Social analysis is the practice of systematically examining a social problem, issue or trend, often with the aim of prompting changes in the situation being analyzed.
A social problem is a situation that is viewed by some community members as being undesirable. In a business context, examples of social problems include outsourcing jobs to another country, customer data privacy and wasting energy. Social analysis, which is topic-driven, can address such issues through qualitative research or quantitative multivariate approaches. Multivariate analysis is a field of statistical analysis and data analytics that deals with variables and their relationships.
Social analysis frequently involves issues of equality and social justice, but the insight gained from combining social analysis techniques and CRM analytics can also help organizations create business strategies and policies that are sensitive to particular social issues and likely to be perceived by customers as having a positive social impact. For example, after discovering through analysis of a customer survey that increased efforts to develop renewable energy would be viewed in a positive light, an oil company might decide to expand its investments in biogas, geothermal energy and solar power research.
Social analysis should not be confused with social media analytics, which studies data collected from social networking sites.
See also: variable manipulation, dependent variable, independent variable