What is text analysis

What is Text Analysis? Guide & Examples

Most businesses are swimming in a sea of unstructured text data. From customer feedback and support tickets, to social media posts and survey responses, there's a wealth of valuable data waiting to be captured. But how can teams best make sense of unstructured data and extract meaningful insights?

Enter text analysis – a powerful machine learning technique that enables businesses to mine valuable insights from unstructured text data.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore what text analysis is, how it works, and how businesses can leverage it to drive results and gain a competitive edge.

Whether you're a seasoned data scientist or a business leader looking to improve your customer research practice, we want to give you the knowledge you need to get the most out of text analysis techniques.

Let's dive in.

Text analysis techniques

What is Text Analysis?

Text analysis, also known as text mining or natural language processing (NLP), is the process of extracting valuable insights and information from unstructured text data. Unlike structured data, which is neatly organized in databases or spreadsheets, unstructured text data is raw and lacks a predefined data model.

Text analysis employs a variety of techniques, including machine learning algorithms, linguistic rules, and statistical methods, to analyze and interpret unstructured text data. These techniques help you identify patterns, extract key customer insights, and pinpoint actionable insights from large volumes of text data.

Why Does Text Analysis Matter?

Customers expect to interact with your brand on their terms. To get an accurate view of customer experience across platforms, you need a method to make sense of unstructured data sources – including formal customer feedback surveys, social media posts, emails, and support tickets. Text analysis helps you make sense of the vast amount of data, and is a valuable input into your overall customer insights program.

By analyzing text data, businesses can:

  1. Improve customer experience: text analysis helps businesses better understand customer feedback and sentiment, identify areas for improvement, and deliver more personalized experiences.

  2. Enhance product development: analyzing customer feedback and product reviews provides valuable insight into customer preferences and pain points. So your team can develop products and services that best meet customer needs.

  3. Drive business strategy: text analysis provides valuable market intelligence and competitive insights, so you can make informed decisions and stay ahead of the competition.

The bottom line: text analysis empowers businesses to unlock the hidden value within unstructured text data, and drive meaningful results across all areas of their operations.

Examples of Text Analysis in Action

To set the stage, let's dive into some examples of how companies can leverage text analysis to drive business results. From improving customer service to detecting fraud, the customer insights you can gain from this process create massive potential for your business.

Text analysis improves customer service

1. Improving Customer Service

Imagine you're a customer service manager at a large e-commerce company. You receive hundreds of customer support tickets every day, each containing valuable feedback and insights. By using text analysis tools, you can quickly categorize and prioritize these tickets based on urgency and sentiment. This helps your team address critical issues fast, so you can improve customer satisfaction and retention. Being able to include customer service conversations gives you a clearer picture of the voice of the customer, which is key to getting to the heart of how you can ‘wow’ customers in future.

2. Analyzing Social Media Conversations

Social media is an absolute goldmine of customer insights. From Instagram to TikTok, customers are likely sharing their thoughts and opinions about your brand, and products. Analyzing social media conversations with text analysis techniques gives your team valuable insights into customer sentiment, preferences, and trends. Imagine being able to tailor your marketing campaigns, product offerings, and customer service strategies directly around the needs and wants your customers are sharing openly. Collecting unsolicited feedback this way, stops just short of having a crystal ball to learn what customers actually want, so you can build it into your competitive strategy.

How text analysis reduces fraud

3. Preventing Fraud and Cyber Crime

Fraud and cyber crimes pose significant threats to businesses of all sizes. Every year, cybercrime victims lose an estimated $714 billion globally. The global cost of cybercrime, including identity theft and fraud, is expected to surge from $9.22 trillion in 2024 to $13.82 trillion by 2028.

Fortunately, text analysis can help detect and prevent fraudulent activities. Analyzing text data from sources like financial transactions, emails, and online forms, helps identify suspicious patterns and anomalies that are indicative of fraudulent behavior. This proactive approach helps you take timely action to mitigate risks and protect your assets.

4. Improving Advertising Performance

As digital advertising gets more expensive, there's a real benefit to being more confident in what resonates with your target audience. Text analysis can help build this confidence, giving you invaluable insights into the effectiveness of your ad campaigns by analyzing customer responses and feedback. You can use text analysis methods to better understand which messages, visuals, and calls-to-action are resonating most. Teams who do this well are continuously tweaking their advertising strategies based on customer sentiment analysis, to drive higher engagement, conversions, and ROI. In many ways, text analysis gives you valuable data that acts like a secret weapon underpinning the success of your ad campaigns.

Text analysis informs product development

5. Enhancing Product Development

Imagine you're a product manager for a software company. You're tasked with developing a new feature for your flagship product, but are unsure about which features will resonate most with your target audience. Text analysis can help here too. Analyzing customer feedback surveys, user reviews, and support tickets all help you gain deep insights into customer conversations, pain points, and feature requests. This feedback acts as market research, and is a solid input to have for your product development strategy. With this data, you can confidently prioritize development efforts, fine-tune product features, and deliver solutions that truly address customer needs. Insights derived from text analysis can act like an unofficial roadmap for product development.

Text analysis techniques

Text Analysis Techniques

In this section, we'll dive into various data sources and techniques to use for text analysis. There are many ways to gather data, along with different methods to analyze it through text analysis software.

Data Sources and Channels

Before diving into text analysis methods, it's essential to identify your best data sources. Here are some sources and channels to consider.

  1. Customer Feedback Surveys: surveys are a direct source of valuable text data, providing insights into customer opinions, preferences, and experiences. Text analysis of customer survey responses can uncover patterns and customer sentiment to improve products and services.

  2. Social Media Platforms: social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are rich sources of unstructured text data. Analyzing social media posts, comments, and messages can provide insights into customer sentiment, brand perception, and emerging trends.

Customer Support Tickets: customer support interactions, including emails, chat transcripts, and support tickets contain valuable text data. Analyzing support tickets across your customer service teams can identify common issues, customer pain points, and key insights for product improvement.

  1. Online Reviews and Ratings: online review platforms like G2 and Google Reviews are a goldmine for unstructured text data with raw customer sentiment about your products, services, and overall brand. Analyzing online reviews is a great market research technique for getting insights on customer satisfaction, and how competitors are stacking up.

  2. Email Correspondence: email communications with your customers contain valuable text data that can be analyzed to understand customer inquiries, feedback, and preferences. This is a great data source to spot recurring themes and issues you would otherwise miss.

Qualitative analysis methods

Once you've gathered your best textual data, here are some methods to consider when doing your analysis.

  1. Sentiment Analysis: sentiment analysis involves determining the sentiment or emotional tone expressed in text data, such as positive, negative, or neutral. Text analysis software like Kapiche uses natural language processing (NLP) techniques to classify text data based on sentiment. This helps you get a quick gauge on customer feelings towards your products, services, and overall brand.

  2. Topic Modeling: Topic modeling is a text analysis technique where you identify topics or themes that are present in a collection of text documents. Text mining techniques like Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) are commonly used for topic modeling. By identifying topics, businesses can gain better understanding of the main themes discussed commonly in customer feedback, reviews, or support tickets.

  3. Named Entity Recognition (NER): Named Entity Recognition (NER) is a text analysis technique used to identify and classify named entities such as people, organizations, locations, dates, and quantities mentioned in text data. NER helps extract valuable information from unstructured text data, such as customer names, product names, or company mentions, forming a component of a Natural Language Processing (NLP) approach to data analysis.

  4. Keyword Extraction: Keyword extraction is a text analysis technique used to identify and extract important keywords or phrases from text data. Text analysis software works to analyze the frequency, relevance, and context of words or phrases from the human language shared, to extract key insights. Keyword extraction helps identify trends, topics, or keywords that are relevant when mapped to products, services, or industries.

Leveraging Text Analysis Software

At Kapiche, we use a combination of these methods baked into an AI-powered NLP system, that quickly serves up these themes to make analysis and interpretation fast, without sacrificing context around the data. To get text analysis going at scale, you're going to need a software that uses NLP and machine learning techniques to quickly parse data.

Whatever technology stack you choose, here are some key features and capabilities you'll want to look out for in your text analysis software:

  • Data Preprocessing: text analysis software should preprocess raw text data to remove noise like stop words and punctuation, and perform tasks like tokenization and stemming to prepare the data for analysis.

  • Advanced NLP Techniques: the software should be able to perform advanced natural language processing (NLP) techniques, such as speech tagging, syntactic parsing, and semantic analysis, to extract meaningful insights from unstructured text data.

  • Scalability and Performance: as your company grows, you want tools that can handle large volumes of text data efficiently, ensuring scalability and performance for analyzing massive datasets.

  • Visualization and Reporting: visualization tools and reporting capabilities are key to being able to present insights quickly, in an intuitive and actionable format. Expect word clouds, sentiment charts, and topic models to be table stakes on your software.

  • Customization and Integration: finally, you'll want the some customization options to integrate with other data analysis tools and platforms. As you grow and evolve, you'll need to tailor your analysis process and be able to integrate different data sources and tools into your workflow.

    Text analysis getting started

    Getting Started with Text Analysis Techniques: Tips and Tricks

    In this chapter, we'll provide a step-by-step guide on how to get started with text analysis, and get the most out of your efforts. Let's dive in.

    1. Pick Your Platform

    As we touched on above, it's critical you pick a text analysis software that will both support your needs now, and scale with you into the future. Most providers will offer a volume-based subscription plan, so pay attention to the fine print on how higher tier plans will change over time. At Kapiche, we offer infinite volume pricing, giving users unlimited access to insights for one flat rate.

    2. Choose Your Data Wisely

    When starting to set up a text analysis process for your team, evaluate your data sources. Consider the categories we shared above, and pick the ones that provide the richest source for you. You'll likely want a mix of both solicited and unsolicited feedback across formal surveys, social media conversations, emails, and support tickets. Remember, the more varied your data, the more insights you're likely to uncover. Like rummaging through a treasure chest, the more gems you can find, the richer your collective insights will be.

    3. Integrate Your Data

    Once you've picked your data channels, you'll want to consolidate all your text data in one central location for easy analysis. You should be able to easily import your text data into your text analysis platform. For example with Kapiche, you can upload a wide range of file formats, including CSV, Excel, PDF, or text files, making it easy to import your data regardless of its format.

    4. Clean Up Your Text

    Before diving into analysis, it's essential to start with clean text data. Remove any unnecessary noise, like punctuation marks, stop words, and special characters. The adage, 'garbage in, garbage out,' could not be more true here. The cleaner data you start with, the more accurate your insights will be.

    Thankfully, there are a handful of text analysis tools that can help with this. Kapiche, for example, will automatically use NLP to sort and order your text data to help you get to insights fast. The platform extracts key insights, themes, sentiments, and trends from your data, providing you with actionable insights in minutes.

    Text analysis reporting

    5. Embrace the Power of Automation

    Text analysis can be a time-consuming process, especially when dealing with large volumes of data. That's where automation comes in handy. Leverage text analysis tools, like Kapiche, that use AI and machine learning to automate the analysis process.

    Have your text analysis software do the bulk of the work in identifying relationships, patterns, and emerging trends between the feedback data sources. With Kapiche, we want every organization to feel like they have a team of data scientists at their fingertips that serves up insights in record time. To make this possible, the platform provides interactive visualizations that enable agile data exploration with full context.

    6. Overlay a Human Analysis

    While automation can save a lot of time and headache when it comes to analysis, make sure you embed a layer of human oversight into your process. With trends and themes in-hand from your text analysis software, have your team sort through the topics to look for connections and nuances that algorithms might miss.

    Seeing a group of customers frustrated by a specific product feature? Dig in deeper with your product team to pinpoint what feature release is causing the issue, and why. One of our clients, nextdoor, used Kapiche’s visual dashboard to quickly pinpoint platform bugs, and surface those to the product team. This approach empowers your team to get the most out of automated analysis. With manual data review handled by the tool your team can spend more time on interpretation.

    7. Push Toward Actionable Insights

    To get real world benefits from your insights program, you need to turn text data into actions that move the needle for the business. Make sure you have a system in place that guides your team to summarize and interpret data in a way that can turn into recommendations for stakeholders across the business. Without this step, it's easy to fall into the trap of sitting on insights that collect dust.

    To make the connection between insights and outcomes, create customizable dashboards to track and monitor your key metrics and KPIs in real-time. Configure your dashboards to display the insights and visualizations that matter most to your business, enabling everyone from customer service to C-suite to stay informed and agile.

    Text analysis reporting

    8. Create Reports and Share Your Findings

    Have a rhythm for how often you export insights and visualizations into customizable reports that you share with stakeholders, colleagues, or clients. Your reports should provide a comprehensive overview of your text analysis findings and recommendations.

    One element we find teams like a lot about the Kapiche platform, are the collaboration tools. These enable team members to work together on text analysis projects in real-time. You can collaborate on everything from data exploration to insights generation, and decision-making, creating more alignment and consensus across your team.

    9. Iterate, Iterate, Iterate

    Text analysis is not a one-and-done process – it's an ongoing journey of discovery and refinement. Plan to continuously iterate on your analysis techniques, algorithms, and data sources to improve accuracy and uncover new insights over time. Just like fine-tuning a musical instrument, the more you practice with an aim to optimize, the more dialed in and effective your efforts will become.

    Kapiche enables you to close this feedback loop by quickly uploading new text analysis data, and slicing it into visualizations stakeholders can understand. By soliciting feedback from internal stakeholders along with your customers, you can gain a more holistic view of what's impacting metrics like NPS, so you can iterate from an informed place.

    In summary

    Text analysis is a game-changer for businesses seeking to gain a competitive edge, when done right. By mining valuable insights from unstructured text data, teams can uncover hidden patterns, trends, and sentiments that hold the key to unlocking growth, innovation, and customer satisfaction.

    If you're ready to take the first step towards data-driven decision-making, take a free demo of Kapiche today to explore how it can drive your business forward.


    What is an example of textual analysis?

    An example of textual analysis involves examining customer reviews of a product to extract insights about customer sentiment, preferences, and pain points. By analyzing the language used in these reviews, businesses can identify common themes, trends, and patterns that inform product improvements, marketing strategies, and customer service enhancements.

    What is the source for text analysis?

    Text analysis can be sourced from a variety of channels and data sources, including customer feedback surveys, social media posts, online reviews, emails, support tickets, chat transcripts, and more. These unstructured text data sources provide valuable insights into customer opinions, behaviors, and experiences, enabling businesses to make data-driven decisions and drive improved outcomes.

    How is textual analysis done?

    Textual analysis is typically performed using natural language processing (NLP) techniques and machine learning algorithms. The process involves several steps, including data collection, text preprocessing (cleaning and formatting), feature extraction (identifying relevant linguistic features), analysis (applying statistical and computational methods), and interpretation (extracting actionable insights). Text analysis software platforms like Kapiche automate many of these steps, making the analysis process faster, more accurate, and more scalable for businesses.

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