Bringing Data to Life

Posted by: in Analytics, Austin Social Media, Healthcare Insights, Social Media Insights & Trends on August 9, 2012

For the last two days, we’ve been doing a series of mini demonstration projects related to (though unaffiliated with) The Texas Hospital Association’s 2012 Health Care Social Media Summit that began this morning in Austin.  In the first post, we introduced readers to some basic twitter analytics about the twitter accounts used by the 661 facilities listed in the THA’s directory. It covered the basics, such as which hospital accounts have the most followers and which, during the course of their history, had tweeted with the greatest frequency.

Texas Hospitals – Getting Serious About Social Media

In yesterday’s post, we did a deeper dive on two levels.  First, we focused on how critical it is to be able to automate certain pieces of the data collection process.  Based on my estimates, we shaved the time required to collect digital and social data by about 95% when compared to a manual process.  Second, we took a deeper look at the accounts of each hospital to look at how regularly they’ve engaged over the last month (an average of once per day) and how effectively they’ve understood and interacted with their audience (through the use of hashtags and @ mentions).  We also looked at every site they’d linked to over the last month (who knew that Pinterest had gotten so popular with hospitals?!).

Fun with Twitter Data – Part II from the Texas Hospital Association 2012 Health Care Social Media Summit

Today, I want to step back from Twitter for a minute and think differently about information more broadly – and how organizations like the Texas Hospital Association can maximize the value of it for their audience.  I’ve sent several links to the THA’s Hospital Directory.  This is a handy set of information, and makes the basic information (hospital name, URL and city) available to anyone who’s seeking it.  We did one last demonstration project to show how this kind of information could be redeployed in other ways that might be more accessible to its audience.

WCG master hacker Andy Boothe was able to take the spreadsheet with all of the hospital information we created (see yesterday’s post for info on how that process was automated).  In about 2 hours, he was able to mash it up with freely available mapping API to create a visualization of all that data – with two different looks.  The first shows a series of “heat blooms” indicating the concentration of hospitals throughout the state:

Concentration of Hospital Facilities in Texas

The second, which can be accessed by clicking the “Hospitals” radio button on the left side of the screen, shows a pushpin for each hospital.

All Texas Hospital Facilities

When you click on a pin, you’ll see a link to the facility’s home page as well as any social properties they’ve linked to (Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, etc.).

All Dallas Area Hospital Facilities - With Callout

[You can interact with these maps by clicking each image OR by using this link; beware that, as a demonstration project, it probably won’t stay posted forever. ;-)]

The takeaway here – for me – isn’t necessarily that we all need to do map mashups. It’s that we need to think about our data as more than just numbers and charts. We need to think about all the different ways we can better utilize all of our data assets, and ultimately bring data, knowledge and information to life for our audiences in a way that’s meaningful to them.  To that end, since we’ve gone to the trouble of grabbing all of those twitter handles, I’ve created a THA Members list – so now anyone can follow each of those accounts*.

As we close out this series, I wanted to give a huge shoutout to WCG’s amazing R&D team – they’ve made it possible for us to deliver insights to our clients that I never believed were possible. Andy Boothe created the toolsets I shared in this study, but folks like Michael Grace, Bruce Carroll, Holly Tuccio, Aaron UnnaschSteve Blackmon, Chris Gerken, Ryan Ebanks and Matthew Hager (among others) are also continuing to blow our minds on a daily basis.

*For any texas medical facilities who have twitter accounts but weren’t included in our study (we were only able to pull those who keep a link to their twitter account on their home page), I’ll be happy to add you to the twitter list – just tweet me and let me know if your interest.


By: Greg Matthews

Greg Matthews is the the creator and Managing Director of the W2O Group's MDigitalLife - Understanding, Engaging and Activating Physicians in the Digital Age

Find me on: Twitter
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