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New research company to offer clients competitive online insights

Tapping into and conquering online marketing is something that interests every clear-headed marketer. But not every company - very few in fact - have the in-house expertise to tap into the metrics to help them accomplish this goal. Hence, Monocle...
New research company to offer clients competitive online insights
Launching this month, Monocle is an online reputation management (ORM) company that harnesses the power of big data to offer clients in-depth analysis of various aspects of their online activities and performance (as well as that of their competitors) to equip executives with the intelligence necessary to make well-informed, strategic decisions.

Monocle has been birthed out of DigitLab, the award-winning, Durban-based digital marketing firm helmed by digital specialist Mike Saunders. The research department of DigitLab has always been a key strength of the company - just last month it earned DigitLab a Bookmarks Awards nomination for its work with Nedbank in the category Research and Insights Projects - and so it is no surprise really that it is this arm of the company that has led to the development of a new, niche company specialising in ORM.

How Monocle works

Monocle is about taking big data - that confusing mass of computationalised figures - and turning it into smart data, which is information that can be easily understood and so used to make real-world (business and marketing) decisions.

With Monocle this is done by providing each client with a personalised Dashboard, where various data visualisations serve as 'Lenses' into specific aspects of one's online performance.

The Dashboard is moreover interactive, allowing the client to zoom in on different metrics and so view the specific online mentions and actions that have led to the given calculation. While the software is necessarily complex, the interface is straight-forward and easily navigated.

What's new with Monocle

Monocle fills the gap between the body of data and the marketer. It helps marketers understand large volumes of data, it helps them focus on what matters and answers questions that marketers need the answers to.

On launch there is a specific focus on three lenses. The Brand Lens, Competitor Lens and the Social Crisis Lens. These lenses are built to create both aggregated visualisations and real-time views that make managing your brand easier and more practical.

The brains behind the operation

The CEO and visionary of Monocle is Steve Gardner, DigitLab's CTO and a seasoned and dedicated techie. "Every day we hear a new quote about how big data is useless if you can't find the insights it holds. With our experience in media monitoring and reporting, we have built a tool that provides clear views into your data revealing answers and actionable insights to the questions you face on a daily basis simple," says Steve.

DigitLab CEO Mike Saunders will serve as a Monocle chairman. Mike says, "Monocle is the solution to my own personal struggles with ORM software. Generally we can see what happened but its very difficult to see what's happening now with enough data to make quick, informed decisions that help business react to an empowered customer." Mike is an experienced digital marketer and international keynote speaker around social media, digital customer experiences, and enterprise social business.

For more information about Monocle please visit

3 Mar 2015 11:39


Alan Morrissey
Alan Morrissey
Sounds really interesting, but what 'data' is this 'insight' based on?
Posted on 3 Mar 2015 11:55
Steve Gardner
Steve Gardner
Hi Alan. I'm Glad it piqued your interest. Thanks for the feedback. The data includes public social data from all the top platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Google+ etc.) and online news data from a variety of news monitoring services (custom feeds can be added). It also includes data associated with a clients access controlled accounts like Instagram and Facebook Pages.The insight comes from enhancements to the data including sentiment, topic detection and identification of people, places, companies and industries. This is then aggregated and presented through visualisations that consider data, time frame, frequency and relationship to give answers to common questions such as 'What image do people have of our brand?', 'How are my competitors doing?' or 'Are we facing a crisis?'.I trust this clears it up a bit. It would be great to chat further if you get a gap.
Posted on 3 Mar 2015 13:17
Alan Morrissey
Alan Morrissey
Thanks Steve, sounds interesting. A mash of brandseye, fuseware and other sentiment data wrapped in a laymans dashboard, nice! Now a really interesting service would be to combine that with Effective Measure's demographic cookie data and panel traffic data. I'm no longer at EM but would be good to meet up, based in Durbs and contacted Mike S recently
Posted on 3 Mar 2015 13:40
Steve Gardner
Steve Gardner
Did you get a peek at our development roadmap? ;-)Chatted to Mike and it looks like the meeting's getting setup. I look forward to chatting further.
Posted on 3 Mar 2015 15:42