Unstructured Data Analysis: Part One – Data Listening

Unstructured Data Listening

This is Part One of a three-part series that will discuss the advantages of unstructured data analysis and the impact it has on business decisions. This piece will focus on the science behind “listening” to the data that is available. The next step in the process, which will be discussed in Part Two, is the integration of unstructured data with other internal and external structured data. That can only be done once proper data listening has been accomplished. The series will conclude with a discussion of the implementation and continued tracking of these data sets. Now, let’s discuss how we can listen to the growing forms of unstructured data!

The foundation of market intelligence is evolving as technology advances and intersects with the “Age of the Consumer”. Traditionally, market researchers have been limited to using small sample size surveys and focus groups to extract organic behavior information from the minds of their consumers. However, we live in the age of unstructured Big Data generated by today’s empowered consumers. In addition, until recently, the technology & methodology to “listen” to unstructured Big Data sets simply did not exist due to its messy nature.

It is imperative to understand the unique channels that today’s empowered consumers leverage. Consumers today turn to social media to share their unsolicited experiences, ask and answer questions, and offer advice. We use our mobile phones to complete open-ended surveys, send emails with complaints and questions, and communicate with product contact centers. The enormous volume, incredible variety, and explosive velocity of the data sets associated with these activities provide a perfect opportunity for companies to “listen” to what their consumers are saying. Let’s look at three examples:

1. Social Media

Social Media, the largest single source of publicly available data offers rich unbiased & unprompted insights into the market and brand perceptions. Understanding this data empowers your brand to respond to the rapidly changing marketplace with agility and authenticity.

For instance, a reported 102.3 million patients turn to the Internet for prescription drug information annually, a number that has doubled from five years ago. According to Manhattan Research, more than two-thirds of all patients now use social media to search for medical information. This avalanche of data has given pharmaceutical and healthcare companies the ability to gain a deeper understanding of their consumer so that they can better measure their mindset, needs, and decision drivers along their journey. This contextual analysis offers insights into the Who, What, When, Where, and Why.

2. Contact Centers

That’s right – the contact center! Similar to social media, contact centers are filled with unbiased organic content via the conversations being had every day between consumers and contact center liaisons. Embedded in these conversations are customer-level insights that contain signals, trends, and indicators that can help improve overall brand strategy and performance. Brands that harness the power of these conversations can:

  • Discover drivers of customer attrition
  • Identify emerging opportunities and threats
  • Improve patient experience
  • Gain competitive insights
  • Enhance education and messaging

3. Open-Ended Survey Responses

Surveys are a tried-and-true tool in the market researcher’s toolkit. Does your company conduct open-ended surveys? If so, how are these responses being analyzed and integrated into your brand strategies?

Unstructured data analysis of open-ended survey responses provides deeper insight into the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) and metrics that the surveys are designed to address. The results from the unstructured data analysis can also be easily integrated with the Net Promoter Score analysis to find additional drivers of loyalty and attrition.

An increasing number of business stakeholders are “listening to” the large amount of organic data available about their businesses brands, services, markets, and competitors. To harness the wealth of understanding from this big messy data—ranging from consumer insights to competitive intelligence—business units are turning to next-generation processing technology and complex linguistic modeling to distill relevant information and discover actionable insight. Ultimately, they’re using these powerful insights to set strategy, answer critical business questions, and drive innovation.

Keep an eye out for Part Two of our series! We will examine how businesses can take their unstructured listening data sets and integrate them with structured data sets in order to discover holistic insights and implement solutions which impact their bottom line.

About Anexinet

Anexinet works with clients to strategize on, implement and sustain digital solutions through the best combination of industry-leading cloud and vendor products. ListenLogic provides unstructured data analytics and insight discovery solutions to leading corporations. From real-time enterprise risk sensing to deep insight into consumers, markets, brands and competitors.

Listening Report Features ListenLogic

ListenLogic advanced social intelligence solutions are profiled in the most recent Gleansight Benchmark Report on Social Listening. The report compiled by Gleanster Research, reviews “the art and science of social listening” and examines the enabling technologies, analytic capabilities, business processes, organizational resources and corporate cultures they’re putting in place to maximize the value of their investment in this initiative in order to to achieve their objectives and ultimately drive increased shareholder value.

The Gleansight Report points to ListenLogic’s pioneering solutions with comprehensive social media monitoring capabilities and provides an overview of the company’s extensive experience delivering advanced social intelligence to leading corporations. The report also features ListenLogic’s unique “approach of combining social media monitoring tools with human filtering.”

The report also highlights ListenLogic for its focus on the pharmaceutical and healthcare space, pointing to its social intelligence product suite tailored to the industry. As the report also states, ListenLogic has been quite successful in carving out a nice around generating insights from patient-to-patient conversations.

More information on the Gleanster Social Listening Report can be found here.

Expert Insight: Social Insight’s Impact on Marketing

Mark Harrington
Chief Marketing Officer

Through engagement with many of the world’s leading brands across a myriad of industries from food to pharmaceuticals, we often get an array of insightful questions about social intelligence and the threats and insights that come from the open social universe. Given this, we’ve tapped some of our experts to periodically provide insight on questions surrounding social risk and social intelligence. Our Chief Marketing Officer, Mark Harrington, oversees ListenLogic’s marketing, content and communication initiatives and is a guest columnist for publications like Social Media Today, Direct Marketing News, Marketing Profs and Business2Community.

With the wide spectrum of insight social intelligence provides to brands here are some recent questions on impact to Marketing:

What’s the most valuable insight social data can provide to Marketers? -Ashley H.

The biggest overall value from social intelligence is probably the fact you can understand the behaviors and preferences of millions of shoppers and consumers without ever asking a question. The ethnographic approach in itself has value just in observing individual behaviors across such a massive population. But I think the question wants a bit more specific of an answer. I think it’s hard to boil it down to just one, but getting very deep into consumer personas and corresponding activity and behavior has incredible value for product positioning, messaging and campaign development. Here is a review of five innovative insights I think provide tremendous actionable value to Marketers.

What do you find is the biggest challenge for Marketers to embrace social insights? – Will K.

First, it’s a new realm, which tends to come with initial hesitation. Second, hearing “social media” and “big data,” which are both often nebulous terms, can be daunting. But once marketers see the tangible, actionable insight that can be extracted from billions of social conversations they get it pretty quickly. When you work with Insight and Research professionals who have been doing this for decades and or have PhDs in the realm and they see insight applied and react by saying, “I never knew this was possible,” it’s eye-opening. I know personally using surveys and focus groups for companies like eBay and Citi, I certainly wish I had access to this type of data for the speed and depth of the intelligence it provides. The impact is impressive, so much so that were even seeing traditional industries moving to adopt it because the insight is so actionable.

If you have a question related to social intelligence or social risk send it info@listenlogic.com.

Expert Insight: Tracking the Open Social Universe

Mark Langsfeld
Co-Founder, Chief Strategy Officer

Through engaging with with many of the world’s leading brands across a myriad of industries from food to pharmaceuticals, we often get an array of insightful questions about social intelligence and the threats and insights that come from the open social universe. Given this, we’ve tapped our Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Mark Langsfeld, to periodically provide insight on questions surrounding social risk and social intelligence. Mark oversees ListenLogic’s Business Intelligence Command Center (pictured), the largest and most advanced of its kind in the world.

If you have a question related to social intelligence or social risk send it info@listenlogic.com.

As social media continues to grow exponentially, our team is regularly asked about various aspects of the open social universe arise. Here are a few questions of interest on the topic:

Q: With the sheer size of social media, how do you effectively cut through the massive volume of noise? -Sarah S.

A: Social can easily be intimidating to the largest, most sophisticated corporations. You’re talking about billions and billions of discussions from hundreds of millions of posters across tens of millions of social sources, and that is from a single day! This is a common question because many companies are trying to basically retrofit their social monitoring “buzz” tools to find threats from within social media. The problem with this approach is that these tools only see snippets of the open social universe and the keyword methodology they use requires the operator to know exactly what they are looking for, which doesn’t work well when you’re talking about countless types of threats that can present in countless different ways. Your essentially trying to see the next galaxy with a basic telescope, when you need the advanced technology of the Hubble Telescope.

A lot of companies aren’t sure where to start at first. The point you bring up is a critical one; filtering out the irrelevant noise is vital. However, you have to be able to access and process the entire open social universe first. This requires advanced technology related to big data processing and concept modeling to filter out the noise in real-time and classify the resulting relevant information. The challenge many are finding is that keywords deliver massive amounts of noise. Take the BMW X1 as an example – the items pictured to the right is just a sampling of the products named “X1” – a tremendous amount to noise irrelevant to BMW. Many would say “just use the keyword “BMW X1.” Unfortunately, this is not generally how consumers converse on social media. This is why using concept models and a discovery engine is critical filtering out the noise, identifying the intelligence and discovering new and evolving lexicon relevant to the brand.

The bottom line is social is a streaming “big data” problem and brands are realizing they need streaming “big data” solutions to filter out the irrelevant noise and identify the relevant information to discover actionable insight.

Q: Where do most corporate threats come from within social media? -Tina G.

A: There’s really no simple answer to this question. It largely depends on the corporation, threat type, influencers and a variety of other factors. However, even if you know these factors, they’re constantly changing. Social networks are certainly massive in size, but if an activist is trying to organize against your company, they aren’t necessarily going to use this type of forum. Or if your having an individual organize a boycott against your brand they could be doing it through one of 400 million blogs.

Unfortunately, we see threats come from all corners of social media – blogs, social networks, microblogs, forums, boards, open comment sites and many others. And these threats range from lawsuits to boycotts to protests to brandjackings to extortion attempts to employee sabotage to security threats to data breaches…the list goes on and on and is added to regularly.

You can’t pick and choose one or two sources to monitor for social risk because these threats are unpredictable. If they were predictable you could use a simple keyword search tool to find them. The key is for the company to be prepared and have visibility to the entire open social universe in real-time. Achieving this gives the organization and the risk stewards, particularly the frontline folks, a huge advantage in mitigating these threats.

If you have a question related to social intelligence or social risk send it info@listenlogic.com. Also, if you’re interested in more insights on social intelligence or social risk get a copy of our books Social Business Intelligence and Avoiding #FAIL.

WSJ: Critical Lessons In Managing Social Threats

As enterprise social risk grows exponentially, industries, corporations and media outlets are trying to understand and gain visibility the complex threats emerging from billions of daily social media posts. As such, The Wall Street Journal commissioned ListenLogic’s Business Intelligence Command Center to analyze the mold crisis Chobani yogurt has been dealing with across the nation and open social universe. A primary goal of this WSJ initiative was to uncover critical learning for brands and corporations on the complex spectrum of threats emerging from social media and to also illustrate the power advanced social intelligence and threat detection provides in helping to protect enterprises.

Below is a review of five major lessons from the Chobani crisis that every corporation should pay close attention to in order to better understand the array of emerging social risks to protect their revenue, reputation, organization and customers.