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It takes Alchemy to keep abreast of the StormWave media

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Let´s rewind five years. How would you respond to a request to engage in a groundbreaking project technically, knowing that the project would start rolling in only two weeks? And that the project required an in-depth and responsive analysis of social media. You would kindly decline the request, right? Fortunately, thanks to the technological advancements and ecosystem partnerships, it is now possible to build something meaningful in only a couple of weeks.

Netherlands prime minister Mark Rutte meets the Stormwave team supported by Alchemy social media analysisNetherlands Prime Minister, Mark Rutte meets the StormWave team

In this blog series, we’ve taken a deep look into the StormWave research project, which involved 23 students from Eindhoven University building an electric motorcycle to cover 40,000 kilometers in 80 days. Over the past few weeks, NXP shared their contribution to this promising IoT story, as well as KPN, TomTom, Itility and The Weather Company. Today we hear from IBM. The company counseled the STORM project with the creation of a social media strategy, along with insights that would help them reach a larger audience more effectively.

Cor van der Struijf, senior cloud advisor at IBM, found out about the project only two weeks before their departure. Van der Struijf: “With the short time left to contribute, we initially had to look for a meaningful way to add value to this promising project, something that could still be effective and feasible in only a few weeks. We chose to assist STORM by creating a social media strategy and provide the students with tooling to measure its effectiveness more easily. Keeping media, investors and other stakeholders up to date, was key to making the project also last after the actual race itself.”

“With our Watson Aclhemy API, which we also used at the Wimbledon tournament, we captured the sentiment of a digital audience through social data, enabling us to analyze which platforms and content were best received. We then sent the students, who were somewhere on the road, a short dashboard with stats of the past day and recommendations on which tone of voice to use, or the topics to talk about. Building the platform was easy, with the Watson API´s available in IBM´s Cloud Platform Bluemix. With the API in Bluemix, we were able to process text and give back polarity of that specific text, meaning: is it positive, negative or neutral? Watson learns from general web data, social data such as twitter and even emoticons to understand when something is perceived as negative, neutral or positive.

To IBM the collaboration definitely added value: “Working with the students in this project provided great talking points on what technology is capable of. Next step is the actual analysis of weather data and how it affects battery performance. Ed Cuoco of The Weather Company will write a blog about this in the coming week. If you´re curious to hear more about the Storm project, join me at IBM Interconnect in March, where I will present the story of this amazing IoT project”.

The STORM World Tour began in the southern Netherlands city of Eindhoven, starting a route that circumnavigates the northern hemisphere, leaving Europe via Central Asia and then crossing North America before they returned to Eindhoven again on November 2, 2016.

Learn all about their journey at:

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