Editor’s Note: Today I am extremely pleased to interview Bethany Bengtson, Analyst at Bottlenose. Bethany will discuss at Sentiment Analysis Symposium, (July 15-16, New York) Providing direction to the fashion industry based on online sentiment’s deviations from expert-anointed colors. In this interview Bethany provides in depth insights on various topics related to the market research industry. I am sure that the readers of this blog will be enriched by her views.
Expertise of Bethany Bengtson: Real-time trend and post-mortem analysis across a global firehose of data – web, video, social, iTunes music, Nielsen ratings, Nielsen Soundscan, live events, merchandise, internal and external key stakeholders, Social TV and mobile games. Market analysis around state of global mobile and social games, emerging bespoke communication apps and mobile disruption in the 21st century.
Akshay Kanyal: Can you briefly describe your current responsibilities and how your professional background has helped in full filling them?
Bethany Bengtson: I am analyst at Bottlenose, a big data startup, where I find actionable insights in streaming data for clients in the CPG, financial services and media and entertainment industries.
In my former role, I was an analyst at American Idol where I built a suite of business analytics around key business verticals including TV, music, digital, social, merchandise and eCommerce.
These insights provided the board of directors and executive team intelligence around existing successful business verticals and areas for market growth.
Akshay Kanyal: As an analyst what are some of the challenges and opportunities associated with your role?
Bethany Bengtson: Analyzing disparate data sets and deriving insight is easy, it’s getting the data in the first place that is the challenge. All of the data I analyze lives somewhere else – whether it’s a separate department or separate database, or even lives with a vendor or partner.
Acquiring the data and ensuring it is in a compatible format, requires finding the right people within the organization and building solid relationships so that when the time comes, and it will, when an 11th hour report needs to be produced for the board, you have stakeholders you can rely on to deliver.
Akshay Kanyal: With the humongous amount of data being thrown at analyst today – how can information be derived from this chaos?
Bethany Bengtson: They say that by 2025, accumulated stored data will outgrow the data analyst workforce by +22%.
Unfortunately going forward, the data analyst shortage will always be a reality for anyone choosing to derive insight from data.
However, the role of the analyst isn’t to be able to answer the question, it is actually pertinent to answer the right question.
For example, lots of consumer facing apps allow users to see their in-app usage metrics; one meditation app in particular comes to mind. Well, someone who desires to meditate has most likely chosen this app because they are overwhelmed with aspects of their life, and they need to be able to unwind, and simply focus on a single thing without the pressure of performing.
But then to give the user analytic on their meditation “performance” is completely counter intuitive. Just because we can measure something, doesn’t mean it’s beneficial. The same goes for business.
We can analyze tons of things, but at the end of the day, we need to know how it is impacting revenue.
To that end, the vast amount of stored data is not overwhelming; being able to answer the right question, with the data sets we have available to us, is the only challenge.
Akshay Kanyal: When it comes to generating ‘actionable’ insights what key factors have to be taken care of by analysts?
Bethany Bengtson: It always comes down to revenue. Are the insights I am finding going to empower my organization, stakeholders or the market to increase spend, decrease spend, buy something or sell something. If my analysis is not answering any of those questions, I am not delivering actionable insights.
Akshay Kanyal: How can analyst ensure that he is ‘really listening’ to the client’s problems and concerns?
Bethany Bengtson: This is difficult.
There is always going to be a disconnect between truly technical analysts and clients (or internal stakeholders). Analysts know the data; the client does not.
It is the function of the analyst to translate business questions into analysis.
Because the client does not know the data, they ask uninformed questions with lots of missing pieces.
The issue isn’t a matter of the analyst ‘really listening’, but in the analyst, again, asking the right questions. These questions typically need to ask the client ‘What are you not telling me?’ without suggesting that the client is lacking key knowledge to make the analysis successful.
Akshay Kanyal: What key points are you going to convey through your presentation at Sentiment Analysis Symposium?
Bethany Bengtson: I will be presenting an analysis on color, and how that becomes a market indicator for underlying consumer sentiment. Instead of looking at positive or negative charge of a conversation, or even emotions using the Regressive Image Dictionary, we chose to look at how color can reveal underlying consumer emotion.
Text classifications can often be misleading in revealing emotion, but attraction to a certain color is not.
Akshay Kanyal: If we want to know more about your company what will be the best source of information?
Akshay Kanyal: What is the most important ingredient to become an awesome insight expert?
Bethany Bengtson: Asking the right question.
You can register with Sentiment Analysis Symposium HERE
Akshay Kanyal writes survey research reviews on his popular blog Online MR. He’s an avid blogger, brand consultant and a content marketing expert, helping business owners to craft content that sells.
He provides content marketing advice to start-ups and innovation driven companies. He can be contacted at email@example.com