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Eating your own Dog Food

Wednesday 13 July 2011

I remember my time at AT&T some 10 to 15 years ago, when I first heard the expression “eat your own dog food”.

Our head honcho was singing the merits of using our own software for our own business needs not just pushing it out for other users to test drive and find fault with.

…If the software is not good enough for us, it’s not going to be good enough for anyone!

The less said about that particular brand or flavor of dog food the better, as the project was not a total success however as a concept it was bang on.

Years later I head up UK based Business Intelligence Company and make a big play on using our own software for analyzing our customers, our prospects, financial performance, external data, web traffic and much, much more.

As a pretty “anal” kind of guy when it comes to detail (just ask our developers), I have found this experience really useful in refining the product, ensuring quality as well as understanding how best to integrate our software with other 3rd party tools and allow things to evolve and move with the times.

Our latest “dog food” is around the analysis of Twitter and other forms of Social Media to see how we can use the Tsunami of Social chatter to build brand, identify potential partners, sales opportunities and understand the sentiment behind what people are Tweeting.

Never has “dogfooding” as the expression is also referred to, been more appropriate in gauging the effect and benefits of our software than in monitoring its usefulness over Social Media.

Two weeks into beta testing and the dog food diet is going well!

Semantic vectors over Twitter profiles and Tweets are throwing up (no pun intended) some very interesting links and associations in the information that people are tweeting and the roles and interests of the Tweeters.

VENN diagrams over followers of competitors is throwing up (there I go again), some weird and wonderful patterns that give you real insight into peoples passions, interests and the way people are directly and indirectly networked together.

Ad-hoc analysis over big data, be it structured or unstructured, is fun when you get the answers out immediately. Not so much fun when everything takes hours to return and brings the machine to its knees. Every day I am finding out new things about our competitors, our market and what the movers and shakers are saying about big data, social intelligence and other highly relevant issues and challenges.

Soon we will be pushing our forensic Twitter analysis capabilities out to our partners and look forward to hearing their thoughts and suggestions (and success stories) as to how it benefits their businesses through laser targeted analytics.

If I can be heard above the constant noise of social chatter.

“If anyone out there would like to see what we’re up to and test drive CX SOCIAL plug-in for CXAIR, drop me an email at or Tweet me @ConnexicaUK”.

We have a new brand of dog food to try and I can confirm at first hand, it really hits the mark!

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