TCS shows big data credentials with general election app

Tata Consultancy Services is demonstrating the possibilities big data can offer enterprises with an app that will analyse voter sentiment via Twitter

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is demonstrating the possibilities that big data can offer enterprises with an app that will analyse voter sentiment via Twitter during the build up to the general election.

The ElectUK app, which uses TCS-developed big data analytics software known as PeriVista, will provide dashboards of information about the parties, the candidates, political commentators and political issues. 

The PeriVista big data platform will crunch the numbers every 30 minutes and present them to users in graphs and infographics. It will also have a live feed from Twitter with tweets and the location they were sent from revealed in near-real time.

The app will monitor the proportion of tweets that relate to different leaders, issues or parties and split them up in terms of whether they are positive, negative or neutral.

The app is free to download and is available on both iOS and Android devices.

TCS’s PeriVista plugs into Twitter to glean raw data by collecting and analysing tweets containing key words. It then connects to a user interface.

Apart from having value in its own right through potentially generating interest in politics among younger generations, it also includes a button to help people register to vote. 

According to TCS UK head Shankar Narayanan, the app demonstrates the insights businesses can gain through using big data technologies.  

“ElectUK has been created to showcase the potential uses of TCS’s digital and big data technologies in the UK,” he said.

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“ElectUK uses big data to give voters and political commentators greater insight into the online conversations shaping the election debate, in an easy-to-consume, interactive and visual way.”

Narayanan added that the app demonstrates the power of what technology can do with unstructured data. He said enterprises are using big data on an ad hoc basis with different departments trying it out, but eventually enterprises will adopt it more formally. 

Retailers are particularly interested in harnessing unstructured customer data from sources such as social media, but any company that supplies consumers can gain valuable insights, said Narayanan.

He added that integrating big data technologies into existing systems of record will enable businesses to gain real business benefit from data analytics, but some business are struggling with the integration.

According to Gartner, the business intelligence, performance management and analytics market will be worth $96bn by 2016, with half of that value coming from big data technology and services.

In 2014, TCS and Twitter created an app to help people to observe, analyse and get involved in the Indian general election.

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