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by Adam Gray | @AGSocialMedia | LinkedIn

Okay, I admit it. I am a geek. A closet geek perhaps, but a geek nonetheless.

When I was writing my first book I studied everything that I could find about social media analysis, network mapping and measurement. I even went as far as to study statistics via an online course from Berkeley. It is a fascinating rabbit hole…but a rabbit hole nonetheless.

When Tim and I founded DLA we quickly realised that being clever (knowing all of this social media science stuff) largely wasn’t of any use to our clients because, whilst they may understand the principles of social media they were seldom practicing the techniques they knew.

Analytics in all of its forms is often wasted because organisations (and individuals) are not doing the basics.

Analytics data can, if you’re not careful, deliver little except pretty graphs that perhaps help you to hold on to your job but seldom deliver insights that help move the company forward.

Since we started DLA we have had a bit of a love-affair with Brandwatch because what it does is deliver insights that are actionable. Yes, it can do the pretty graphs (Vizia – their data visualisation tool creates artworks from your data) but it does more than just report. It helps us to benchmark what we are doing well and what we aren’t and make changes to that. We have the biggest share of voice for social selling on social (we know this because of Brandwatch) some of our prospects have no visibility whatsoever (we know this because of Brandwatch) when we run a campaign and we need to know just how many people have seen it we can work this out (with Brandwatch)… in fact Brandwatch is the tool that enables us to see whether our gut-feel is right or wrong.

But Brandwatch is not perfect, it has some major limitations, particularly around historical data, but we have been able to work around this. Brandwatch is not the only social media listening tool in the market…but it has been the best for a long time (despite its weaknesses)

So imagine our delight when we heard (from Giles the Brandwatch CEO) that they are merging with Crimson Hexagon. I kid you not about ‘delight’ because one of CH’s recognised strengths is its ability to provide lightning-fast access to historical data.

So, over the next 12 months as the two products become one gradually the strengths of each will iron-out the weaknesses of the other.

I don’t for a moment believe that the merging of the products will deliver perfection but I certainly do believe that the merging of these products will make them head and shoulders above any other tool that exists.

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