Earn a Certificate in Social Media Analysis from Boston University

Making Social Media Matter is a hands-on, 3-day workshop that equips attendees with the knowledge and skills to quickly collect, analyze, visualize, and interpret big data from popular social media platforms such as Twitter.

The tools demonstrated in this workshop for network analysis, machine learning, and geolocation are at the forefront of social media research and will equip attendees — even those with no computational training — with expert understanding of how to collect, analyze, visualize, and interpret social media data for internal and public use.

In addition to covering the theoretical bases of working with and modeling big data, the training in this workshop will include access to and use of leading data platforms, like Crimson Hexagon, NodeXL, Right Relevance, the Boston University Twitter Collection and Analysis Toolkit (BU-TCAT), DiscoverText and Gephi.

Media professionals, research analysts, scientists, college students, and anyone wanting to make sense of social media will benefit from attending this workshop. All participants that successfully complete this workshop will:

  • Earn a Certificate in Social Media Analysis: Principles and Practices for Big Data from Boston University.
  • Have free access to industry-leading data analysis platforms both during and for two weeks following the workshop.
  • Receive training in exclusive data analysis tools including the BU-TCAT that can collect and analyze millions of units of social media content.
  • Go beyond dashboards and dive deep into data to take their analytic skills to another level of conceptual and practical understanding.
Workshop Rates
  • Professionals: $1,485
  • Nonprofit / faculty: $1,285
  • BU faculty and staff: $1,085
  • Students (verified by valid student ID): $885
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Workshops at a Glance

Next Workshop

October 20 – 22, 2017

Future Workshops

January & June 2018


Boston University (map)

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Kim Relick
krelick@bu.edu | 617-358-6090

Host Your OwnInterested in a custom onsite workshop for your organization? Contact Us.

Learn to Use Leading Social Media Analytics Platforms

Crimson Hexagon

Crimson Hexagon is the global leader in consumer insights from social media data. Powered by patented technology and an in-house data library of nearly 1 trillion posts, Crimson Hexagon’s platform helps hundreds of brands and agencies answer critical business questions through the insights derived from social data.

BU Twitter Collection Analysis Toolkit

The BU-TCAT allows Boston University students and faculty–and even off campus researchers–to examine Tweets off the STREAM API (the so-called “gardenhose” access to Twitter) and then process the data for network analysis and visualization in Gephi or other software, such as R or Excel, with nearly 1 billion posts collected to date.


Gephi is a tool for data analysts and scientists keen to explore and understand graphs. Like Photoshop™ but for graph data, the user interacts with the representation, manipulate the structures, shapes and colors to reveal hidden patterns. Gephi is the leading visualization and exploration software for all kinds of graphs and networks.



Unstructured text data is messy. Users of DiscoverText build reusable custom machine classifiers or “sifters” to find the most relevant items before sorting them into topics and sentiment categories. DiscoverText combines data science methods with e-discovery text analytics tools to shorten a process that used to last weeks or months; our machine-learning sifters are created in hours or just a few minutes using crowdsourcing.

Right Relevance

Right Relevance provides information and intelligence on over 50 thousand topics that includes topic relationships, semantic information, and topical influencers (~2.5M) with score and rank. Additionally, Right Relevance provides insights that combine topics and influencers information with real-time conversations to provide actionable intelligence with visualizations to enable decision making.


NodeXL supports the exploration of social media with import features that pull data from personal email indexes on the desktop, Twitter, Flickr, Youtube, Facebook and WWW hyper-links. NodeXL allows non-programmers to quickly generate useful network statistics and metrics and create visualizations of network graphs. Filtering and display attributes can be used to highlight important structures in the network.


In Only Four Steps



Examine millions of users and their posts online, and manage those queries at scale.



Learn which algorithms to apply, and how they work, in order to best answer your specific analytic question.



Represent big data in easy-to-understand graphs using industry leading software that will inform others quickly.



Use social network analysis and machine learning to find influential users, understand information flows, and leverage your message.

With Our Team of Experts

Led by Professor Jacob Groshek, the instructional team includes world renown experts that work at the intersection of the media industry and academia. You will have hands on one-to-one interactions with an award-winning group of scholar / practitioners that have decades of experience in designing systems and developing solutions that are applied to topics that include but are not limited to politics, health, science, sports, business, and — of course — media.

Check back for updates on our award-winning team of instructors, guest lecturers, and coaches!

Dr. Marc Smith

Marc Smith

Dr. Marc Smith is a sociologist specializing in the social organization of online communities and computer mediated interaction. Smith leads the Connected Action consulting group and lives and works in Silicon Valley. Smith co-founded and directs the Social Media Research Foundation, a non-profit devoted to open tools and data related to social media research. Dr. Smith received a B.S. from Drexel, an M.Phil. from Cambridge, and a Ph.D. from UCLA. He is a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Stanford University.

Kate Mays

Kate Mays

Kate Mays, MA is a doctoral student in Emerging Media Studies at Boston University’s College of Communication, where she is also a BU Hariri Graduate Fellow for computational and data-driven research. Her research interests include human-computer interaction, technological effects on interpersonal interactions, and the agenda-setting and democratizing effects of old and new media in the digital environment. Kate has experience with the Association of American Medical Colleges and holds a B.A. from Georgetown and an M.A. from BU.

Dr. Stu Shulman

Stu Shulman

Dr. Stuart W. Shulman is the founder and CEO of Texifter. Stu was formerly a UMass Amherst political science professor and the Vice President for Text Analytics at Vision Critical. Dr. Shulman is the sole inventor of the Coding Analysis Toolkit (CAT), an open source, Web-based text analysis software project, as well a text analytic network known as DiscoverText (discovertext.com). His latest invention is Sifter, a tool for researchers who need self-serve access to the complete undeleted history of Twitter (sifter.texifter.com).

Tom Fiedler

Tom Fiedler

Tom Fiedler is the Dean of the College of Communication following a distinguished career in journalism. Most notably, Tom worked at the Miami Herald for more than 30 years as an investigative reporter, a political columnist, editor and executive editor. He has also embraced new media as a Visiting Murrow Lecturer and Goldsmith Fellow at Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center. He graduated from the US Merchant Marine Academy with a bachelor’s in engineering and earned a master’s in journalism at COM.

Netta Ness

Netta Ness

Netta Ness is an entrepreneur, speaker, and expert in Chance Management™ for leaders, startups, and corporations. Netta developed the Chance Management process for capitalizing on chance following her work as Vice President for a hedge firm. She is also a columnist for Epoch Times Magazine and holds a B.S. in political science, public communications and journalism from Bar Ilan University and a Master’s degree in Global Marketing, Communications and Advertising from Emerson College.

Wasim AhmedWasim_Ahmed

Wasim Ahmed is a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Sheffield. He has delivered over 30 social media talks to agencies such as the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN), the UK government, and universities across the world. Wasim has experience on many social media projects with organisations such as Manchester United. He is also a member of the Social Media Research Foundation and regularly authors high-impact articles for the LSE Impact blog and mainstream media. He earned an MSc in Information System and a BA in Philosophy.

Amit Phansalkar

Amit Phansalkar

Amit is the CDO of Apptopia and is also the co-founder of Netra System, a machine vision start up creating smarter retail intelligence. Prior to this Amit was the Chief Data Officer for Massmutual, a fortune 100 financial services firm where he was responsible for the vision and data strategy for all consumer data. Amit has more than 15 years of experience building products and systems using big data holds over 6 data science patents. He earned an M.S. from the University of New Mexico where he focused on National Security Science.

Brittany Andersen

Brittany Andersen

Brittany Andersen is a Ph.D. student in the Emerging Media Studies (EMS) Program. Her research focuses on how users perceive, evaluate, and respond to different types of media and technology. Brittany received her M.A. from the EMS program in 2015 and spent the past year working on analyst relations and market research teams at Porter Novelli, a global public relations firm. Prior to enrolling at BU, she graduated from the University of Massachusetts Lowell with her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and French.

Dr. Joe Panepinto

Joe Panepinto

Dr. Joe Panepinto is the Senior Vice President of Strategy at Genuine, a full-service digital agency acquired by Jack Morton Worldwide in 2014. Joe’s team works with the UX, design, copy, and digital marketing teams on all aspects of business, creative, and marketing strategy. Dr. Panepinto has more than 20 years of communication industry experience. He earned his Doctorate in Communication from UMass Amherst, a Master’s degree from COM at BU, and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Hamilton College.

Join Us for an Invaluable Experience

Students working at table.
  • Professionals: $1,485
  • Nonprofit / faculty: $1,285
  • BU faculty and staff: $1,085
  • Students (verified by valid student ID): $885

Each participant that successfully completes all three days of the workshop will receive a Certificate in Social Media Analysis from the Boston University College of Communication as well as one month of free access to leading social media analytic software.

Register Now

In the Heart of a World Class City

Situated in the heart of an historic yet urban environment, the Boston University College of Communication is just around the corner from Fenway Park, Kenmore Square, and within easy walking distance to vibrant shops, cafes, and cultural activities. The BU campus is well served by many modes of public transportation and workshop attendees will have ample opportunity to participate in networking opportunities and informal meet ups. A wide range of accommodations are available nearby.

Boston University is currently ranked 39th among national universities by US News and World Report, and the Journalism department in the College of Communication was recently ranked fourth overall in the nation by USA Today. Boston itself is a rich multicultural city and a hub of higher learning with a wide array of recreational activities. Currently ranked the 8th largest media market in United States, Boston is a thriving center of cultural and intellectual creativity.

Take in all that Boston has to offer as you take your analytic skills to the next level with the Making Social Media Matter workshop.

College of Communication Workshop Cancellation Policy

  • All cancellation requests must be received in writing no less than 30 days prior to the first day of the workshop. Cancellation requests should be addressed to Kim Relick, krelick@bu.edu. Approved cancellation requests will receive a refund of the registration fee less a $150.00 cancellation fee.
  • We are unable to refund any registration fees fewer than 30 days prior to the workshop start date.
  • Failure to attend the workshop will result in forfeiture of the full registration fee.

The College of Communication reserves the right to cancel or reschedule the workshop due to low enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of the College of Communication. In this case, applicants are entitled to a full refund of the registration fee.

The College of Communication will advise applicants at the earliest opportunity of changes to the scheduled workshop dates. The College of Communication is not responsible for travel fees, or any expenses incurred as a result of cancelled programs.