I’m doing an “analytics” project in which I have to collect data from small businesses (SMEs) in South America and try to come up with some insights about what are their needs in general. The project’s coach basically wants to collect data from social media and business association websites and do some text analytic on it to see if we can gain some insights.
Ideally, the idea of the project is that given a country and a sector, find what the companies in those sectors are up to and see what are their problems.
This is what I've thought:
Find keywords in the twitter API and facebook API.
Find News about SMEs in a given country and crawl the content.
Find associations web sites. I dis this but the content here is useless most of the time.
The goal of this project is to gain some insights and see if some new products can be customized to these companies.
Thus, my question is: how would you solve a problem like this if you do not have any data? I was also thinking about getting some contact information from a sample of this companies and send them all a survey or something.