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Published October 2nd 2013

The Rise of the Command Centre: Why Have One?

You may have noticed that a couple of weeks ago we launched our new product, Brandwatch Vizia. It’s a data visualisation product that can be used for many things including, most recognisably to some, a social media ‘command centre’.

A what?


‘What is a command centre?’, you may ask.

The command centre is not a new concept; typically, the term was used in a military capacity. Sometimes called a ‘war room’, the command centre was typically a place where a team managed communications, took orders, and generally took ‘command’ of things.

There are plenty of examples of real-life command centres, plus the famous fictional command centre from the 1964 film Dr. Strangelove.
Dr Strangelove
These days – at least in the social media industry – command centres have slightly less to do with war and a whole lot more to do with keeping track of social data.

In the past few years, there have been several notable examples of companies unveiling their own social media command centres; typically, a room with lots of screens, manned by a social media team. Gatorade and Dell are two of the most cited examples.


What’s it for?


So, why bother having a command centre? It’s just to look impressive, right? Wrong. Implemented and monitored properly, a command centre can bring a whole lot of value to your business.

Command centres allow you to track social media data in real-time, so that you can make informed decisions quickly and be a responsive, social business.

It’s not just about community management or monitoring Twitter either; command centres can be used for all manner of activities, for example:

  • letting employees across your business see and understand the conversation about your brand;
  • letting your marketing team identify emerging trends and jump in on conversations;
  • allowing your product development team understand how new products or features are being received;
  • giving your PR team to the ability track the response to publicity (good or bad) and react instantly.

There are many other uses. We ourselves have Vizia set up in each of our office; it was great to see our staff gathered around it on Vizia launch day, watching the response online to our announcement.

As Gavin Heaton, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Constellation Research says:

 “Command centres are like an MRI for brands. Understanding what resonates with customers, where the blockages are and what has velocity is essential to brand vitality.”

The possibilities for a command centre are endless. It all depends on how you set it up; every business is different. Some recent examples worth looking into are EE and Mastercard, who have their own ‘conversation suite’ and ‘social hub’ set ups.

Soon, we’ll be able to reveal more about some of the brands implementing Vizia in their businesses, to give you more real-life examples of how it can bring value to your company.

“Companies in every industry need to be conscious of signals that come from what customers and the market are saying, and it’s especially vital for us in financial services. At Wells Fargo, we’re evolving our social intelligence and business strategy all the time, and innovative new solutions like Brandwatch Vizia are pivotal to scaling our social media command centre.”

– Renee Brown, Director of Enterprise Social Media at Wells Fargo.


Going beyond the command centre


We’ve designed Vizia so that it can be used as much more than just a command centre in the traditional sense. Its flexibility, ability to be controlled remotely, and the wide range of customisation options mean it can be setup to suit all types of use cases.

It can even be used at events, like we did ourselves at Social Media Week London last week, showing data about SMW around the world.


“Brandwatch Vizia unlocks social intelligence from the confines of former command center models. It’s not only supported by advanced analytics that delve into the most relevant business insights, but it’s also really dynamic and scalable across various use cases.”

– Logan Lawler, Social Media Listening and Analytics Practice Leader at Dell.

Want more information about Vizia? Read this or get a demo.

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