How to know if text-based analytics makes sense for your company

The text-based analytics market is growing, but is it right for your company? Check out the three reasons below and find out.

How powerful data analytics can be with the right tools

Text-based analytics, also known as text data mining, turns unstructured text into structured data that can be used in a multitude of ways by any business.

Indian research firm MarketsandMarkets projects that the worldwide text-based analytics market will grow to 8.79 billion dollars by 2023, driven by major vendors like IBM and SAP.

MarketsandMarkets continues that text analytics solutions empower users to perform quick data extraction and categorization with real-time insights from stored data and that the growing importance of insights generated from social media content to build effective marketing campaigns and enhance customer experience drives the market's growth.

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But while many companies are including text-based analytics to their roadmaps, the technology remains in the early stages of adoption.

One reason for this is because companies are still struggling to master social media. Another reason is due to unstructured big data that companies may own.

Finding value in new technology

Meanwhile, use cases do exist demonstrating the value of harnessing text-based data for analytics and insights.

For example, Sekerbank, a leading financial institution in Turkey, wanted to improve the results of customer interactions in its telephone contact center. The bank employed text-based analytics to uncover root causes and hidden insights into customer dissatisfaction by transcribing calls to digital text.

SEE: Quick glossary: Big data (Tech Pro Research)

It also implemented emotion detection software that analyzed and published important findings about problematic conversations that resulted from customer dissatisfaction by using the ratios of anger, monotony, interruption, and silence as evaluative criteria.

The analytics helped reduce call center phone call handle times and improved first call resolution rates. More importantly, it improved customer satisfaction.

"Text analytics can help businesses listen to the right stories by extracting insights from text written by or about customers, combining it with existing feedback data, and identifying patterns and trends," said Terry Lawlor, a product manager at Confirmit, which provides solutions that focus on understanding the customer experience.

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In addition to analyzing customer sentiment in sales and customer service transactions, text-based analytics also pays off for those people working in legal fields.

"In civil litigation, both sides of the dispute have the obligation to provide documentation," said John Tredennick, attorney/CEO of Catalyst Repository Systems, a cloud-based eDiscovery service. When Tredennick became a trial lawyer and worked on the discovery process of a civil litigation he looked at document populations of perhaps 30,000 documents.

"Because of the growth of digital documentation, in a major litigation this document population could expand to 20 or 30 million documents," he said. "Now we use text analysis and predictive analytics in the document review process. By using this process, we often find that 75% to 80% of the relevance in a litigation can be found in a population of the most 6,000 highly ranked relevant documents. When you're talking about an average cost of $2 per document for a manual review, and you have 1.5 million documents to review, this saves companies a lot of money."

The United States Armed Forces experienced first-hand the benefits of text-based analytics. The U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center used text-based analytics when it collected information on the circumstances behind military vehicle crashes so that it could determine if vehicle technology could have prevented the crashes. Text analytics tools reviewed the text of 3,944 military vehicle crash narratives.

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Does text-based analytics make sense for your company?

How do you decide if text-based analytics makes sense for your company? See the three tips below.

1. You are a text-intensive business

If your business is engaged with life sciences, library or academic research, marketing, sales, customer service, media, or legal research an analytics tool that helps automate information by searching and narrowing down the text users have to look at can really help.

2. You want to understand how your customers feel

Text analytics gives you visibility if your company wants to understand customer sentiment during sales and service transactions and be able to read what customers say about you in social media tweets and comments.

3. You have the ability to start small

The populations of paper-based documents overwhelm most companies. When these documents are digitized, a strategy should be co-developed about what to do next. If you want to prevent overwhelming yourself and your users. Start small. This way, you can discover if your company will find value out of text-based analytics. If you and your end users don't see a value, then it's relatively easy to pull the plug.

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Image: NicoElNino, Getty Images/iStockphoto

By Mary Shacklett

Mary E. Shacklett is president of Transworld Data, a technology research and market development firm. Prior to founding the company, Mary was Senior Vice President of Marketing and Technology at TCCU, Inc., a financial services firm; Vice President o...