Intelligence People: Pete Daykin, CEO of Wordnerds
What happens when a traditional academic discipline meets new social data?
Wordnerds, is a social intelligence platform with roots in linguistics. The company began life by chance, with a mission to solve a very real problem for a brand as part of a challenge event. They didn't have a solution, merely an idea on how to approach it. The basis of that approach was in linguistics - a very old discipline that Pete later discovered to be a game-changer for the way we read social data.
It's not all about words
‘We realized early on there wasn’t any technology that tells you what people meant, not just what they say.’
Linguistics is the scientific study of language. What people say and what they mean are not the same thing. Context is everything - a sharp suit is a good thing... but a sharp baby toy is not. The basis of the Wordnerds approach is that the only way to get real value from the language data we're looking us is through scientific study of the meaning behind the words. When the academic principles meet the advances of technology we have a very powerful tool to do this at scale.
But it’s not all about tech
As a technology entrepreneur, Pete has a surprising but realistic view of tech. He says that technology shouldn’t be leading the work we’re doing in social intelligence. It provides important support but it’s not the goal. We’re doing ourselves a disservice when we let shiny features lure us into projects.
The best projects start with a burning question
Projects that are nice to have stay as just that, nice to have. The idea of that project might be attractive but ultimately there won't be the momentum and drive to uncover insights that make a real difference. Instead, Pete encourages us to seek out the burning issues that need solving before we apply the methods.
This one's great for
Technology leaders, researchers, anyone interested in social intelligence case studies, linguistics.