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IBM dips into Twitter stream for business insights

Twitter on Wednesday announced a partnership to let computing powerhouse IBM dip into the public stream of tweets to provide businesses with insights for making decisions.

“Twitter provides a powerful new lens through which to look at the world — as both a platform for hundreds of millions of consumers and business professionals, and as a synthesizer of trends,” IBM chief executive Ginni Rometty said in a release.

The alliance will put IBM computing expertise, including its Watson artificial intelligence technology, to work extracting insights from Twitter to “enrich business decisions with an entirely new class of data,” according to Rometty.

IBM services access Twitter data to glean answers to questions such as what customers like or dislike about products or why a company is growing quickly in one country and not another.

“This important partnership with IBM will change the way business decisions are made — from identifying emerging market opportunities to better engaging clients, partners and employees,” Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo said in a release.

Patterns, trends or sentiments mined from Twitter will be woven into IBM business analytics tools such as Watson, which are hosted in the Internet “cloud.”

The partnership will involve training an army of IBM consultants on business applications for Twitter data.

“Twitter represents an enormous public archive of human thought that captures the ideas, opinions and debates taking place around the world on almost any topic at any moment in time,” Twitter data strategy vice president Chris Moody said in a blog post.

“While companies have long listened to what their customers are saying on Twitter, complex enterprise decisions often require input from a lot of different systems.”

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Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed.

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