My wife works in the mental health field and deals with some pretty heavy stuff. Every now and then, I’ll come home and share something trite like, “Yeah, we lost a lead today.” But things get quickly put into perspective when she says, “Well, we lost a patient.”

Needless to say, we’re not saving lives here in marketing but it is reassuring when the data and science we create is put to altruistic use.

Such is the case with recent research on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia using Twitter data performed by a team of Northwestern University professors including 4C Founder and Chief S

cientist, Dr. Alok Choudhary.

For years, Alok has been using social media to augment his work in big data, machine learning, and predictive analytics. In fact, he’s published more than 500 papers on everything from predicting colon cancer survival to forecasting flu outbreaks.

Alok even holds a patent on methods and systems for analyzing data of an online social network.

Beyond health issues, Alok has used social media data to analyze weather patterns and even political uprisings. His ground-breaking research on the Egyptian Revolution was one of the seminal works on the influence of social media during the Arab Spring.

With all the heat social media has been taking lately for its pernicious impact on society, it’s nice to know that there’s some good being done out there.

FWIW, social advertising is doing pretty good too from a marketing perspective.

Now, do yourself some good and read the rest of 4C’s Insights.

Read the rest of 4C’s Insights Volume 95 here.

Subscribe to our newsletter to get updates from 4C in your inbox.