Open-ended question analysis like a boss

Gavagai Explorer example

To illustrate the capabilities of Gavagai Explorer, here is a before-and-after example of how to gain insight into a set of hotel reviews.

Eager to get started?

  • Download the data as CSV (click the link, then do File => Download as => Comma-separated values (.csv, current sheet)).
  • Sign up for a free trial in Gavagai Explorer.
  • Explore the data yourself: create a new project and load the file you just downloaded to get started.
  • Read a tutorial on the operations available in the Explorer.

Before - unstructured qualitative text data

Imagine you are planning a visit to San Francisco, and you enter TripAdvisor to look for a suitable hotel. Now, there are a lot of hotels to choose from, and you home in on Kimpton Hotel Monaco in SF. Instead of sifting through all reviews, you download the most recent ones and use Gavagai Explorer to find out what the guests of the hotel are actually talking about.

We have downloaded 130 reviews and made them available in this spreadsheet. Click the link and have a look at the data (it will open in a new window). As you can see, the spreadsheet contains five columns, of which we are interested in the one named ‘review’.

The question we are asking ourselves prior to exploring the data is:

When the guests of the hotel are writing their reviews, what topics are they touching on, and how do they feel about them?

Answering this question will allow us to make an informed choice regarding whether to select the Monaco for my stay or not.

After - structured and quantified results in just a few minutes

Here are our findings after about ten minutes worth of exploring the data. Top three topics among the reviewers:

  • 75% of the reviews are concerned with the room, most of them are positive, and mention terms such as clean and comfortable in conjunction with the room.
  • 58% mention the staff in their review, with associated terms being friendly and helpful.
  • 44% mention the restaurant, with associated terms being renovation and closed.

Already at this point, we know that there is something going on with the restaurant that might be a showstopper for booking the hotel: if you wish to eat on location, perhaps the Monaco is not for you.

Looking further down the list of reviewers’ concerns, there are a number of positive as well as negative bits to take into consideration:

  • 26% talk about the interior decoration of the hotel,
  • 12% mention the bed,
  • 24% speak of the renovation, and
  • 16% talk about the noise resulting from it.

Here is the PDF version of the report for our session with the explorer, and here is the corresponding spreadsheet.

Note that the reviews used in this example are from December 2014. Since then, the hotel has changed name to The Marker San Francisco, and the restaurant is up and running (click here for recent reviews on TripAdvisor).