S'pore Poly students help analyse needs of Android tablet users

SINGAPORE - Three Singapore Polytechnic (SP) students are helping with research on what people around the world want out of their Android tablets.

A group of them have been working with telco StarHub to find out what consumers are saying online about products sold with the telco's services.

This is believed to be the first tie-up with a company for polytechnic students here undergoing training in social media analytics, a rapidly growing area in the IT industry.

Last month, the polytechnic opened the Social Media Listening Centre to train more than 400 business IT students in social media analysis. Nanyang Poly has a similar centre that opened in 2011.

Students at SP - the first to try their hand at a real-life project - spent last month trawling the Web for comments and views, using software developed by online business intelligence firm Brandtology.

They covered thousands of websites - including local and international forums, magazines and blogs - and read through even more Twitter and Facebook posts, to find out which products using StarHub services were most popular.

Three popular tablets emerged from their analysis: Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1 2014, Google Nexus 7 2013 and Sony Xperia Tablet Z.

They also came up with three types of consumers likely to use these tablets.

For instance, those who preferred the Galaxy Note 10.1 used it for note-taking, while Nexus 7 users were likely to watch movies and play games on it.

First-year student Chan Weng Wah, 23, one of three students involved in the research, said: "It was a great opportunity to work with real companies like StarHub. It helps us learn what kind of insights are useful for their decision-making process.

"If not, we would just assume what companies want."

The school's next two projects are due to start this year, which seven other students will be part of.

Lecturer Wong Shin Yueh, 48, who oversees the business IT course, said the school hopes to get companies in the banking and education sector on board.

"Being exposed to real-life projects helps students be industry-ready, especially when more companies are looking to social media," she said.

Mr Darren Choo, StarHub's assistant vice-president of social customer relationship management, said Singapore Polytechnic has access to social media monitoring tools which can analyse trends based on social media sentiments.

"By working together, we found that we could crowdsource online conversations to provide useful user reviews on StarHub products and services," he said.

Mr Choo added that StarHub is open to partnerships with other organisations.


Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.