World Cup Social Media Analytics – How We Did It #worldcup #analytics @extendedresults @microsoft

A good colleague of mine over at Microsoft, Bruno Aziza, gave me a call on a Sunday night to discuss Extended Results partnering with Microsoft on the development of a World Cup Social Media Analytics web page.   Bruno chose us because we have technologies to capture the social conversation going on along with the advanced visualizations we do in Microsoft SilverLight.  I told Bruno, where do we sign up!  Check out for the demo.

We started the project about 7 days ago with Microsoft using our Social Media Server solution to provide some insight into World Cup 2010.   Within just a couple days using our existing Social Media Server solution, we were able to capture over 800,000+ World Cup mentions in just 7 days!  Amazing…

There are many social media software solutions on the market basically all competing for your marketing dollars.   We took a completely different approach to the space in that we believe all this information needs to be captured and stored within a companies enterprise database and tied to other ERP solutions (CRM, Financial, Marketing, Competitive, etc).   Having the information stored within a SQL database, we can create laser sharp focused results out of the social media data, whenever we want, and tie it to business performance objectives.  Powerful…

The below diagrams will give you some insight into the process of capturing World Cup social mentions and providing the insight on our web site using our and Microsoft’s technologies.



  • We started by identifying all the World Cup teams and Players that we wanted to track and entered those keywords into our Social Media Server admin tool.   Our server tool then continuously pulls from the major social media web sites and a predetermined set of blogs and matches those keywords and pulls a rich subset of that conversation and posts it to our SQL database.



  • Once we started capturing all the data, we started writing queries to summarize the results into summary tables.  The reason we did this was because we are adding about 100,000+ new World Cup mentions a day.  We actually used Microsoft Access for a bunch of ad hoc querying because it was so easy to use.  You didn’t have to be a SQL developer to write complex scripts, a business user could use MS Access.
  • Once we got a summary tables completed, we wrote a data web service using Windows Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 (C#).   We created a set of web service methods that our SilverLight client could call to get its data.



  • Now the best part.   For the past couple of years, we have been using Microsoft SilverLight for many of our business intelligence projects because we can provide a deeper insights with graphical representations of the data.   We used Microsoft Expressions Blend to built out our graphical objects and then passed the XAML to the C#/SilverLight developers (Matt and Steve) and watched them crank out the specific report views below.  Took them all of one day to build it out including the web data service!  They are the Best!


We have discovered all kinds of interesting social media facts around World Cup 2010 and will have some later blog posts on them.   Just think of what you could do bringing technologies like these into your company.  They can provide very valuable insights in what your customers are saying about your company and enhance business performance.

You can find out more about our Social Media Analytics solution at

Let’s Innovate on Business Intelligence Again!

I don’t know about you, but all the so called “DASHBOARD” solutions I have been seeing the last several years are really not well designed.    What happened to the creative minded people?

We have been very busy working on a new retail business intelligence portal leveraging a lot of different Microsoft business intelligence tools.  SharePoint 2010, Excel Services, SilverLight, PowerPivot and SQL Server 2008 R2.   Check out some of the work below.   This is a great business intelligence solution my team built in just 4 weeks!

This screen you see SharePoint 2010 with custom branding.   You see PerformancePoint and Excel Services reporting on the same page.  The circles at the bottle are SilverLight infographics we developed specifically for the project.

This screen is a mash up of Excel Services and PerformancePoint

Do collaboration tools really increase employee productivity?

Just read this article about collaboration and time lost.  They say a person looses over $3,300 a year looking for information.   That is probably about right.  Our solution Extended Outlook and Extended Excel retrieves a large portion of that lost ROI and we have proven it several times within large organizations.   Do you need to install large web portal solutions or can you just wrap the information around the end-user with the tools they use everyday?

Did you know that the cost of not finding information is $3,300 per employee per year, according to IDC research? That’s crazy! IDC’s research credits ineffective searches; poor, inconsistent access tools; re-created content; reformats; and revisions as factors in causing employees to not find the information they need. So if you’re a midsized company with 500 employees, you’re talking $1,650,000 in productivity losses each year. In this economy, who can afford to take such a hit?


How much time is lost looking for data and reports?


Have you ever researched how much time is being lost looking for data and reports within your company or group?  How much time is lost by an analyst looking for information?   How many emails have to be sent asking for information?   How many phone calls are made wondering where to look for the latest sales information?   Ever get emails or calls from the bosses asking for the latest report or metric?   The same questions are asked over and over again!

Think about it!

  1. How much time do you spend searching through your MY DOCUMENTS to find a spreadsheet or report?
  2. How much time do you spend searching through the company file share of spreadsheets that everyone is using?
  3. How much time do you spend searching through all the SharePoint sub sites and document libraries looking for reports?
  4. How much time do you spend searching through your emails trying to find the ones with attachments?
  5. Once you find those emails, then you notice you have 3 emails with the same attachment, which is the latest?


30 minutes a day?  60 minutes a day?  More!?

Salary: $50,000, Time Lost: 60 minutes a day = $6,312 lost a year in salary!   WOW!


Do any of the current business intelligence companies provide solutions to these questions?

SharePoint 2009 Conference – Day 4

SharePoint upgrade from 2007 to 2010 is a fairly straightforward process in comparison to the Performance Point 2007 to 2010 migration. Performance Point pages will migrate to 2010, however, all dashboards will be broken. The recommended solution is to repost a new dashboard on top of the old once. Data sources should migrate by default, however, it is highly recommended to verify all data connections manually after upgrade. Also, user permissions will require manual intervention, especially if Kerberos authentication model was been previously used. Since all objects will be stored in a SharePoint list, Microsoft also recommends going in to it and re-organizing items in a more useful way after migration.

Visio Services has been announced with support for external data sources. This gives those uses who are used to advanced Visio diagrams with data feeds from Excel, SQL and Workflow to publish their diagrams to SharePoint 2010 as 1st class citizens.

SharePoint 2009 Conference – Day 1

I’m enjoying being in Las Vegas – attending Microsoft SharePoint 2009  conference.     

I’m going to present my personal view on this event not in any way associated with Microsoft, its partners and employees.  🙂 I’ll try to keep up with events here, however, due to my plan to attend as many sessions and events as I can, I may miss some posts.

Before coming: It was very surprising to see that this event was sold out despite the current economic climate. I can imagine Microsoft was surprised as well.

1st day at the conference:

As expected, the topic of this conference is SharePoint 2010. There was NO official announcement on release dates for SharePoint, Visual Studio, and Office.   

Interesting Announcements: Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 is available on MSDN

Microsoft Office 2010 beta is shown during presentations. The question remains if VS 2010 Tools for office 2010 are finally available. Microsoft Office SharePoint service has been rebranded as Microsoft SharePoint Foundation to keep in line with WCF(Communication) and WPF(Presentation).

Overall feedback: Beginning from a key note (presented by Steve B), I have a pleasant feeling  that this event was targeted for Developers first, IT personnel second and Business users third. The key note was technical enough to grab my attention.

SharePoint 2010 seems like a step forward in the Microsoft Office family. Especially interesting aspect was introduction of the Microsoft Ribbon Bar to SharePoint. It is AJAX-driven user control in SharePoint 2010.

Finally Microsoft introduced development tools for SharePoint that are actually close to industry standards. 1st Developers will be able to host MOSS 2010 on their client machines: MOSS 2010 is supported on Vista and Win 7 64bit only. Visual Studio 2010 will be able to deploy/debug and step through the code on developer machines the same way it does for Win Apps. Functionality similar to ASP.NET trace with additional features will be available for SharePoint 2010.



Michael Nikitin
Extended Results – Dev Manager

SharePoint 2009 Conference – Day 2

Interesting Announcements:  SharePoint Beta2 will be available in Nov 2009; Visual Studio tools for Office 32 and 64 bit are available with VS 2010 beta 2.

Overall Feedback: MOSS2010 will support custom Silverlight web parts out of the box. Silverlight control shown here is a great step forward, however, I see some deficiencies in it. I hope MS will improve it for final release. 1st out of the box Silverlight web part is Media player. MOSS 2010 will have multiple namespaces dedicated to Silverlight (Microsoft.Sharepoint.Silverlight.dll).

Excel services will support multi user updates in SharePoint, similar to Google Docs and Google wave.

OBA – office business applications have full support for WPF. This gives us flexibility of creating WPF plugins for Office applications.  

REST – Microsoft is moving forward to REST full web services across server platform. MOSS 2010 will feature REST connectivity to many of its APIs, including SharePoint Lists, Excel services and much more. New release of data services CTP and Silverlight 4 will include new functionality to consume REST services. Extended Results is convinced that REST is the one of the best technologies out there and we have used it as a core technology for PushBI.