• Project type: Academic research
  • Project Area: Social media, Communities of work, Financial analysts
  • Collaboraters: Bloomberg, Pennsylvania Statue University
  • Timeline: 1 year 2 months

Background & Problem

Till 2016 (during the time of this research), understanding and awareness of social media pervasion in financial industry was greatly limited to quantitative exploitation. In particular, social platforms (such as Twitter) were used to understand investor’s sentiments and in turn possibly predict the trading price of a security. This growing algorithmic exploitation created a void in opposing space - i.e. consumption of social media by financial analysts themselves, as experts. This project was propelled by the generous grant provided by Bloomberg to understand these aspects. Based on this, following questions emerged in our study -

  1. How do financial analysts levarage social media in sensemaking to generate
    trade ideas and research reports?
  2. How can we augment such practices of these analysts in leveraging
    social media (Twitter) in sensemaking?


We performed a two-part design research. First study involved in understanding the problem space, conducting qualitative interviews, analyzing the results using open coding. The problems discovered in this process were used in second study which involved designing and conducting heurestic evaluation using experienced analysts.

Results and Publication **

Rama Adithya Varanasi, Benjamin V. Hanrahan, Shahtab Wahid, and John M. Carroll. 2017. TweetSight: Enhancing Financial Analysts’ Social Media Use. In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Social Media & Society (#SMSociety17). ACM, New York, NY, USA, Article 22, 10 pages. DOI:

* Publication was submitted as a part of my master’s thesis*