"Twitter, thou art nought but data." So sayeth the SAS programmer.
Many data analysts now recognize Twitter for what it is: a tremendous source of data covering almost any topic, from Justin Bieber's hair to political uprisings to technical conferences to company brands. SAS offers sophisticated solutions to harness this data, merging it with lots of other data sources and analyzing it all for you. I think that we'll see an impressive showing of this in action at SAS Global Forum this year.
But SAS programmers want to get into the act as well, and at least for Twitter data, it's easy to do. I wrote about one simple method back in 2008, but we've come a long way since then.
I'll be talking about using SAS programs to get Twitter data at SAS Global Forum 2011, but I won't be the only one. Satish Garla sent me a note to say that he and his coauthor (Goutam Chakrabouty) are also presenting a SAS programming approach to Twitter.
I'll admit it right now: their approach is fancier than mine. They've developed a SAS macro named %GetTweet that accepts lots of parameters to tune the output. They also present some innovative approaches for analyzing the results, including graphs of rankings and network visualizations.
If you're attending SAS Global Forum, this is a presentation you might want to see. If you won't be there, you can still find the paper in the proceedings at %GetTweet: A New SAS® Macro to Fetch and Summarize Tweets.