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Online course

Social Media Analytics: Using Data to Understand Public Conversations

How can you discover what’s being said about the things that matter to you on social media platforms, including Twitter?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its length + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps)
  • Access to quizzes and assignments
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps)
  • Access to quizzes and assignments
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Social Media Analytics: Using Data to Understand Public Conversations

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Learn how to use powerful digital tools to analyse conversations on Twitter.

What are tweets and the cultural politics of Twitter? Learn to use TAGS and discuss the implications of accessing social media data.

What are the pros and cons of analysing social media data in real time? Learn how to use Tableau to analyse data, identify trends and patterns and explore how social media have been used in times of crisis and during political campaigns.

Use Gephi to visualise data networks, discuss the benefits of using digital tools to analyse social media data and consider how such analyses may be supported by other methods.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 8 secondsJean: Social media can feel noisy. How can we get beyond the day to day to see the big picture? What if you could unlock the meaning behind all the noise? How can we reveal the conversations inside the huge amounts of data we generate everyday?

Skip to 0 minutes and 22 secondsAxel: Maybe you're an activist who wants to know who's saying what about climate change, or you want to know what people really think about your product or service. Digital methods can help you discover a whole world of meaningful data, and make sense of it, no matter what you're interested in. What will you find?

Skip to 0 minutes and 38 secondsTim: This course will take you through a step-by-step approach to making sense of social media conversations on Twitter. From forming a research question to visualising your data, your quest will be to find answers that are personally meaningful to you. You will learn these tools and techniques from world leaders in social media research, based at the Digital Media Research Centre at QUT. We will share real case studies in politics, crises and other events we've studied using social data.

Skip to 1 minute and 4 secondsWe'll also look at the big picture: what is the value of social media? What does it mean to our everyday lives? What are the implications? You will be able to share your own ideas and work with your peers, and use what you learn in your life beyond this course.

Skip to 1 minute and 18 secondsAxel: It's about you being part of conversations and understanding those conversations.

Skip to 1 minute and 22 secondsJean: Join us, and start making sense of social media. Welcome to Social Media Analytics: Using Data to Understand Public Conversations.

What topics will you cover?

  • The role and structures of social media conversations
  • Methods for and implications of gathering data
  • Key metrics used for analysing Twitter
  • Methods for identifying trends in social data
  • The theory of social networks
  • Methods for creating and interpreting data visualisations

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

  • Access social media data and understand the ethical implications of doing this
  • Apply digital methods to recognise and explain the significance of patterns in social data
  • Create data visualisations and use them to identify features of social networks
  • Draw personally relevant conclusions about social media that apply beyond the course

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone who wants to gain insight into social media analysis, develop a critical understanding of how digital media are used and gain skills using three digital tools. This course will allow learners without coding skills to access, analyse and visualise their own social media data.

What software or tools do you need?

Everything you need to succeed in this course is provided or can be downloaded for free. There is no special prior experience or knowledge required to join in. To make the most of this course, you will need to:

  • install or access TAGS, Tableau and Gephi
  • use a laptop or desktop computer so you can install and complete activities with these tools
  • ensure you have both a Google and Twitter account.

We will guide you through the set-up of these tools, step by step, as you progress through the content of the course. Using these tools will really give you a powerful learning experience, letting you explore your own interests and put the theory to the test.

Who will you learn with?

Jean Burgess

Director of the QUT Digital Media Research Centre. Professor of Digital Media. Expert in the uses and politics of social media, as well as new digital methods for studying them. http://goo.gl/fhAoiv

Axel Bruns

Professor in the QUT Digital Media Research Centre. Vice-President of the Association of Internet Researchers. Expert on the impact of user-led content creation and participation. http://goo.gl/NQD9Cy

Tim Highfield

Vice-Chancellor's Research Fellow at QUT and a member of the Digital Media Research Centre. Tim's research explores social, cultural, and political uses of social media. http://goo.gl/ohftRD

Who developed the course?

QUT is a leading Australian university ranked in the top 2% of universities worldwide by the 2015-16 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Located in Brisbane, it attracts 47,000 students.

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Free:

  • Access to the course for its length + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps)
  • Access to quizzes and assignments
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps)
  • Access to quizzes and assignments
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Get extra benefits, upgrade this course. For £59 you’ll get:

Unlimited access

Upgrading will mean you get unlimited access to the course.

  • Take the course at your own pace
  • Refer to the material at any point in future

If you’re taking a course for free you have access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join. If you upgrade the course you have access for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn.

A Certificate of Achievement

Upgrading means you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course.

  • Prove your success when applying for jobs or courses
  • Celebrate your hard work
  • Display on your Linkedin or CV

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to mark 90% of the steps on the course as complete.