Depending on who you talk to, between 60% and 80% of data collected by companies goes unused. That means that most companies are expending great effort to gather and store valuable information, but don’t have easy access to solutions or tools to make use of it.
At the same time, every year, billions of dollars are spent on costly, time-consuming qualitative and quantitative research despite the time- and cost-saving opportunity that text analytics presents to uncover rich, meaningful insights.
We call this waste.
At Metametrix, we’re changing that scenario. We’ve created an approach that coaxes more and deeper meaning from text, with the unique ability to decipher values, emotions, concepts. We are raising the bar on sentiment, turning it from a binary classification to one that ties the system of values, emotions, and concepts together. With a more nuanced view of sentiment, we can capture drivers of change and identify emerging behaviors. We’ve also added time to the equation, providing our users with a dynamic view of behaviors and attitudes as a platform for projecting market trends. Our system acts like Truth Serum For Big Data.
This capability can complement qualitative studies and quantitative formal surveys in meaningful ways – or sometimes replace them altogether.
Proof of concept: Electric vehicles
To demonstrate this innovative service, we focused on the electric vehicle (EV) category to map its fascinating evolution. It’s been an exciting category to watch over the years, but we wanted to find out what was driving the changes in the market and in consumer perception, in what direction it was headed, and what could keep it moving forward.
We started by gathering 5000 articles from the public web, news source, and blogosphere, all related to electric cars and electric trucks. Then we processed the data through our analytics engine.
The typical place to start with text analytics is identifying keywords. We take a deeper, more complex approach to understanding the nature and context of the words and phrases that represent dominant themes or concepts in text. I love this stage. Key themes are where you get a sense for the focus of the content and the subject.
- Insight: Our analysis produced these top key themes that started our thinking and will shape our analysis.
- Action: Theme identification is only the first step, but you can already see where to start putting your attention.
The Why: Values and Emotions
Next, the Metametrix superpower is to identify Values and Emotions, the why of consumer insights. This is the Truth Serum at work. The Metametrix engine identifies the presence of Values (fundamental beliefs or needs that motivate our choices) and Emotions (psychological reaction to something we’ve encountered) to lend crucial understanding to this stage’s analysis.
- Insight: Even at this early stage, you begin to see drivers of the EV market. For example, as far as Values go, ingenuity and innovation are at the heart of this fast-moving category. EVs empower the pursuit of passions or convictions. In Emotions, trust is essential when depending on a powerful expensive machine. The evolving technology and newness lend a sense of excitement.
- Action: The Values and Emotions identify the drivers of behavior that are key to messaging and product development. Even if you stopped at this point, you would have found more insight than from keywords or a simple word cloud. Adding values and emotions to your analysis allows you to tell a more nuanced story about your findings.
The Why: Sentiment
But we don’t stop there. Metametrix drills deeper by tying Values and Emotions to a shift in Sentiment, taking sentiment to another level of meaning and allowing for deeper analysis. First, Values below.
Sentiment Score By Top Values and Year
* Horizontal red line corresponds to ratio value = 1 measuring where the values cross into the positivity range.
- Insight: Ingenuity and Empowerment consistently show higher sentiment positivity, suggesting an appreciation for rapidly evolving technology and the sense of empowerment that EVs deliver. Those values became foundational to EVs over the years analyzed. Value never crosses the red line, an indication that EVs may not appear affordable to most people. Thrill and Novelty start off higher but decline as the early euphoria about EVs become more commonplace. Access had a volatile track, but it’s worthy of note, as consumer interest grows in gaining access to the cars, charging stations, and batteries.
- Action: Now we’re seeing change over time, and we can better understand where to place bets for further research.
We also analyze for positivity movement of Emotions.
Sentiment Score By Top Emotions and Year
* Horizontal red line corresponds to ratio value = 1 measuring where the emotions cross into the positivity range.
- Insight: Excitement and Admiration show greater positivity even though they decline a bit in the last 2-3 years. In contrast, Trust and Confidence trended up in the later years and appear to become the bedrock emotions that underlie consumer interest. On the other hand, the possibly more ephemeral Emotions like Excitement, Admiration, and Compassion had more of a “settling down” effect on sentiment positivity.
- Action: The bottom-line conclusion is that there appears to be greater overall positivity building and a more favorable view of EVs. If you’re messaging around EVs, don’t abandon the expression of Excitement and Admiration – that’s what moved the category forward. But do tap into Trust and Confidence when communicating – for instance, that the tech is dependable and that the car and battery won’t fail.
Another Truth Serum skill is to offer more understanding to the core issues for EVs by tying the key themes to values and emotions in order to see how the field is changing and what themes are driving the changes. Our analysis showed that battery is the key theme behind the top values of Ingenuity and Empowerment, and the emotions of Trust and Excitement, more than any of the other key themes. Right behind battery comes climate, which is highly tied to the same top values and emotions.
- Insight: Examining the data from this vantage point lined up with our earlier findings and with the volume of news about battery innovation and battery life-defining consumer acceptance of EVs. Further, the renewable aspect of EVs is of major interest to consumers who are committed to environmental issues.
- Action: Understanding the emphasis, interest, and positivity on battery and climate provides clear direction for the category and can aid continued product development and communication with consumers.
The Big Picture
To get a big picture view, we overlayed the sentiment we calculated in the analysis with Google search trends and public sales data for EVs to examine how the results compare with other measures.
- Insight: Casting the trend data as a moving average reveals that these three different measures follow a similar trend. Each graphic shows the direction of the category, but when considered together, we can see that the coincidence of rising sentiment (in a positive direction) and actual sales. While not surprising, this is solid confirmation of how real-world sales may reflect or mimic how people feel about EVs.
- Action: We now have additional confidence in the direction of the category for building out a strategic plan.
Truth Serum for Big Data
Instead of isolated and fixed keywords and sentiment, our unique approach to extracting and combining Values, Emotions, and Sentiment adds unparalleled depth to text analytics to point your business in the right direction.
- Actionable: Metametrix allows you to make good use of the data you’re already collecting to influence innovation, sales, pricing, messaging, or new product launches
- Efficient: Metametrix enables you to enhance market-based surveys with more functionality at a lower cost to focus more quickly on strategic planning
- Dynamic: Metametrix enables business to move from a limiting static study into a compelling dynamic analysis to investigate and chart the direction of markets, products, and consumer demand
- Flexible: Metametrix can be used across strategic initiatives in social listening, media monitoring, customer service, brand strategy, content strategy, research, and more