The history of analyzing data dates back as far as the usage of tally sticks. Indigenous people would use sticks or bones, to keep track of trading activity or supplies. Data science may be modern and advanced now but the foundations were laid long ago. 

Before computers were mundane, the idea of producing, gathering and analyzing data was popular in academia. The shift from academia to other fields of discipline happened with the introduction of the internet and subsequently the inventions of digital storage.

Ever since then businesses have adopted the strategy of harnessing the power of data analysis, with banker Henry Furnese being credited by many as the pioneer. It’s said that he used data to stay ahead of his competitors and an early article about his success was the first place the term “business intelligence” was seen.

In this part of our world, Ghana to be specific, the penetration rate of Data Analysis is very low even though its importance is widely known in most developed countries. This actually puts early adopters ahead of their competition. 

Any business that fails to understand its market and customers is bound to collapse. This knowledge should be common amongst up-to-date CEOs, Marketing Managers and any top management staff. This is why Data Analysis has been incorporated into the operations of some of the world’s top corporations and businesses operating in Ghana must adopt it quickly if they plan for long term success.  

Reasons for the folding up of many big businesses are the lack of innovation, failure to adapt to emerging technological trends, being future blind etc. So the sole purpose of this write-up is to introduce readers to Text Analytics, a game-changing solution to the aforementioned factors of corporate collapses.

We will begin by expatiating upon the meaning and value of Text Data Analytics and how businesses could take advantage of this new and rapidly changing wave of Data Analytics and business intelligence.

WHAT IS TEXT DATA ANALYTICS?

Text data analytics, sometimes used interchangeably with text analysis (or text mining) is the process of retrieving relevant and large amounts of text, usually unstructured in order to clean, process and make meaning of it (Data). When data visualization tools are then employed, it helps businesses uncover insights, trends and patterns. Also, it helps them (businesses) better understand their operations and customers. Successful text analytics will assist the business in making well-informed decisions backed by data and avoiding trial and error processes.

The Thin Line Between Text Analytics & Text Analysis

Simply put, text analysis (or text mining) produces rich insights qualitatively whilst text analytics utilizes the results and makes them more understandable by quantifying and visualizing them.

You can also think of it this way, text analysis begins the problem-solving process and text analytics explains the solution. So, they both work hand in hand to discover valuable insights from various kinds of unstructured text data like surveys, customer reviews, emails, social media posts etc.

How Text Analytics Can Help Your Company

When we say we are in the information age, that is not a joke. Today enormous amounts of unstructured data are generated by the second. Datamation reports that there is simply much more unstructured data than structured. Unstructured data makes up 80% and more of most companies’ data and is growing at the rate of 55% and 65% per year.  Internet users are now posting 456,000 new tweets, and 510,000 new comments on Facebook, and customers are sending thousands of reviews by the day. So without data analysis tools that help in analyzing this massive data set, organizations will be leaving huge amounts of valuable data on the business intelligence table.

Thanks to text analytics tools, businesses can thoughtlessly draw out meaning from all sorts of unstructured data, expanding from social media posts, product reviews and emails to live chats and surveys and converting them into meaningful business insights. By studying and spotting trends and patterns with text analytics, businesses can

1. Improve customer satisfaction (as they learn more about them through insights gathered)

2. Identify product issues and solve them

3. Conduct market research

4. Monitor brand reputation 

Text analytics has numerous advantages and we haven’t even scratched the surface of its capabilities. It also maximizes productivity in the sense that you can analyze large volumes of data in a very short time, and allows you to get results in real-time. So aside from helping you identify problems and feeding you with insights it also helps you get those problems solved quickly.

Now let’s dig deeper into the four (4) benefits of text analytics mentioned above and how your business can take advantage of it. 

Improve Customer Satisfaction

A recent Forbes Magazine article reports that two-thirds of companies compete on customer experience alone. The current business environment now is easily flooded with competitors who are just a click away from yours. If your business will stand out and remain profitable, it’s going to need more than low prices, promotional discounts, free deliveries etc. Delivering a top-notch customer experience is going to be a major differentiator and text analytics is what will help put you over your competition.

Fortune 500 companies are using data to improve customer experience and you should too. It’s known about Amazon that they utilize E-Commerce reviews to source information and through text analytics techniques they gain key insights into customer concerns and customer perception on service quality etc. This grants them opportunities to impress buyers which ultimately leads to a high customer retention rate and increase in sales. 

Text analytics has given brands the power to know almost everything about customer interaction thus helping the business serve and support their clients better in a personalized way. 

Identify Product Issues and Solve Them

Responses from your customers are not always going to be about general product reviews. 

They may pour out their frustrations about a product or a bad experience they had by visiting your store or office. Data analytics then becomes a necessary tool to help you fish out the root of the problem. For example, a frustrated customer of a bank may visit Google PlayStore to vent about how he/she was treated badly by the bank’s customer service representative of a particular branch. 

In hindsight, one may think his/her frustration is because of the bank’s mobile App but that might not be the case. Text analytics can help uncover this so the business can tackle the issue.

Conduct market research

Text analytics has empowered marketers to evaluate marketing impact, optimize their SEO campaigns, level up their social listening etc. By performing market research, companies get to understand their customers better and stay ahead of customer demands. This means digging into what they’re passionate about, what’s trending in their community, and where they are. This is vital for connecting with your audience. 

Data analytic techniques like keyword extraction and sentiment analysis reveal so much about customers. The marketing team can use these insights to create informed marketing strategies that convert.

Monitor brand reputation

Every company cares about its brand. In today’s world brands can rise overnight and collapse overnight! Social media has become a world where customers go to share their thoughts and sentiments on company products and services. Businesses should and can monitor their online presence to quickly spot emerging backlashes to mitigate it. They can also equally measure the success of a particular product by using text analysis to mine online conversations (data) concerning their brand. 

Let’s say a company launches a new product with a corresponding Twitter hashtag, a text analysis technique like hashtag extraction combined with sentiment analysis when employed will tell the company what customers are saying and how they feel about the said product.  

Final Thoughts 

To end, Ghanaian businesses have zero excuses to not employ text analytics in their operations. As the country’s internet penetration percentage continues to rise, customers are leaving huge amounts of data online via social media platforms, company review sections, e-mails etc. No matter your product or service there’s an invaluable amount of data you could mine or analyze to your advantage. There are tons of text analytic techniques we perform here at Digital Marshals that deliver high business intelligence to clients and grant our clients that competitive advantage in their respective fields of operations.  

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