Text and semantics analytics advice from the data capture expertsWe’ve previously spoken about the technical aspects behind text and sentiment analytics, as well as the benefits to visualisation, presentation and analysis techniques that can be derived from applying this form of natural language processing.As a follow on, within this article we’ll enlighten readers in the aspect of the application of the engine in real life business in actual situations. Whilst we’ve already applied the solution to some of the major supermarkets to assist them in their collection of customer feedback, we can now go on to explore its uses within other contexts.

Refresher: what is text and sentiment analytics?

Text and sentiment analytics is a form of analysis called opinion mining, which is method of analysing open-ended questions where an opinion or some sort of feedback can be given, typically within free text rather than a tick-box. A text and sentiment analytics engine can pick up sentiments and emotions from text by considering each word separately, linking associated words that refer to the same subject, and then rate the sentiment on negativity to positivity scale. The sentiments relating to each subject, as well as an overall view, can then be presented on a dashboard using visual techniques such as charts, heat maps and word association clouds.


This process gives decision makers a true insight into what their end users are saying and feeling. Admin capabilities of the dashboard allow a myriad of different applications and actions to then be taken.

Applications to the wider industry

DCC believe text and sentiment analytics can be applied in virtually any environment where a large amount of free text data collection is taking place. Here’s a sector-by-sector analysis of its potential applications:

Service Sector

The service sector includes business such as hotels, bars, restaurants and cinemas. In this sector, customers will typically make judgements based upon the quality of service more than any tangible product – though products will play a significant factor.

In any sort of review, a customer will typically discuss a number of different factors, and the sentiment analytics engine must be intelligent enough to decipher between these. If we consider a restaurant, customers will typically make judgements based on the quality of food, waiting times, hospitality, cleanliness, environment (lighting, temperature and so forth), comfort and parking facilities, amongst others. Should that restaurant then collect comment cards from their customers after they have finished their meal in order to gain feedback, the analytics software is able to give you a sentiment of their overall experience, as well as separate analytics on the sentiment felt towards each individual factor. Using this method provides a restaurant with a well-rounded view of what their customers are saying and can provide the basis for a host of actionable insights  in order to improve their services in the future. Typically, it is most appropriate to represent information in the form of a word-association cloud, which facilitates a snapshot review alongside individualistic evaluation of restaurant services.

Retail Sector

Within the retail sector, a number of major supermarkets have already found text and sentiment analytics to be very fruitful. Because data can be fed into the processing engine as and when it is collected, there are no restrictions on when the data can be viewed, which allows immediate action to be taken where needed.

Whilst word-relationship clouds are useful to retailers, large superstores with multiple departments and customers may find that there is initially too much data to view in this manner. Instead, a heat map can provide an effective view into how their customers are feeling throughout different areas of the store. Ideally, the heat map can be split by department and colour-coded to represent the different levels of sentiment to give an overall view. From here, more detailed information can be accessed through clicking on the area of interest, such as an area with poor feedback, in order to give greater insight into the reasons behind such opinions.

Health and Public Sector

Within the NHS arena, there are a number of different issues and changes at play. Over the past 8-12 months, care homes, patient experience, complaints, care pathways , to name but a few, have been heavily featured within the media.

Naturally, the potential benefits of text and sentiment analytics in public and private health care are clear to see. Because health and well-being is all about how patients are feeling, it goes without saying the sentiment engine would bring to life their emotions in different aspects of care. Potential uses could be found within patient experiences and outcomes, hospital complaints and feedback from friends and family of patients, as well as other varying free text data sets.

Already, government organisations and service providers such as libraries and councils run various consultations, collecting “have your say” forms and feedback on a variety of different subjects. Plugging such data into the sentiment engine would revolutionise the way in which such data is viewed.


Because any dashboard created to view collected feedback can be customised and tabulated, each data set can be accurately represented within one unified system. Additionally, there is also the ability within the system to drill down to originally-collected data, including the individual forms any responses derived from.

In an age where most have access to the internet, huge information transparency means that each customer is able to make a rounded decision before purchasing or using a service – making the ability to respond to feedback even more important. Because sentiment is everywhere, including on social media websites, review/comparison sites, blogs and even on a business’ own website, text and sentiment analytics can extract feedback from these various mediums. These can then be collated within an analysis dashboard, allowing an organisation to view feedback from all angles. Private and public sector businesses can bring such feedback into a semantics engine virtually in real time; the moment a person tweets or comments, organisations will be able to respond much faster.

At DCC, we are extremely passionate about improving services in the health and public sector, which is why we’ve supported awareness campaigns, clinical trials, activity analysis, screening and many more.

If you would like to learn more, please give us a call on 0208 903 5432 or email info@documentcapture.co.uk and we will be more than happy to share our experience, views and expertise with you using live examples and visuals of how we have helped past projects step by step. Alternatively, if you have a specific project in mind, a free, no-obligation educational knowledge-share workshop may be more effective. The workshop can be held at your premises and it gives us the opportunity to learn more about your project and guide and advise you in the right direction.

Liked this? Share it!