Government - Written by Naumi Haque on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 12:28 - 1 Comment
Analyzing the State of the Union: Speeches as data points
Last week President Obama addressed the nation in his second State of the Union. Analyzing these speeches has been an interest of mine for some time, but I’m struck by how much better the analytics tools have become. Even if you don’t care about the State of the Union, it’s interesting to see how words, texts, and public response have become data that is now easily accessible and measurable. Speeches are meant to move, inspire, and articulate a vision. To view them as simple data points may seem crude to some, but the latest informatics capabilities are actually used to record emotional response—how inspiring was Obama?
When I originally started looking State of the Union addresses, I simply found transcripts online and did a manual count of words in text documents. This was laborious, but provided some interesting findings (note sites like Speech Wars can now automate this process). Last January I highlighted Wordle and used tag clouds to create a visualization of State of the Union addresses from notable past Presidents. This year, I’ve been spending a fair bit of time researching sentiment analysis, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that vendor Crimson Hexagon and CNN had teamed up to analyze public sentiment towards the 2010 State of the Union in real-time. Check out the video after the jump.
The impact of the new technology was not lost on the news media. The Huffington Post picked up the story and reported that, “The moment that ends up being most pivotal in changing the way the media covers big, live events may well have happened on CNN, where John King used the ‘Magic Wall’ to analyze almost 150,000 Twitter responses to President Obama’s speech.” In the article, CNN’s Senior Vice President and Washington Bureau Chief, David Bohrman is quoted as saying, “Twitter is all noise, but to be able to harness it and group it and actually intelligently cluster it and derive moods and opinions from it is very interesting.”
Whatever you might think of Twitter (Jon Stewart used the Magic Wall as an opportunity to make fun of both CNN and Twitter), this is exactly the type of technology companies are starting to think about for managing their brands, conduct market research, and pre-emptively deal with customer issues. The next level of granularity that sentiment analysis vendors are starting to offer is the ability to go beyond positive and negative sentiment to look at why sentiment is the way it is. Why are people pro-Obama? What types of issues are most often related to “Obama is too liberal?” This type of analysis is available, and I’ve seen demos from some vendors that offer fairly sophisticated drill-downs. However, some people remain sceptical about the general accuracy of this capability, as well as the limitations of most systems to crunch this type of data in real-time. Maybe we’ll see this for next year’s State of the Union—I’m hoping so.
Business - Oct 5, 2010 12:00 - 0 Comments
More In Business
- Facebook, Facebook, Facebook
- Survey: How are you using Facebook, Twitter, smart phones, and other technology platforms?
- Will Facebook be your CRM provider?
- Wiki Banking
- The importance of being competent
Entertainment - Aug 3, 2010 13:14 - 2 Comments
More In Entertainment
- Lessons in collaboration from B.B. King’s
- CL!CK – LEGO’s fun social product development platform
- Peer Pressure 2.0: Farmville
- Online gaming more than just fun
- The NFL – The most protective league, attempting to control the uncontrollable
Society - Aug 6, 2010 8:19 - 4 Comments
More In Society
- Balance: customer receptivity vs. customer revulsion
- The Net Gen: Too plugged-in for parenting?
- Are you addicted to social media?
- The privacy discussion we need to have
- “The Data-Driven Life”: Who’s not interested in discovery?