Many technology companies have managed to flood the market with their “magic” automatic solutions. They promise precision tools which are simple to use, have enticingly colorful dashboards and provide full coverage of “consumers sentiment” with minimal effort. Many of their web sites state that once top executives are equipped with their magic tool, the task of reading and interpreting the extracted data can be easily delegated to their subordinates.

As I am directly involved with this aspect with my company, I can’t seem to figure out if this claim is just an aggressive marketing campaign or if it is just a way to tell customers what they want to hear. Either way, it has created a situation where the only dialogue with the potential customers is based on looking at the data contained these reports and trying to find the errors in the extraction, thus casting doubts on whether the technology is actually ready for the market.

This vicious cycle needs to be stopped. It could be useful to remember the following guidelines to create a more productive climate and provide value both to businesses and to technology companies:

1) Online sentiment analysis is just another element of competitive intelligence and should be handled accordingly
2) Even the more established technologies (ERP, BI, CRM) are not perfect and do have a margin of acceptable error
3) A group of analysts should be employed to examine the data, extract the knowledge and scan the sources
4) Set priorities and be conservative: avoid incidents first
5) Learn how messages propagate


Author: Luca Scagliarini

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