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UA creates new data mining center

Eller College to help businesses improve social media reach

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Gordon Bates and Gordon Bates | The Daily Wildcat Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat Suhda Ram, a McClelland proffesor of Management Information Systems, regularly uses computers in her classroom to analyze social media and business intelligence. Ram has a facebook group for her class that she encourages her class to use during the lecture so she can demonstrate the uses of social media.

A service created within the Eller College of Management will analyze consumer blog posts and then provide feedback to businesses, helping them improve their online social media presence.

INSITE, a new organization, will do this by collecting data from social media sites and mining through the information to understand what it’s saying, according to Sudha Ram, the creator and director on INSITE and a professor of management information systems. This data will help companies improve their marketing of the products they offer and improve services for customers, Ram added.

Different algorithms are used to automatically collect and sort data to process different patterns of information, said Paulo Goes, co-director of INSITE and department head of management information systems.

The purpose of the center is not only to mine data deposits, but also to help educate students in cutting edge technology, according to Ram. A few years down the road there will be a huge demand for students who are trained in mining data, Ram said.

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“We are unique in the UA with our capability to train the next generation of students that come out of the UA,” Ram said. “We want to train (students) in understanding how to use social media and how to use techniques within technology that is coming out
today.”

Not only will the center track data from social media sites and analyze consumer’s feedback, but it will also be used in healthcare and certain supply chains, according to Goes.

There will be a membership fee for companies to pay in exchange for INSITE to “data mine” their companies, Goes added.

Nine faculty members will be working on different projects and a graduate program of about 100 students will have the opportunity to be engaged as well. No companies have signed up for membership with INSITE just yet, however.

“I am very excited, we have a unique talent and experts in the department,” Goes said. “This is very relevant of an area to work within.”


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