We don’t always realize just how much information we’re creating on a daily basis. What we realize even less is just how important this data is to our everyday lives and business activities. IDC estimates that by 2025, nearly 20% of the data in the global datasphere will be critical to our daily lives and nearly 10% of that will be hypercritical.

Consider this, Gartner recently pointed out that data and analytics will drive modern business operations, and not simply reflect their performance. Furthermore, executives will make data and analytics part of the business strategy, which will allow data and analytics professionals to assume new roles and create business growth. Shifting the way organization uses data and analytics more toward driving business operations requires a new approach to data architectures, which many organizations are already building. Last year, Gartner research found that 45% of IT professionals had indicated that new data and analytics projects were in the “design” and “select” phases.

Finally, a new update to IDC’s Big Data and Analytics Guide now forecasts worldwide revenues for big data and business analytics (BDA) will reach $150.8 billion in 2017, an increase of 12.4% over 2016. Commercial purchases of BDA-related hardware, software, and services are expected to maintain a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.9% through 2020 when revenues will be more than $210 billion.

“After years of traversing the adoption S-curve, big data and business analytics solutions have finally hit mainstream,” said Dan Vesset, group vice president, Analytic s and Information Management. “BDA as an enabler of decision support and decision automation is now firmly on the radar of top executives. This category of solutions is also one of the key pillars of enabling digital transformation efforts across industries and business processes globally.”

That being said, let’s focus on a specific area of data analytics. A great way to understand your business, the services you deliver, and the overall market is to understand the user. To that extent, sentiment analysis leverages data, natural language processing (NLP), and a host of other techniques to better understand what makes us, the consumer, happy (or sad). In using NLP, text analysis, computational linguistics, and biometrics we’re able to understand ‘the voice’ of the customer. This means working with social media, online resources, marketing materials, and much more.

By leveraging data, you can understand opinions being expressed online, in emails and various reports. Most of all, by understanding those opinions, you can better communicate and identify issues and even spot trends that impacts your business. Organizations are working with data analytics and leveraging sentiment analysis to make sure they don’t miss opportunities. And, there are big benefits to deploying and leveraging this kind of technology. Specifically:

  • Understanding sentiment over time and monitoring changes. Not only can you measure sentiment in real-time, you can also do this over a period of time as well. You can then apply statistical analysis to really understand what’s happening with customers and the services you deliver. Using rule-based modeling, you can leverage NLP to even further understand how your customers feel about your organization.
  • Finding new market opportunities by understanding feedback. Data is everywhere. Sentiment analysis looks at various aspects of the user which absolutely includes social media. From there, you can actually autonomously crawl content and collect feedback based on the information that you require. Is someone really enjoying your products? Maybe they don’t like something. Or, maybe their responses are sarcastic (yes, you can measure sarcasm). All of this data fuels a business engine capable of shifting with the market.
  • Using sentiment analysis to improve consumer experience and even competitive positioning. Sentiment analysis is capable of analyzing a lot of information about your customers and the overall customer base. It can also tell you what your market is thinking about competitive products. So, imagine being able to capture that market by improving your own services. You can evaluate the perceptions of the market to improve your own positioning.

From marketing to customer service, sentiment analysis helps you see the voice of the customer. This is a great way to leverage all of the data we’re generating to make sure you’re not actually missing any opportunities in the market. Most of all, this gives you amazing perception into both your products and services, as well as the competition. The bottom line is that data analytics, and sentiment analysis, become powerful business tools designed to create better services as well as improved competitive positioning. So, if you’re trying to better understand your own user base, look to this type of technology to help.

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