What is a word cloud and why use it?

Nov 25, 2021 | AI and Big Data

Businesses can use data visualization (such as charts, graphs, and infographics) to communicate essential information at a glance, but what if your raw data is text-based? A word cloud is a striking visualization method for highlighting essential textual data points. It can make dull data shine and deliver crucial information quickly.

Do you find it difficult to determine which elements are the most significant while reviewing a detailed data analysis? Anyone who has ever gazed blankly at a large database or a long page of text knows what we’re talking about. How do you know where to start when there are so many new ideas to absorb? Word clouds are the simple solution! Keep reading to discover the benefits of word cloud as well as the best word cloud generator.

What are word clouds?

A word cloud is a form of visual representation. It is a grouping of words that are displayed in various sizes: the larger and bolder the term, the more frequently it appears in a document and the more important it is. 

Text clouds include data visualization, text data, font colours, word frequency analysis, and specific word graphics. These are ideal techniques to extract the most relevant sections of textual material, from blog posts to databases, and are also known as tag clouds or text clouds. They can also assist business users in comparing and contrasting two separate pieces of text in order to identify phrasing similarities. 

Example of word cloud 

A word cloud is a visual representation of the most often used words in a corpus of text. Here is an example: 

At a glance, we can notice a few things. We can clearly see by looking at the image that this word cloud is about the coronavirus pandemic since the words ‘’coronavirus’’, ‘’covid19’’ and ‘’virus’’ are the most common terms. We can also see that this is a global issue and it highlights the importance of personal protective equipment and the administration of vaccines. 

What is a word cloud used for?  

Understanding Client Issues

What methods do you use to evaluate client satisfaction? Your audience communicates about your business in a variety of ways, from polls and surveys to social media posts and more. While it may not seem like it, this information is gold to better understand your target market’s needs and expectations. What makes people tick? Is there anything that seems to come up again and again?

If you only read each comment individually, it can be tough to locate the answers to these questions. However, with word clouds you can immediately visualize what your customers are talking about and find out what is important to them.

Speeding Up Business Actions

Imagine this scenario: At 5:00 p.m. a crucial marketing research study arrives. The only issue? It’s a 50-page report. You wish you had more time in the day to study it line by line, but you don’t, and you have to give a brief on the data the next morning. A word cloud generator can help with this.

When you paste the content into the generator and let it run, you’ll be able to observe which talking points come up the most frequently in a matter of seconds. Then you’ll know where to begin your search to find the most crucial information.

Employee Sentiment

What do you do with employee feedback? If you don’t know where to begin, it can be tough to turn unstructured data into actionable information. Word cloud visualizations can help with this. Thanks to word clouds, businesses are able to make important and meaningful adjustments to enhance morale, develop corporate culture, and improve performance because they know the topics their employees are most passionate about.

Simplifying Technical Data

You may give a non-technical audience, such as your community board of directors, a presentation of highly technical study findings. However, it’s typical to look into a room full of blank faces when you do so. You may discuss the same facts in a more accessible and interesting way when you present a word cloud. This broadens your reach and allows you to deliver critical information in a way that doesn’t require a high level of technical knowledge.

Data Patterns

Charts, graphs, and other data visualization techniques can help businesses and organizations identify essential trends in quantitative data. Getting these same insights from qualitative data, on the other hand, can be difficult at best and impossible at worst. Thankfully, this is made simple by using a word cloud app or generator. Those words you see obliterating everything else are the main points and overlapping themes. 

Where Word Clouds Excel for Businesses

Word cloud visualization can be a great tool in the proper situation. Here are a few examples of when word clouds are useful:

  • Identifying client pain areas. Do you ask your customers for feedback? (You really should!) Analyzing client feedback might help you figure out what your customers enjoy best and least about your company. Text clouds make it simple to identify pain points (such as wait time, pricing, or convenience).
  • Knowing how your staff feels about your organization. Text cloud visualization can transform employee input into useful corporate feedback that can be leveraged to positively influence company culture.
  • Creating a list of new SEO phrases to target. In addition to traditional keyword research methods, a word cloud can help you identify prospective keywords to target that are already present in your site’s content.

Where they don’t work

Word clouds aren’t ideal in every situation – just as you wouldn’t use a pie chart to represent the growth of a company’s revenue over time, there are situations where a word cloud is the wrong choice. Here are instances where word clouds don’t work: 

  • When your data isn’t contextually optimized. Simply pasting text into a word cloud generator will not provide you with the in-depth insights you want. Instead, an optimized data collection (managed by a skilled data analysis team) will provide you with precise results.
  • When a different visualization technique would be more effective. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that word clouds are cool and overusing them, even when a different image might be more appropriate. You must make sure that you understand the appropriate use case for a word cloud representation.

In some cases, a different visualization technique should be used instead of word clouds. For a thorough transformation of more complicated data sets and projects, a team of developers and designers is required. Although it could be used in an infographic or dashboard, word clouds are confined to, well, words.

Word clouds also have significant limitations when it comes to analyzing content precisely because they represent single words by frequency without providing context of any kind. As an example the word cloud pictured above shows “death”, “coronavirus” and “covid-19” in red to indicate negative sentiment – that’s great when the only question is: “What is this text talking about?”, but it is obvious all of these words are negative and the graphic provides no help in understanding the content behind it.

What does Semeon do differently?

Semeon uses concepts, not mere words, as the fundamental building block of text analytics.  This core differentiator permits Semeon to go beyond frequency-based word clouds and generate Concept Clouds – which display rich multi-word expressions based on their calculated Relevance Score within the collection of documents and automatically coded for average sentiment within the context they appear. A Concept Cloud derived from a contextually optimized collection of documents reads like a storyboard, allowing for an immediate evaluation of the underlying data – even by non-experts.  In addition, Semeon structures extracted concepts in a hierarchical manner which permits Semeon users to drill down into the specific details of a concept, directly from the Concept Cloud. 

Pictured below is a Concept Cloud automatically generated from online English content about Covid vaccination in Quebec.  Notice how the rich concepts captured by Semeon immediately tells the story behind the data. 

And by drilling-down into any single concept from the above cloud, the context in which that concept appears is immediately revealed.  In the image below, note how immediately apparent the context in which the concept “woman from Quebec died from a blood clot” appears within this particular collection of content.

How to make use of word clouds?

Making a word cloud for your website or business isn’t difficult, as evidenced by their growing popularity. However, there are several crucial aspects to take into account to make sure that your word cloud provides you with valuable information. While word clouds can be fantastic data visualization tools, it’s crucial to know how to use them correctly.

To simplify the process, why not hire a company that can import data, optimize it, evaluate it to identify common themes and trends, and prepare a report to present the data in a format that is high-quality and accessible? Semeon provides businesses with a turnkey solution to assist with training, data analysis, and advanced categorization.

Here are some  of the features we provide:

  • Semeon’s feedback platform allows you to drag and drop data from any public or private source, including survey results, social media material, blogs, and support tickets.
  • With green, red, and gray colour-coding, Semeon clearly distinguishes the positive, negative, or neutral ideas extracted from your data.
  • Our platform saves you hours of tedious verbatim analysis by extracting fully stated thoughts.

We are data analysis experts with the visualization tools to help businesses transform unstructured data into dynamic and instructive visuals, charts, and tables. Contact us today to up your game in data analysis and marketing! 

Check out the link below to learn more about our platform. Or give us a call at 1800-630-6000.

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