link analysis to fraud detection and prevention, helping insurers and government agencies pinpoint suspicious individuals and transactions, says the vendor.
The software helps investigators go beyond transaction and customer views to analyse all related activities and relationships within a network: shared addresses, phone numbers, employment information, account ownership and other transactional data.
John Brocklebank, VP, SAS Solutions OnDemand, says: "Once they identify a suspicious individual, investigators need a quick and accurate way to discover that person's networks. SAS Social Network Analysis provides this important ability."
In addition, it can be used to improve understanding of customers and make marketing more targeted.
The firm's Social Media Analysis software uses natural language processing and text mining to capture consumer product reviews and brand comments from mainstream sites such as Amazon and Overstock, message boards, and social media outlets like blogs and Twitter.
SAS says its sentiment analysis manager automatically locates and analyses digital content in real time to determine the writer's emotion, spot changing trends, and uncover potential product defects at an early stage.
David Hughes, VP, Asia Pacific, SAS, says: "Today's interconnected world generates mind-boggling data volumes. In 2008, data from Web sites, emails, RFID chips, networks, YouTube videos, industrial processors, and other sources soared to 487 exabytes - nearly 500 billion gigabytes. With data growth predicted to accelerate, organisations need an intelligence strategy to uncover its value. This data is a treasure trove of information about how customers interact and influence one another, and about operations, finances, compliance, product quality and more."