Put Big Data to Use

Text analytics can be used to help gain insight into data. So, what if the data is big data? That would mean that the unstructured data being analyzed is high volume, high velocity, or both.

Big data and the voice of the customer

Optimizing the customer experience and improving customer retention are dominant drivers for many service industries. Organizations concerned with these issues might ask questions such as

  • What are major areas of complaints by customers and how are these changing over time?

  • What is the level of satisfaction of customers with specific services?

  • What are the most frequent issues that lead to customer churn?

  • What are some key customer segments that provide higher potential upsell opportunities?

Information, such as e-mails to the company, customer satisfaction surveys, call center notes, and other internal documents, hold a lot of information about customer concerns and sentiment. Text analytics can help to identify and address causes of customer dissatisfaction in a timely manner. It can help improve brand image by proactively solving problems before they become a big sticking point with customers.

Is this a big data problem? It can be. It depends on the volume of the information. You may have a large volume of information that is delivered in batch mode. Companies may want to merge this data with structured data.

Social media analytics for big data

Another form of voice of the customer or customer experience management, social media analytics, has gotten a lot of visibility recently and, in fact, is helping to drive the text analytics market. In social media analytics, data across the Internet is gathered together.

This includes unstructured text from blogs, microblogs, news articles, text from online forums, and so on. This huge stream of data is then analyzed — often using text analytics — to get answers to questions such as

  • What are people saying about my brand?

  • What do they like about my brand?

  • What do they dislike about my brand?

  • How does my brand compare to my competitors’?

  • How loyal are my customers?

And, social media isn’t just being used by marketers concerned about their brand. The government is using it to look for terrorist conversations. Health agencies are using it to identify public health threats worldwide. The list goes on.

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