SPSS Statistics

 View Only

Harvesting Data from Facebook with IBM SPSS Statistics

By Archive User posted Mon May 23, 2016 05:06 PM

Update: By popular demand click here to download the extension and code

We all know that SPSS Statistics can import data from a wide variety of sources, but what about importing data from social media sites such as Facebook? Turns out you can do that too with a relatively simple extension that is implemented in R and makes use of the Rfacebook package. To help you get started, I've created a YouTube video on the IBM Analytics channel (click here to view the video) that walks through the steps involved in creating such an extension.

As an example of what you can do, here's a graph of Facebook activity on the IBM Watson page over a one month period, using the extension from the video.

Graph of likes, comments, and shares from the IBM Watson Facebook page over a one month period

The extension that's described in the video is intended as a functioning example for instructional purposes. The implementation code that I used in the example is here, and might be useful if you're interested in building your own extension for harvesting Facebook data.

As you'll also see in the video, you need an authorization code that allows the extension to access Facebook data. The process of getting the authorization code is a bit involved and completely outside of SPSS Statistics so I don't cover it in the video, but you can find a detailed description of it here. You might also want to visit Pablo Barbera's site (the author of the Rfacebook package) for additional information.