Sentiment Analysis is an automated process that can be used to help organisations understand information and insights on any subject. It is something that is being used more and more in the corporate sector, but it has many significant benefits for schools too. Sentiment Analysis can be used to understand student survey data that allows educators to evolve their curriculum to suit the needs of their existing classrooms better. Plus – it is easy to use, cost-effective, and easily accessible in Microsoft Excel.
At its core, Sentiment Analysis exists to take unstructured information and transform it into structured data. This data might include opinions about products, services, and topics. Schools can use it to gain insight into student engagement, academic achievement, attendance, curriculum reviews, and much more.
Sentiment Analysis has another name – Opinion Mining. Systems work to identify whether insights deliver a positive or negative opinion, what the subject being discussed is, and who is expressing what opinion. Some uses include:
- Monitoring Social Media
- Customer Service
- Product Analysis
- Market Research
- Brand Monitoring
This begs the question – what is an opinion? Information can often be divided into two camps; facts and opinions. A fact is objective, while an opinion is subjective. Sentiment Analysis can be modelled to approach these classifications, allowing users to understand whether an insight is subjective or objective and whether it is positive, negative, or neutral. This brings up another question – how is this relevant for business? The answer is simple – data matters and understanding data is critical to the ongoing success of any organisation. If a school is better able to understand the opinion of teachers, parents, and students then they are more capable of delivering improved curriculums and fostering a greater degree of success within their classrooms.
While sentiment analysis is new for education, a paper was released that explored how it might positively influence schools. The research suggests that sentiment analysis is an effective method of determining and extracting useful information and that it can be used to provide educators with the opportunity to make better judgements regarding student performance. It has also made it possible to explore the progress of single students in large classrooms, reducing the number of students who might ‘fall through the cracks’ otherwise.
The best part – schools don’t need fancy new software to utilise sentiment analysis. They just need Microsoft Excel. Excel itself is synonymous with data analysis and is already hugely popular in schools around the globe. It now offers sentiment analysis, allowing educators to leverage input data and analyse vast amounts of information in next to no time. When used correctly, it can be a powerful tool. But, therein lies the trick – it needs to be used successfully for users to get the most out of it.
Teachers and educators need to understand how to use the Artificial Intelligence features of Microsoft Excel to use sentiment analysis to their advantage. Fortunately, this is not a difficult skill to learn and is a tool that can be used over and over again for the benefit of student success.
If you’d like to learn how to make the most of your insights and your digital investments, contact MOQdigital today. Our consultants can ensure that you are building a bright future for your students, regardless of where you are in your Digital Transformation journey.