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MSBM hosts Virtual Workshop "Inside Look at a Sentiment Analysis Toolbox"

Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) hosted a virtual workshop "Inside Look at a Sentiment Analysis Toolbox " over 3 1/2-days - February 10-12, 2021, in collaboration with Cepei, a think tank based in Bogota, Colombia. The Workshop was one of the outputs of exploratory research that MSBM is conducting as part of the National COVID-19 Research Agenda being led through the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW). This Research seeks to evaluate the analytic potential of non-traditional sources of big data and the Workshop employed, as a case study: Twitter sentiment analysis to understand public reaction to Government COVID-19 restrictions – the case of Alorica.

Sentiment Analysis is an application of natural language processing (NLP) that involves understanding the emotional content of text. It includes the mining of public opinion in order to determine sentiment and has been applied in various domains such as business, politics, public health, marketing, election public opinion, etc.

The objective of this Workshop was to strengthen technical capacities on the sentiment analysis process, tools, and techniques. These capacities can then be applied to business case studies in the public or private sector. The practical and theoretical Workshop targeted statistical and data-producing institutions and stakeholders in Jamaica that are seeking to be more data driven in their decision making.

The technical, hands-on Workshop was well attended with 20 participants from public and private sectors including MOHW, STATIN, eGOV, JPS and UWI. The Sessions were conducted by Jamiil Touré Ali, a Data Scientist from the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, who is currently engaged with Cepei. Jamiil's obvious depth of knowledge, presentation style and responsiveness were well received by the appreciative participants.

Data that manifests itself as the exhaust from social and economic activity, such as  mobile data, social media, eCommerce, web traffic; have all become important sources of information for understanding the behaviours, preferences and attitudes of consumers, customers and the public at large. Sentiment Analysis offers new and innovative ways of analyzing these non-traditional data sources for a variety of applications in both business and the public sector. The misplaced notion of social media being the domain of the articulate minority has long since evaporated, and organizations (whether engaged in politics, government or commerce) truly ignore this medium at their peril.

Following the staging of a Big Data Seminar and Training Workshop in October 2019, MSBM has continued our collaboration with Cepei, exploring various applications of Big Data Analytics using non-traditional sources of data.

MSBM and UWI will continue our collective efforts to build local capacity and expertise in these emerging novel analytic techniques.

About Cepei

Cepei's work in countries of the region, especially in the framework of initiatives such as Big Data for Development (BD4D), has allowed it to engage with institutions that demand more significant data analysis and knowledge exchange using novel research techniques.

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