Firstly, it’s important to confirm that when we talk about data in the article below, we’re talking about human generated text data, as is found in conversations, reviews, feedback forums, complaints, surveys, chat-bots frequently made publicly available on the internet.
The power of this data should never be underestimated. Data driven analysis is fundamental in allowing businesses and society to draw insights from of the near-endless amounts of unstructured data created every day. Trillions of gigabytes of data exist in the digital world, spanning every genre and topic know to humankind, with huge variations of veracity and depth. The data is out there. The key is finding the relevant information with rich granularity and compiling it into a meaningful, comprehensible output that allows the value to be extracted.
high-quality DATA in
high-quality INSIGHTS out
Great business decisions
When it comes to collecting data, whether it is from the employees that drive a business or the consumers who support it, there and many approaches used such as questionnaires, surveys, focus groups, continuous-listening apps etc. While all these are valid methods of collecting data, they can be time consuming, lacking in depth or influenced by bias. An employee answering a questionnaire (even anonymously) may hide any potential perceived flaws or grievances within a company for fear of backlash. A customer can be incentivised to give a glowing review of a product they have no care for, if only looking to acquire a free sample or remuneration.
This is not always the case by any means; genuine, honest feedback can still be gathered via traditional methods, but there are also rich veins of data that can be unearthed via a different means. Some of the most powerful data is that which is generated by unsolicited, emotionally charged people who felt compelled to give their own commentary. There is less bias here, just the need to express a personal experience (normally frustration or delight) and get a message across.
The online review. A veritable smorgasbord of information. Accessed across a multitude of platforms and websites, where people can Caps-lock scream blue murder or wax lyrical to their heart’s content. Raw, intense, colloquial data.
Ask yourself – which would give you more information to work with: yes/no answers to pre-determined questions from a survey, or a hell-for-leather online tirade fuelled by dissatisfaction? And yet so often it is an untapped resource.
One reason for this is the act of collecting such data.
The process of automated website scraping has existed for many years. Putting it in the simplest terms, a website scraper will be programmed to automatically access a page, and then locate, scrape, and collect the desired data (reviews, dates, star ratings etc) for later analysis.
However, scrapers can be used for malicious or unethical purposes such as collecting personal data, copyrighted content, or infringing on the ‘robots.txt.’ file of websites, thereby violating the Terms of Service. For example, some users could scrape entire blogs and republish them, completely plagiarizing original content to try and boost their own SEO and visibility.
Regardless, legitimate data scraping has massive benefits. There is huge value for both consumers, employers, and producers to be gained from responsible, legal scraping of publicly available data.
Scraping and analysing the vast swaths of consumer and employee experience data generated with no leading incentive enables companies to remove the inevitable blind spots that exist in their understanding of their stakeholders. It gives us the means to construct a candid view of the emotions and sentiment felt by those ‘on the ground’. These insights will uncover the behavioural drivers that, once addressed and improved, will enable a better experience for all parties involved.
To build this picture you need the tools to collect and structure this data and the platform to visualise it (as much as 90% of available data is regarded as unstructured data).
Pansensic has both.
Building and maintaining scrapers that can accurately navigate websites to collect and return clear, structured, and organised data can be a time consuming, stressful, and complicated process for those not expert with it.
Pansensic has the capability to build bespoke website scrapers to allow companies to obtain data about how customers and employees are responding to their own or competitors’ products and services. This valuable data can then be analysed and visualised with our unique that delivers unrivalled Emotion and Sentiment Analytics and relevant insights to improve your business decisions like never before.