NEW YORK — Ruder Finn has launched a new suite of tools, called Beacon, that simultaneously pulls a range of data – social, news and sales among it – in real time, bolstering brands’ ability to make decisions based on real-life buzz.

"There is no question that data and analytics have become a core driver of communications, marketing and advertising, and can lead to better decisions, use of budget and investment in resources," said CEO Kathy Bloomgarden. "But with the multitude of tools available, we’re excited to be able to offer an exclusive platform for our clients that allows us to not only look at data from multiple sources in real time, but also leverage our data and analytics in-house talent to help clients better understand the behaviors and habits of their customers, and make smarter decisions."

While Ruder Finn has previously offered clients a breadth of data collection and analytics, Beacon elevates that service by pulling data from a range of social media and sales, business and news sources, said chief innovation officer Michael Schubert.

Four key offerings are: real time intelligent listening, which includes pulling, aggregating and analyzing data across channels; micro-influencer mapping, which identifies and gauges the impact of social influencers on brands; real-world data augmentation, which is essentially layers of data for in-depth analysis; and social visualization, which presents data in user-friendly charts.

Having the ability to monitor data across borders and languages increases insight into consumer behavior even further, Schubert said. In doing so, Beacon provides the means to weigh how brands’ sales and reputations are faring – and being influenced by – external factors from weather and world events to geography and stock market performance, as well as social buzz.

Applications include, for instance, analyzing sales data against social impressions to measure the impact of campaigns, or seeing how weather or seasons affect sales, of particular note for pharmaceutical industries and the like.

In turn, brands are better equipped to make strategic moves – proactively as well as predictive – in keeping up with real-world events and increasingly influential public opinion, Schubert said.

“People are understanding the power of social sentiment is huge,” he said.

Beacon’s launch comes after a six-month beta test, during which multinational pharmaceutical, transportation and beauty and skincare brands used the tool. It follows considerable digital expansion in Ruder Finn's offering since it acquired Asian firm Daylight Partnership and merged it into RFI Studios last year, including the launch of an app-based reputation risk management system a few months ago.

“In a world dominated by social media as a communication and sharing platform, brands often manage multiple social media properties, each with unique audiences that crossover at different times,” said David Ko, Asia head of RFI Studios. "What separates Beacon from other analytics tools is its ability to be easily customized for any given scenario, whereas most other analytics tools are one-size-fits-all."