These days everybody has something to say. Thanks to social media, it’s easier than ever to get your voice heard. The internet is full of opinions and comments released through a plethora of text-based sources.

For the business world, this is great news. With direct access to the instant feedback of numerous individual customers, our companies can draw on a mine of valuable information. Using text mining technology, this expanse of text-based content can be mined like data for business value.

textmining

Text Data Sources

From the humble email to a live Tweet, text data sources vary considerably. A source can be as basic as a Word document or an automated email message.

Sources from social media include postings on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, sites which each have an extremely prolific output. According to its blog, Twitter publishes more than 500 million tweets every single day. facebook-twitter-linkedin1

The sheer volume of text data sources can be a daunting prospect but it’s also an exciting one. All text-based content can be used just like data to generate real business value for a company.

 Text Enrichment

Of course, it’s not quite that straight forward. Where data mining deals in cold, hard numbers, text mining tackles the altogether more elusive medium of language. A customer complaint posted on Facebook may include emotive connotations or grammatical inconsistencies. To reap the full benefit of this kind of data source, we must account for rhetorical devices such as sarcasm and ambiguous features such as slang.

Formatting content through a text enrichment process can transform it into manageable, mineable data. Text enrichment attaches values to words and phrases, which can then be searched and analyzed. Text mining is a relatively new approach which is still catching up with the information explosion and therefore different techniques can produce some discrepancies at this stage. Nevertheless, the technology to unlock valuable information and meaning from text data sources promises exciting potential.

At Red Olive, we can help you begin to make use of text mining technology. For more information call us on +44 1256 83 11 00 or send us an email via enquiries@red-olive.co.uk. We’d love to help.

For more information about data mining, take a look at our previous post: Advanced Analytics: Big Data and Data Mining Processes