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Sentiment Analysis: Concept, Analysis and Applications

Sentiment analysis is contextual mining of text, which identifies and extracts subjective information in the source material and helps a business to understand the social sentiment of their brand, product, or service while monitoring online conversations. However, analysis of social media streams is usually restricted to basic sentiment analysis and count-based metrics. This is akin to scratching the surface and missing out on those high-value insights waiting to be discovered. So, what should a brand do to capture that low-hanging fruit?

With the recent advances in deep learning, the ability of algorithms to analyze text has improved considerably. Using advanced artificial intelligence techniques can be an effective tool for conducting in-depth research. We believe it is important to classify incoming customer conversation about a brand based on the following lines:

  1. Key aspects of a brand’s product and service that customers care about.
  2. Users’ underlying intentions and reactions concerning those aspects.

When combined, these basic concepts become an essential tool for analyzing millions of brand conversations with human-level accuracy. In the post, we take the example of Uber and demonstrate how this works. Read On!

Text Classifier — The basic building blocks

Sentiment Analysis

Sentiment Analysis is the most common text classification tool that analyses an incoming message and tells whether the underlying sentiment is positive, negative, or neutral. You can input a sentence and gauge the underlying sentiment by playing with the demo here.

Intent Analysis

Intent analysis steps up the game by analyzing the user’s intention behind a message and identifying whether it relates to an opinion, news, marketing, complaint, suggestion, appreciation, or query.

Sentiment AnalysisAnalyzing the intent of textual data

Contextual Semantic Search(CSS)

Now, this is where things get interesting. To derive actionable insights, it is important to understand what aspect of the brand a user is discussing. For example, Amazon wants to segregate messages related to late deliveries, billing issues, promotion-related queries, product reviews, etc. On the other hand, Starbucks intends to classify messages based on whether they relate to staff behavior, new coffee flavors, hygiene feedback, online orders, store name, location, etc. But how can one do that?

We introduce an intelligent smart search algorithm called Contextual Semantic Search (a.k.a. CSS). CSS works because it takes thousands of messages and a concept (like Price) as input and filters all the messages that closely match the image. The graphic below demonstrates how CSS represents a major improvement over existing methods used by the industry.

Sentiment AnalysisExisting Approach vs. Contextual Semantic Search

A conventional approach for filtering all Price-related messages is to do a keyword search on Price and other closely related words like (pricing, charge, $, paid). However, this method is ineffective as it is almost impossible to think of all the relevant keywords and their variants representing a particular concept. On the other hand, CSS takes the concept (Price) as input and filters all the contextually similar, even where the obvious variants of the concept keyword are not mentioned.

For curious people, we would like to give a glimpse of how this works. An AI technique converts every word into a specific point in the hyperspace. The distance between these points is used to identify messages whose context is similar to the concept we are exploring. A visualization of how this looks under the hood can be seen below:

Sentiment AnalysisVisualizing contextually related Tweets

Time to see CSS in action and how it works on comments related to Uber in the examples below:

Sentiment Analysis: Concept, Analysis and Applications 1

Similarly, have a look at this tweet:

Sentiment Analysis: Concept, Analysis and Applications 2

In both the cases above, the algorithm classifies these messages as contextually related to the concept called Price even though the word Price is not mentioned in these messages.

Uber: A deep dive analysis

Uber, the highest-valued start-up in the world, has been a pioneer in the sharing economy. Being operational in more than 500 cities worldwide and serving a gigantic user base, Uber gets many feedback, suggestions, and user complaints. Often, social media is the most preferred medium to register such issues. The huge amount of incoming data makes analyzing, categorizing, and generating insights challenging.

We analyzed the online conversations on digital media about a few product themes: Cancel, Payment, Price, Safety, and Service.

We took data from the latest comments on Uber’s official Facebook page, Tweets mentioning Uber, and the latest news articles around Uber for a wide coverage of data sources. Here’s a distribution of data points across all the channels:

  1. Facebook: 34,173 Comments
  2. Twitter: 21,603 Tweets
  3. News: 4,245 Articles

Analyzing sentiments of user conversations can give you an idea about overall brand perceptions. To dig deeper, it is important to further classify the data with Contextual Semantic Search.

We ran the Contextual Semantic Search algorithm on the same dataset, considering the categories above (Cancel, Payment, Price, Safety, and Service).


Sentiment Analysis

Sentiment AnalysisBreakdown of Sentiment for Categories

Noticeably, comments related to all the categories have negative sentiment, majorly, bar one. The number of positive comments related to Price has outnumbered the negative ones. To dig deeper, we analyzed the intent of these comments. Facebook is a social platform; the words are crowded with random content, news shares, marketing promotional content, and spam/junk/unrelated content. Have a look at the intent analysis on the Facebook comments:

  • Sentiment AnalysisIntent analysis of Facebook comments
  • Intent analysis of Facebook comments

Thus, we removed all such irrelevant intent categories and reproduced the result:

Sentiment AnalysisFiltered Sentiment Analysis

There is a noticeable change in the sentiment attached to each category, especially in Price-related comments, where the number of positive comments has dropped from 46% to 29%.

This gives us a glimpse of how CSS can generate in-depth insights from digital media. A brand can thus analyze such Tweets and build upon the positive points from them or get feedback from the negative ones.


Sentiment Analysis

A similar analysis was done for crawled Tweets. In the initial study, Payment and Safety-related Tweets had a mixed sentiment.

Sentiment AnalysisCategory-wise sentiment analysis

To understand real user opinions, complaints, and suggestions, we have to filter the unrelated Tweets(Spam, junk, marketing, news, and random) again:

Sentiment AnalysisFiltered sentiment

There is a remarkable reduction in the number of positive Payment-related Tweets. Also, there is a significant drop in the number of positive Tweets for the category Safety(and associated keywords.)

Additionally, Cancel, Payment, and Service (and related words) are the most discussed topics in Twitter comments. It seems that people talked most about drivers canceling their rides and the cancellation fee charged to them. Have a look at this Tweet:

Sentiment Analysis: Concept, Analysis and Applications 3

A brand like Uber can rely on such insights and address the most critical topics. For example, Service-related Tweets carried the lowest percentage of positive Tweets and the highest percentage of Negative ones. Uber can thus analyze such Tweets and act upon them to improve service quality.


Sentiment AnalysisSentiment Analysis for News Headlines

Understandably so, Safety has been the most talked about topic in the news. Interestingly, news sentiment is positive overall and individually in each category.

We classified news based on their popularity score as well. The popularity score is attributed to the share count of the article on different social media channels. Here’s a list of top news articles:

  1. Uber C.E.O. to Leave Trump Advisory Council After Criticism
  2. #DeleteUber: Users Angry at Trump Muslim Ban Scrap app
  3. Uber Employees Hate Their Own Corporate Culture, Too
  4. Every time we take an Uber, we’re spreading its social poison.
  5. Furious customers are deleting the Uber app after drivers went to JFK airport during a protest and strike.


The age of getting meaningful insights from social media data has now arrived with the advances in technology. The Uber case study gives you a glimpse of the power of Contextual Semantic Search. It’s time for your organization to move beyond overall sentiment and count-based metrics. Companies have been leveraging data power lately, but to get the deepest information, you have to leverage AI, Deep learning, and intelligent classifiers like Contextual Semantic Search and Sentiment Analysis. At Karna, you can contact us to license our technology or get a customized dashboard for generating meaningful insights from digital media. You can check the demo here.

We hope you liked the article. Please Sign Up for a free ParallelDots account to start your AI journey. You can also check demos of ParallelDots APIs here.

Sentiment Analysis: Concept, Analysis and Applications 4


About author

I work for WideInfo and I love writing on my blog every day with huge new information to help my readers. Fashion is my hobby and eating food is my life. Social Media is my blood to connect my family and friends.
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