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Oscar night is a tremendous business opportunity. More than a chance for fans and media to gossip about celebrities, the 86th Academy Awards Sunday night handed a treasure trove of data to the fashion industry on a silver platter -- if not a red carpet.

Fashion critics loved the gown that Lupita Nyong’o wore Sunday night, but most social media users thought Jennifer Lawrence was the best dressed.

“Trigger events like the Oscars give designers an opportunity to preview hot, new designs,” angela.schuller said in SAP News on Wednesday. “But data derived from consumer reactions can help fashion brands predict exactly which fashions will fly off the shelves and which will flop.”

SAP collected and analyzed social media data from Oscar night, such as mentions and sentiment, from which fashion designers and retailers can gain a bigger picture of how their customers responded to styles, colors and more. The data also reveals where critics and the public see things differently.

Five SAP infographics showcase insights that the fashion industry can gain from this type of analysis:

  • Oscar Fashion: Critics vs. Social Media: The Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), won fashion critics’ hearts. But Jennifer Lawrence, a nominee in the same category for American Hustle, was social media’s pick for best dressed on Sunday.
  • Oscar Play-by-Play: Tracks buzz and sentiment throughout the evening, including when host Ellen DeGeneres was on a roll -- and when she bombed.
  • Who, What, Wear: Displays which states showed the most interest in Oscar fashion (except for Alaska and Hawaii, which didn’t make the cut). Spoiler alert: California and New York were huge!
  • The Color Oscar: More people talked about nude-colored dresses than any other, but 98 percent of them liked blue.
  • And the Winner Is: Social media users seemed to love the Oscars this year, with mentions up 63 percent over last year, and sentiment rising 30 percent higher.

This type of big data is a microcosm of what’s been happening in the fashion industry.

“Retailers are already using predictive analysis and data from social media and other sources to drive planning and customer engagement,” john.ward3 wrote in SAP Business Trends last year.

The social intelligence gleaned from SAP’s Oscar data can help fashion designers and retailers:

  • Gauge popularity and forecast trends, which also influences manufacturing and marketing
  • Track the way trends vary across regions, helping companies manage global and local inventories
  • Develop and manage social media initiatives, e.g., DeGeneres’ wildly popular selfie, which enjoyed millions of retweets and shattered Twitter’s retweet record

“Attending a runway show ... no longer offers an exclusive first look at fashion’s elite,” david.trites wrote in SAP Business Trends last year. “Over the past few seasons more and more top designers and brands have launched new looks online before and during their shows.”

Social media is accelerating the democratization of fashion. And, just like Oscar night, it has enormous potential for an industry to connect with its fans and engage with its customers.

Follow Derek on Twitter: @DKlobucher

Related Media:

SAP Makes Life Easier for Consumers, Retailers and Designers with My Runway

Timeless Look or Monumental Mistake: Can Social Sentiment Predict the Next Fashion Trend?

Big Data: The Next Big Trend in Fashion