How Twitter and Heathrow Airport are using data in new and unexpected ways

Jo Bowman

Twitter produces a huge amount of valuable business data, but it's size can be unwieldy, and so too few businesses know how to make it work, the I-COM conference in Seville heard.

Chris O'Hara, head of global data strategy with Krux, USA, which is a Twitter data partner, said there are some surprising ways in which data can be commercialised, but so many businesses are yet to grasp the basics.

"Today, we think of our (Twitter's) data source as being the largest public archive of human thought that's ever existed, and we think you can make every business decision smarter by enabling businesses to understand what the world is thinking about on any topic at any moment in time," he said.

While the US Library of Congress has an archive of personal items, this runs to 55 million pieces of text, mostly letters written by wealthy and now-dead men. But the data collected by Twitter is gargantuan in comparison.