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Gaining insight into public opinion through sentiment analysis

Monday, 27th April 2015

Using Social Media Data for Comparing Brand Awareness, Levels of Consumer Engagement, Public Opinion and Sentiment for Big Four Australian Banks.

The following is an opinion research piece written by Inna Kolyshkina, Boris Levin and Grant Goldsworthy with the purpose to provide a case study for public opinion extraction applied to the banking domain. 

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The article comes off the back of public of a 2012 Reserve Bank of Australia interest rate cut, where rate cuts were not passed on immediately to consumers. The aim of the study was to discover public reactions and to gain insights into the following questions....

  • The volume and extent of reactions.
  • The nature of public sentiment.
  • Differentiation between the banks.
  • Public opinion groupings.
  • Bank public relations initiatives.

While the analysis was done using a number of social media sources, this paper concentrates on a methodology for data analysis using Twitter data. This project illustrates how social media data can be harvested to gain insight that can be used to proactively manage organisational public image, brand awareness and customer satisfaction.

Abstract:

The growing availability and popularity of opinion-rich resources on the web led to an eruption of activity in the area of analysis of data coming from these resources. Opportunities exist to understand the extent of public engagement and sentiment toward a brand, a product or an event. In this paper, we present a case study for opinion extraction applied to the banking domain that illustrates how social media can be used to gain insight into the public opinion, sentiment and spread of social conversation related to this domain including changes that are triggered by a domain-relevant event. We applied advanced machine learning and data science techniques to the relevant social media and news data from the web to analyse the nature of public opinion in Australia toward the four major Australian banks in the context of the banks reaction to the Reserve Bank of Australia lowering the official interest rate. The resulting insights into public sentiment, reach, the topics discussed by the public and how these compared between the banks can be used pro actively to inform organisational decision making.

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