Social Wimbledon: Brought to you by Wimbledon Insights

In another first for Wimbledon 2013, IBM is showing how social media analytics can bring new insights for organisations by analysing what the world is saying about them.

In another first for Wimbledon 2013, IBM is showing how social media analytics can bring new insights for organisations by analysing what the world is saying about them.  In this video, IBMs Solution Architect for Big Data and Analytics, Chris Thomas, explains what the new social sentiment tracking system can do. As well as measuring volume and the geographic origin of tweets, it can show whether conversations about each player are predominantly positive or negative. This can be tracked in real time and linked to match play, illustrating how fans feel about the course of events on court. There are other uses for this social media data too.  The flow of conversation can help predict the peaks and troughs in demand for web services, allowing the cloud-based server provisioning to be adjusted automatically in line with demand. IBM Content Analytics could pay dividends for other organisations and businesses too, allowing, for example, the conversations around a brand to be tracked in real time against product releases and advertising campaigns, providing hugely powerful customer insight.

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The big problem for the NHS? Local government cuts

Even a U-Turn on planned cuts to the service itself will still leave the NHS under heavy pressure. 

38Degrees has uncovered a series of grisly plans for the NHS over the coming years. Among the highlights: severe cuts to frontline services at the Midland Metropolitan Hospital, including but limited to the closure of its Accident and Emergency department. Elsewhere, one of three hospitals in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are to be shuttered, while there will be cuts to acute services in Suffolk and North East Essex.

These cuts come despite an additional £8bn annual cash injection into the NHS, characterised as the bare minimum needed by Simon Stevens, the head of NHS England.

The cuts are outlined in draft sustainability and transformation plans (STP) that will be approved in October before kicking off a period of wider consultation.

The problem for the NHS is twofold: although its funding remains ringfenced, healthcare inflation means that in reality, the health service requires above-inflation increases to stand still. But the second, bigger problem aren’t cuts to the NHS but to the rest of government spending, particularly local government cuts.

That has seen more pressure on hospital beds as outpatients who require further non-emergency care have nowhere to go, increasing lifestyle problems as cash-strapped councils either close or increase prices at subsidised local authority gyms, build on green space to make the best out of Britain’s booming property market, and cut other corners to manage the growing backlog of devolved cuts.

All of which means even a bigger supply of cash for the NHS than the £8bn promised at the last election – even the bonanza pledged by Vote Leave in the referendum, in fact – will still find itself disappearing down the cracks left by cuts elsewhere. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.