Public sentiment analysis (PSA) is an emerging discipline created by the billions of expressions made on the Internet from social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Capturing both organization sentiment analysis (OSA) and public opinion can create an early warning system as to the success or failure of new products and services and the overall support of an organization to launch or maintain them.
SAP StreamWork is a server-based collaboration environment where documents, information, discussions, and opinions can be created, shared, routed, or polled. Building objects inside StreamWork (e.g., polls, discussion forums, and queries) can make those elements of sentiment analysis available in other SAP applications, such as SAP BusinessObjects Strategy Management using an integration package jointly developed by SAP partners Column5 and Cipher BSC.
Today’s marketplace is a blend of reality — the things we perceive with our five senses — and augmented reality — the things we perceive enhanced by relevant information. Everywhere we look there are analytics and opinions expressed by people around events, objects, products, and services. Public sentiment analysis (PSA) can allow for a near error-free prediction that polls have struggled to provide. In the 2008 presidential election in the US, PSA statistics based on Twitter feeds provided an accurate prediction of the election outcome. A study in 2010 by Carnegie Mellon was able to accurately predict the consumer confidence levels in the US on 7 billion to 9 billion Twitter responses each day, aligning with other studies published weeks and months later. Marketing analysts are looking more and more to PSA methods and blends of high-performance analytics to gain faster and more accurate insight into consumer trends and public opinion.
Collaboration environments represent small microcosms of organizations within society. Using collaboration tools across a broad cross-section of teams, stakeholders, and end users creates a multi-level viewpoint on the acceptance or resistance to new ideas, projects, organization initiatives, or even the leadership skills of management. These sentiments expressed in polls, discussion forums, and comments create the opportunity to accelerate or re-position activities proactively before failure dictates that management do so reactively.
The Need for Sentiment Analysis in Strategy
Imagine the ability to look at strategy and to be able to gauge the relative success of a program or activity based on preliminary feedback from society, the customer marketplace, or your own organization. Corporations can monitor the effectiveness of brand management marketing campaigns and how to target them based on Internet opinion of recalled or new products. Governments have been using tactics based on PSA approaches to detect the relative levels of terrorist group chatter across the Internet from broad analysis of many sources. You can use a step-by-step approach to determining sentiment, which can be reflected in these activities:
- Pose a question. Understanding how public opinion on a key issue or a trend may have an impact on future events or conditions. For example, how does public sentiment consider the national mood of health care reform? You can create a query and pose a question to determine the sentiment of the audience.
- Scour sources for opinion. Web-based search engines and other analytic tools can identify the source and nature of opinions (positive or negative) and the location and possible identification of the maker of the opinion, including the natural language of opinion information (for example, is the opinion based in the Americas using English, or in Germany using Arabic?).
- Analyze the findings. Considering the source of the information, come to an understanding of what these opinions mean. For example, could this indicate a positive or negative opinion toward health care reform? Comparisons to other poll-gathering information could be used to corroborate the findings.
- Make or adjust action. Key to change management principles, many societies and organizations have the ability to adopt change in certain key amounts. In the case of action against potential national security threats, assets that could be committed elsewhere may require redeployment. In the case of an automotive recall, it could suggest the level or themes of a proposed brand management advertising campaign.
Being able to use sentiment analysis as a signpost of how to commit resources plays a vital role in management decision making for strategic initiatives as well. SAP StreamWork is a collaboration environment that can enable large enterprise conversation, including opinion on projects, investments, and product development programs.
For a full copy of the article, including an overview of linking SAP StreamWork to SAP Strategy Management to perform crowdsourcing and organization sentiment analysis (OSA), visit the GRC Expert site here (subscription required).