Social media has been a game changer in the world of data analytics, according to Phil Harris, CEO and co-founder of five-year-old Geofeedia, a location-based social media monitoring, intelligence, and analysis company.
Geofeedia was created with the goal to develop a better way to organize social media while delivering actionable intelligence. Harris and co-founder Scott Mitchell sought out to create a platform that could analyze social media in a geospatial context and filter the “signals from the noise.” Prior to launching Geofeedia, Mitchell worked at NASA and also served as chief technology officer of a social media company. Harris was formerly senior vice president at priceline.com and is a graduate of Harvard Business School.
“It was really the perfect storm when we started the company,” said Mitchell, who is also the company’s chief technology officer. “Instagram boomed in 2010 and we started to see geo-tagged social media data, and by 2011 people were getting more comfortable using Twitter. At the time, we saw geographic information systems that couldn’t handle massive amounts of real-time data sets such as [those derived from] social media. We built the platform that could ingest that amount of data and make it instantly available to customers.”
Geofeedia’s services are used for corporate security and risk mitigation at large corporations, for situational awareness by government agencies, and to help sales and marketing companies discover trends and patterns. Additionally, major global news outlets such as BBC use Geofeedia to break stories. Geofeedia analyzes social media from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, YouTube, and many other popular social networks. It also collects data from Russia’s VK and China’s Sina Weibo social platforms.
The Geofeedia platform is very user-friendly, according to Harris and Mitchell.