• Of course, you know all about web analytics or social media analytics, which has been around for years. However, web analytics and social media analytics alone is not enough to gain an understanding of your (online) business. There is another type of analytics that cannot be overlooked, which is content analytics. What makes it so special and why should you be paying attention to it?

    Content analytics can be defined as unlocking business value from unstructured content via semantic technologies to find answers to important questions or discover causes to certain trends. Companies can use content analytics to understand the content that is created, how it is used, the context it is in and the nature of that content. Content analytics is all about unstructured data and it can be used to explain trends in structured data and provide valuable insights to organisations.

    Content analytics is especially relevant for organisations where knowledge is at the core of their business. When that is the case, ordinary business intelligence is not sufficient anymore. Knowing who read what content, when, how often it was shared, the number of clicks, the location of visitors, etc., so-called metadata, is simply not sufficient for a deep understanding. You should also care about whether the content is actually useful to your audiences and that it serves the objective it was intended for. Content related trends or insights revealing information such as what content caused a drop in sales can help make better content and thus drive growth or revenue. It is not about having more content; it is about having better content.

    Content analytics is an important aspect of big data and should form an integral part of your big data strategy if you are a knowledge-based organisation. It cannot be seen separate but is actually more entwined with different aspects of big data ranging from real-time analytics, predictive analytics and personalization. The objective should be to deliver relevant content to the right people via the right channels at the right moment to support the right objective. Not an easy task.

    There are several benefits of content analytics. It creates machine-readable content from your unstructured data that allows computers and machines to understand the unstructured content and link it to other data for additional insights. In addition, it makes it better retrievable because of semantic metadata that is added to the content. It helps organisations understand what content they have or need and more importantly why that is the case. Finally, it helps to better understand the causes behind trends and events that can be discovered with ordinary business intelligence. It, therefore, helps explain why things happened, taking into account vast amounts of documents and content in real-time.

    Content analytics uses a vast array of different big data technologies. From semantic analytics or ontological analysis to discover correlations and patterns in the content, to natural language processing or sentiment analysis to place the data in the right context to multilingual search or linguistic modelling. In addition, text-analytics or text mining will help to extract meaning that might be buried in the text. These technologies are rapidly improving, making it easier to perform content analytics.

    With 80% of the data being unstructured data, content analytics will become more important in the coming years to discover new insights from your enterprise content and deliver smarter, more personalised, customer experiences. Slowly also big data startups are discovering this interesting but difficult field of big data and developing solutions that can give you a competitive advantage. Content analytics will become more important and goes beyond business intelligence; it is a big data tool not to be missed by knowledge-intense organisations.

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    Mark van Rijmenam

    Mark van Rijmenam is Founder of Datafloq. He is a highly sought-after international public speaker, a Big Data and Blockchain strategist and author of the best-selling book Think Bigger - Developing a Successful Big Data Strategy for Your Business. He is the co-author of the book Blockchain: Transforming Your Business and Our World, which details how blockchain can be used for social good. His third book, The Organisation of Tomorrow, will be published in Q1 2019. He is named a global top 10 Big Data influencer and one of the most influential Blockchain people. He has just completed a PhD at the University of Technology Sydney on how organizations should deal with Big Data, Blockchain and (Responsible) AI and he is a faculty member of the Blockchain Research Institute in Canada. He is a strategic advisor to several blockchain startups and publisher of the ‘f(x) = ex‘ newsletter read by thousands of executives.
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