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For the past several decades, surveys have been the main method for a business to gain insights on how customers feel about their products.However, as a Forbes article published in April 2019 explained, surveys have limitations that drastically hinder their reliability and helpfulness in improving a company’s services.Customers who respond to surveys are often not representative of the majority of a customer base, which introduces biases that make it difficult to procure actionable feedback from surveys. This is where big data and sentiment analysis can make a huge difference. Harnessing these technologies equips companies with the ability to uncover a more accurate picture of how their brand is received by both their customers and the public.Sentiment analysis is the interpretation of emotions surrounding specific keywords – like a certain product, company, or trend – within text data. At its most basic, it can report whether sentiments are positive, negative, or neutral, but more advanced analysis can even assign emotions such as “happy,” “angry,” or “sad” to the collected data as well. Keep reading to learn more about sentiment analysis and how it can be used to gain valuable insights for your company.

1. More accurate customer feedback

Sentiment analysis allows businesses to identify more precisely how their customers feel about their brand by looking at data on more neutral platforms than company-branded surveys, like social media and review websites. This analysis allows companies to essentially eavesdrop in on what customers say about their products via external sources, then analyze the results to better inform improvement tactics. Also, sentiment analysis is not limited to your own company’s product. You can learn how the masses feel about competitors’ products and conduct a competitive analysis, which is another valuable way to drive your company forward in today’s economy.

2. Bigger data sets

Let’s face it, not everyone has the time or desire to complete a customer survey. No matter how many incentives you throw at your customers for completing it, the number of people who respond are going to be a tiny fraction of the whole.On the other hand, there are massive amounts of data publicly available online on social media, interest group, and review websites. Digging deeper into these resources will yield more results than surveys ever will, the results will be less biased, and you don’t have to incentivize respondents with a gift card. Everyone wins!

3. Hone in on the relevant information

While you’ll get huge amounts of data from collecting it online, there is a lot of noise you have to sift through before you find the valuable information.Sentiment analysis helps cut down on the unnecessary data by targeting key words and phrases, scraping through the vast quantities of data available online to pick up what is useful for your specific industry and project. The process of finding the right keywords can take some time and effort, but for the results you’ll receive, it’s well worth it.Sentiment analysis has many applications across industry, trends, and even worldwide events such as the coronavirus pandemic. The target words that can be selected to conduct an analysis are vast, and with the right tools, talent, and presentation, sentiment analysis is a powerful way to inform your future business strategies.

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