May wins social media sentiment debate, says Klipfolio

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Tom Pechloff
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Most of the country’s leading pundits might have declared Thursday night’s federal leaders’ debate a draw, but Klipfolio’s public dashboard for social media sentiment – created especially for the debate – came up with a different answer.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May

“Winner is so subjective,” said Klipfolio’s chief marketing officer Mychelle Mollot, “but what the social sentiment showed was that (Green Party leader) Elizabeth May had more positive and less negative comments than any of the candidates and it was fairly significant actually. (Liberal leader Justin) Trudeau had the next-best sentiment. (NDP leader Tom) Mulcair had by far the most negative comments as a percentage of the comments.”

The dashboard used Talkwalker, a new data source Klipfolio added about two weeks ago, Ms. Mollot said.

“Talkwalker is a social sentiment analytics platform and they can do mindblowing stuff,” she said. “They really can do in-depth analysis, particularly with brands, of how that brand has been performing, how products from that brand, after they’ve been released, are performing.”

It also has what Ms. Mollot called a “bread and butter sentiment,” in which it takes what is written about a subject on a wide range of social media platforms and assesses whether those comments are positive, negative or neutral.

“It’s imperfect,” she said. “It doesn’t understand sarcasm or irony.”

Still, she said, it has a 70 per cent accuracy rate.

The dashboard updated every minute during the debate, really capturing its “ebbs and flows,” Ms. Mollot said.

“It served the purpose that we intended, which was to showcase how real-time display of any kind of data, but particularly social sentiment which is so pertinent to a debate, can be done in real time through what we do.”

She said more dashboards will be released throughout the election campaign, and the company is planning another one as the Major League Baseball pennant races heat up. It recently launched a dashboard that showed a huge positive spike for the Toronto Blue Jays after the club acquired former Cy Young Award winner David Price before last week’s trade deadline.

“What we want to showcase to people is there are so many different ways you can look at your data and look at data outside your organization that’s meaningful to you,” Ms. Mollot said, adding it’s also a way to draw attention to Klipfolio and the dashboard solutions it offers.

“In the meantime, we also do it in a way that will bring hopefully lots of entertainment and a little bit of education to people as well,” she said.

Organizations: Green Party, Major League Baseball, Toronto Blue Jays

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