Big Data

Managing mountains of media monitoring data with IBM Cloud

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Media monitoring PRIME BluemixOver the past 30 years, the media industry has undergone a digital revolution.

In the “old days,” there was traditional media such as television, print, and radio. Today, social and digital channels are as just as much a concern as traditional media.

PRIME Research performs media monitoring services for more than 500 global customers including 35 of the top 100 brands in the world. That means the company integrates, examines and evaluates as many as 5 million documents a day to keep tabs on public sentiment for its global customers.

Huge amounts of data

PRIME Research customers use a dashboard to understand public sentiment about their organizations’ brands, competitors and peers as well as the larger business landscape. Content is monitored across all media channels, and the dashboard provides real-time analytics and instantaneous translations in more than 100 languages.

The company crawls online media, including social media, e-papers, TV, radio and digitized print content and tells its customers who is talking about them. PRIME Research teams are spread from China to Europe to the US, to be able to cover them anywhere at any time.

Sometimes something comes up that increases the amount of text or media information enormously. It’s nothing that can be predicted or calculated: a crisis happens, then suddenly information grows like crazy. That’s the challenge.

Additionally, data must be stored for monthly or quarterly analysis, which means that there is an ever-growing body of unstructured data.

The need for a reliable partner

PRIME Research found that it didn’t have enough performance to serve peak usage on both sides of the portal. On the incoming side, its readers and crawlers couldn’t cope with the amount of data suddenly appearing. On the customer side, when there was an incident and lots of customers wanted to see what the media coverage was, they were all accessing the portals simultaneously. The portal and the readers were okay, but the back-end systems were sometimes overwhelmed by the flood of requests.

The solution for PRIME Research was to move its database servers to IBM Cloud bare metal servers provisioned through IBM Cloud Services. The move increased performance, scalability, flexibility and global reach. Additionally, the company extended its use of IBM Cloud Services to support analytics and mobile services. Further, PRIME Research uses IBM Cloud Object Storage for the timely storage, availability and provisioning of media data.

Better media monitoring service

PRIME Research can now handle media monitoring data peaks. It can perform analytics for and deliver insights to customers worldwide in real time. With Cloud Object Storage, data is accessible, safe and can be provisioned quickly worldwide. This is important in case a customer asks for a custom report and PRIME Research must retrieve older data for easy customer comparison and to provide greater context on the crisis at hand.

The company is also evaluating IBM Watson Explorer to improve its current capabilities and services, as well as to introduce new ones, including a multi-dimensional visualization tool showing how words are interrelated. IBM Cloud Object Storage is a foundational part of the Watson Data Platform. With data firmly established in object storage, Watson analytic and visualization tools can be an easy next step in providing a visual assessment of the media landscape when time is of the essence.

Learn more about IBM Cloud Object Storage.

TiImann Sittig, Senior Manager, IT Infrastructure, PRIME Research

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