Today’s world is all about data, and extracting information related to the customer is most important in those data sets. Text analytics and sentiment analysis are methods employed to process and analyze natural language text data to extract insights and understanding from the data. With the explosion of digital content, companies are increasingly looking towards developing new ways to extract insights from an ocean of unstructured online data in the form of digital content.
The purpose of text analytics is to extract meaningful information from text data. At the same time, sentiment analysis is a field of text analytics that determines the tone behind a piece of text, whether positive, negative, or neutral. These techniques give businesses an edge in getting insights about their customers, which reflects how their service or product is performing in the market.
This guide provides an overview of text analytics and sentiment analysis, and something companies should practice before their competitors do. We’ll also dive into definitions, techniques, applications, and challenges that come along with using text analytics and sentiment analysis.
In layman's terms, text analytics is like sorting and reading a giant pile of letters and sorting them into different piles based on their content. This would mean the letters about ‘products’ come in one pile and ‘customer experience’ in another. This allows the company to see patterns and understand what people are writing about. These letters are the digital content available on the web, and you can access vast amounts of data.
So, text analytics is used to convert unstructured text data into structured information that companies can analyze to make data-driven decisions. The techniques used for this include text mining, natural language processing (NLP), and machine learning. With these techniques, companies can extract large amounts of meaningful data, providing insights into customer behavior, preferences, opinions, surveys, and more.
The data sources for text analytics are wide-ranging. Anything which helps gain valuable insights into customer behavior, preferences, opinions, and trends can be a data source. Some of them include the following:
A rich source of information that provides insights into what the customer thinks and feels about the company’s products and services. Various forms of customer feedback include surveys, reviews, or even comments on social media.
These are one of the fastest sources of unstructured data available that provide valuable insights into customer opinions, preferences, and behavior. These include all platforms and content generated on them. Posts and comments on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can all be monitored with text analytics.
The news revolves around public opinion. By analyzing news articles, companies gather the public’s sentiment on specific issues and use this information to make better-informed decisions.
If we used the same metaphor of reading the letters and sorting them, sentiment analysis would mean reading those letters and sorting them based on the writer's emotions. If the emotion is happy, the data is labeled as positive and negative if the emotion is upset/unhappy.
Since sorting the emotion comes after data categorization, this is a subfield of text analytics. The tones measured in this are positive, negative, and neutral. This helps businesses understand the overall sentiment of a larger audience towards a specific product or service and help them make data-driven decisions.
Companies can use sentiment analysis to monitor customer feedback and track changes in customer sentiment over time. Evaluating a product, down to its specific quality, can be monitored with sentiment analysis. It’s always better to know what the customer feels and then bring about a change to improve on identified shortcomings in your business or service.
A business can improve and become more customer-centric when working with text analytics and sentiment analysis. They can use these tools to identify areas where they need to improve quickly. Major areas companies gain benefit in are:
Keeping up with your brand reputation is a must. This helps in forecasting sales and customer retention. This also allows the company to handle any negative sentiment before it becomes a significant issue.
Insights into how specific trends, products, or services can help a company manage the product/ service better. Informed decisions are then made regarding pricing strategies, product development, and marketing campaigns.
Categorizing customers based on their attitudes and preferences can help brands better target specific customer groups more effectively and personalized marketing campaigns.
In understanding the results of text and sentiment analytics, it’s essential to know the steps involved in processing the data. These steps are:
The first step in text analytics and sentiment analysis is collecting data from customer feedback, social media, and surveys.
After data collection, the data is cleaned and formatted for analytical purposes.
NLP converts unstructured text data into a structured format to be analyzed. Some standard NLP techniques in this step include tokenization, stemming, lemmatization, and part-of-speech tagging.
The text is further filtered by extracting meaningful information from the text data. This includes keyword extraction and document classification.
Rule-based algorithms, machine learning, and deep learning help to further classify the tone of the data and categorize it into sentiments.
Visualization through PowerBI and Tableau brings data into charts, graphs, and maps to make the data more understandable and actionable.
Intext analytics and sentiment analysis, NLP(Natural Language Processing) and text mining are critical techniques used to extract meaningful information from text data, including extracting keywords, classifying documents, and determining sentiment.
The technologies employed for text analytics and sentiment analysis include programming languages such as Python, NLP libraries, and machine learning libraries such as scikit-learn.
OpenText, IBM Watson, and Sentiment140 provide comprehensive tools and technologies for text analytics and sentiment analysis.
Tableau and PowerBI are used to visualize the analysis results and make them more understandable and actionable.
The forever looming question of privacy comes into play again with these enhanced techniques. Much of the data extracted contains personal and financial information. This sensitive data should remain protected and confidential to maintain the privacy and security of individuals.
The technology is still learning and trying to keep up with the vast amounts of data it gets to process. The effectiveness still needs to catch up in certain places where inaccurate results are forced with slang, emoticons, and sarcasm in content, further complicating the process.
Human supervision is critical for removing errors or biases found in insights drawn by the NLP algorithms. Final decisions and results need to be validated by human experts.
At the end of the day, these techniques will make the marketing world increasingly dependent on data more than ever. Gaining insights into customer behavior, preferences, and opinions is a gold mine for companies that now have precisely what they need to improve their products, services, or brand image.
The future is of text analytics and sentiment analysis. Anyone falling short of this race will miss the leap into the next generation of business. With advancements in NLP and machine learning technologies continuing to improve, results will become more valuable as they near accuracy.
Business today can’t risk missing out on these tools. Text analytics and sentiment analysis tools will become necessary for businesses to keep up with their competition. After all, it’s about the customer, gaining that competitive advantage, and driving that growth.