Tool Review: NetBase Enterprise Social Intelligence Platform
It’s been six months since I started shopping for social monitoring platforms for Crown Social Agency as the Chief Tool-Shopping Officer. Social monitoring tools continue to evolve, both in functionality and price, so I am always looking for new tools to complement the custom suite of monitoring applications we use for our clients. I always consider shopping a pleasure, whether it’s window shopping during Christmas time on Madison Ave. or a competitive event like Barney’s annual warehouse sale in Chelsea where you literally have to fight like a gladiator with other chicks to get the leopard print satin blouse you’ve been craving ever since last Fall.
However, shopping for tools for my company has been a tough but interesting journey. I sometimes had to get in front of my computer at 7am for a product demo with sales representatives from Mumbai.
Great minds share alike, so I’m going to blog about what I’ve seen, heard and learned over the last couple of months from tons of providers in the marketplace. Hopefully this will make your shopping journey easier and smarter. I will evaluate each platform by their social monitoring capability, social engagement solutions, analytical intelligence and insights incl. social sentiment capability, reporting system, affordability for small-to-medium sized businesses and agencies, customer service, social education, and ability to have input into the product roadmap. My observations are based on what I’ve seen during the product demos.
I will start off this series with Netbase from Mountain View, CA.
Social Monitoring Capability – 4/5 Crowns
Clean and custom dashboard, rapid set-up, data mining and result delivery (amazingly fast), very rich data visualization and localization if you need to drill the results down to a specific State in the U.S. It also provides business-ready templates that allows agencies to create dashboards for specific needs.
Social Engagement Solutions – ? Crowns
NetBase partners with SAP CRM to enable their social engagement solution. I didn’t get to see this part during my demo with them.
Analytical Intelligence – 3 Crowns
NetBase uses an automated process that helps businesses tap into social voices across multiple platforms. I was impressed by their high-precision Natural Language Processing engine that would potentially make it possible to provide more accurate data in multiple languages. These computations cover basic monitoring components, i.e., social mentions, hot topics, top influencers, top social platforms, geography. Note for global organizations: we have some concerns about whether multi-byte character sets will be supported.
Reporting – 1 Crown
Reporting is currently limited to an Excel or CSV data dump, which means users have to process the data themselves. Not a huge problem for us since we have our own dashboards we like to use, but it’s not exactly user friendly for newbies or executives needing quick intelligence. NetBase mentioned they will be enabling chart export in PDF format soon.
Affordability for SMBs and boutique agencies – 2 Crowns
Pricing is $1,500K a month plus $200 for each topic. NetBase currently doesn’t offer free trials.
Customer Service and Social Education – 4 Crowns
NetBase supplies one dedicated point-of-contact to hold your hand throughout your contract. As for ongoing social education, I am a big fan of their webinars and the white-papers they send over email periodically.
Thanks for reading!