Text analytics in market research – gaining an innovative advantage

Tom H.C. Anderson
Anderson Analytics, LLC, United States/Sweden

INTRODUCTION

Text, whether obtained through writing or transcribed from speech, is the primary method to record our thoughts, emotions, opinions, and beliefs. Currently over 80% of all information is stored as text. Market research professionals collect consumer attitudes and reactions through language, mainly via primary research such as self-reported surveys, focus group discussions, or one-on-one interviews. These techniques were a valuable and necessary way to help structure text feedback in order to quickly identify patterns and produce actionable analysis.

However, several other rich sources of consumer insights in more unstructured text format are often overlooked by market researchers. Especially valuable insights can come from online sources ranging from internet web pages, discussion forums, blogs, Social Networking Sites, and emails, to name just a few. Both insights gathered through more traditional research methods as well as these new online sources are beginning to benefit due to the advances in text analytics software during the past few years. By applying audio transcription, call center logs and a host of other audio materials can also be excellent sources for insights.