Evaluating the unmeasurable

Measurement is still one of the most challenging tasks in today’s communication industry. From the global strategy up to each and every unique final customer, communicators need to track down the journey of a message as closely and precisely as they possibly can. Who got the message? At the end of the day, after every impressive and out-of-the-box campaign – after all the breaking news and follow-up announcements – the numerous visuals, slogans, and calls to action – who got the message? is truly the final question that matters.

Communication Accountability: Planning, Purpose and Proof – a course by AMEC

As an Education Group member of the International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC), A Data Pro strives to improve the models and methods of communication accountability, as well as promote them and raise awareness about their importance. Our company guides clients and partners in their measurement journey and never rejects an opportunity to exchange innovations, ideas, expertise and experience.

Most recently, A Data Pro took part in the Communication Accountability: Planning, Purpose and Proof summit, which was tailored to explore the best practices for communication measurement and evaluation. On 26 and 27 May, media intelligence and evaluation professionals, PR & communication directors, in-house communicators accountable for demonstrating the value of communication, marketing and PR executives and communication consultants virtually gathered together to share research, analysis and actionable insights. 

Topic engagement with Nesin Ahmed

One of these experts was A Data Pro Service Delivery Manager Nesin Ahmed, who presented the company’s topic engagement tool. The tool is designed to measure impact and reactions in near real-time by following direct interactions and social media footprint; it can also analyse topic popularity with certain outlets, authors, or even locations and, if coupled with sentiment analysis, even survey public opinion. A Data Pro’s Topic Engagement Service was named a 2021 SIIA CODiE Award finalist in the Best Artificial Intelligence-Enabled Content Solution category. The Best Artificial Intelligence-Enabled Content Solution category recognises the product, tool or solution that leverages artificial intelligence (AI), machine and deep learning algorithms to enhance their product features and provide users with a more intelligent, automated, scalable solution.

Topic engagement is a service that shows what the leading topics from disparate sources of news articles for the day are according to the readers’ interactions with them so that clients can quickly decide whether to invest additional time and resources in a given topic. It is a powerful tool that shows what news topics readers and social media users engage with the most and just how they do so. The starting point of the analysis is news articles; opinion pieces; comments; and government and industry updates, monitored daily and structured by all of the dates; location; language; named entities; author and source; and offline data sets. This structured data pool is freely searchable and can be filtered through data points. 

Nesin explained that topic clusters allow filtering by various data points and finding what topics certain media or authors are interested in, or even discovering which topics are “hot” in different countries or locations, as well as their distinguishing sentiment. He pointed out that the approach is not semantical but statistical. Each cluster is described by annotating it with the most frequent keywords it contains. Topic cluster formation can be adjusted by the end-user with parameters for the required number of clusters, several keywords, and boosting or ignoring keywords.

Technology can process every natural language. A Data Pro has already had success with English and Bulgarian, as well as Portuguese, French, Spanish and Arabic. The company also relies on the competences of its analysts to create the so-called “stop lists”, by which words such as “an”, or “the” that do not carry any meaning on their own are excluded from the topic clustering  algorithm. 

The interaction between the audience and each individual document or topic in and out of social media can also be tracked down and evaluated. The technology allows monitoring in real-time, so that each and every act of engagement can be noted immediately and added as metadata. 

Of course, the endgame of the topic engagement technology is to “really streamline the information from the datasets we have, to give the ability and flexibility to analysts and decision-makers to ultimately draw faster and more informed conclusions from these datasets and information streams,” Nesin emphasised. 

Using a combination of topic clustering, engagement annotation and topic automated abstracting is a reliable method of dealing with the incomprehensibly huge amounts of data that surpass human capacity to deal with manually. Pinpointing real topics in real time gives the opportunity to enhance analysis and initiate and encourage meaningful dialogue, which, in turn, brings value both to the brand and its audience.