Quality Progress - February 2014 - (Page 48)

STATISTICS ROUNDTABLE BY JULIA E. SEAMAN AND I. ELAINE ALLEN Listening to Sentiment Some tools are useful, but have few statistical methods to show validity WHAT DO YOU do if you just bought a new computer and it line and offline data from customers for the primary focus of im- now makes some weird clicking sounds? Or if the airline lost portant trends in sentiment (or attitudes or opinions). The tools your luggage, but representatives refuse to help recover it or available for analyzing free-form text data vary from extremely provide compensation? Or your account information contains simple online methods to complicated, highly specific techniques. a typo that only can be fixed from an internal source, but every company representative claims you have to do it yourself? The increasingly common approach if you have a problem with Moneyball example The simplest way to discover the underlying focus of free-form a product or service and want a quick response is to post some- text is to look at the words used in the text, including word and thing about it on Twitter, Facebook, Yelp or write a blog post. If phrase counting. This parallels descriptive statistics (count, mini- you are the organization monitoring these social media sites, you mum and maximum) used for numerical data sets. A word cloud can identify potential product and service issues at the time they can quickly display the most common words and also creates a occur and from a wide variety of users. The company also may useful infographic. analyze the free-form text responses from reviews, surveys and Using www.wordle.net, you can copy and paste your text, and social media mentions for the respondents' positive or negative the software will produce a word cloud with size and location attitudes. indicating the important words and phrases after eliminating Statistically, does relying on these postings in online forums commonly used articles and specific words specified by the user. of biased sampling and convenience sampling methods provide a Figure 1 shows a word cloud from a recent QP article on Money- realistic alternative to statistically sound methods of evaluating ball management.5 The article focused on the Oakland Athletics, products and a parallel yet complementary method of evaluation? team payrolls and the on-base percentage (OBP), as shown in Or does it simply waste company resources? Figure 1. Sentiment analysis is not a new technique, but using it on While the word cloud can show the most common words, social media streams and defining it as "sentiment" are more it does not show the sentiment of the article without further recent developments.1 Original analyses of documents and text interpretation. Was it upbeat, academic or serious? More complex were termed "semantic" analyses and sought to isolate polarizing analysis grades the words based on their commonly associ- features of reviews of books and movies, and of the primary at- ated tone and attitude, and can give an aggregate score for text. titude of the author.2 For example, a review containing the words "horrible service," It is now a key way organizations listen to, monitor and learn about their customers. Specialized software is available that is 3 highly specific to different forms of textual responses and social "broken" and "late" will have a more negative score than one with "friendly service" and "quick." Using an online Sentiment Analyzer (www.danielsoper.com/ media.4 There are dozens of standalone software solutions and sentimentanalysis/default.aspx), Figure 2 shows the overall tone add-ons to existing software that will mine an organization's on- of the Moneyball article to be serious (or negative, according to the software). Another easy-to-use tool that gives similar metrics Word cloud example / FIGURE 1 is Lexalytics (www.lexalytics.com). Each analysis tool uses its own sentiment grading scale and can give different insights into the text. More timely than analyzing the text from an article, you can use online tools to examine whether there is talk of Moneyball in tweets, Facebook posts, blogs or other online media. To get a quick snapshot of Moneyball mentions in social media over the last 24 hours, you can use www.veooz.com. Figure 3 shows the results: a 65% positive sentiment increase over the last day on Nov. 12, 2013. For slightly more sophisticated 48 QP * www.qualityprogress.com http://www.wordle.net http://www.danielsoper.com/ http://www.lexalytics.com http://www.veooz.com http://www.qualityprogress.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - February 2014

Up Front
LogOn
Expert Answers
Keeping Current
Mr. Pareto Head
Learning From Experience
Choose Wisely
A Pathway for Patients
Hoist Help
3.4 per Million
Quality in the First Person
Measure for Measure
Career Corner
Statistics Roundtable
Standards Outlook
SPECIAL SECTION: Six Sigma Resource Guide
QP Toolbox
QP Reviews
Back to Basics

Quality Progress - February 2014

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