New dashboard tracks top COVID-19 content among life sciences companies, influencers and media

Sample screen shot from W2O Group and CLSA's COVID-19 news dashboard taken at 12:40 p.m. on March 26. (W2O Group)

News about COVID-19 runs rampant on the internet and changes by the hour, or even by the minute. It’s difficult to stay on top of what’s happening, much less what’s important, in the life sciences industry without scrubbing the entire internet. That's what W2O Group and the California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) are looking to change with a new data-driven platform.

Their jointly launched dashboard, called COR, uses W2O’s machine and artificial intelligence data engine to scrape its life science industry data set for news and posts mentioning COVID-19. It then serves up the top-ranked information across different sectors—life sciences, healthcare providers, media, California, and the scientific community—to reveal what’s trending in each one from that segment’s leading voices and sources in almost real time.

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COR refreshes the trending information every 60 seconds and ranks it across the top stories, top hashtags, top voices and top tweets. The content is ranked according to the number of unique accounts that share, mention or retweet it. Users can also change time parameters to look at the most popular content across minutes, hours or one day.

The idea is to filter out what the average person on Twitter is saying and focus on what life science companies, healthcare professionals, physicians, nurses and others in the industry are talking about. COR uses Twitter as its data stream, run through the W2O algorithms based on reach, relevance and resonance with an added factor for velocity in a nod to the speed of COVID-19 news travel.

“We were looking for a way to disseminate and bring the most relevant conversations and stories that are happening against this very hyper-speed news flow today being driven through the lens of coronavirus and COVID-19,” said Paulo Simas, W2O Group's chief creative officer, adding that COR is meant to give life science companies “a finger on the pulse of what’s happening” at any given time.

He pointed out that while the sources are curated from its own HCP database of more than 1 million professionals and California Life Sciences’ 400-plus company database, along with other verified databases, accounts and source inputs, the dashboard does not make a distinction about the usefulness or positive or negative impact of the news.

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“We are not curating the news. This is not us deciding what gets ranked and what doesn’t,” Simas said. “We’re just showing you what’s happening."

W2O plans to do weekly analytics with a deeper look at the trending content and run sentiment analysis, such as whether news was used in a positive, negative or neutral way.

The idea for the dashboard was hatched in a meeting just 10 days ago between W2O’s CEO Jim Weiss and Simas and CLSA CEO Mike Guerra. Simas is a recent addition to the CLSA board.

“We wanted to do something during this difficult time to give back, and partnering with W2O on this platform was a way to do that, and at the same time highlight the critical role that life sciences play during this time,” Guerra said.

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