Top 9 Challenges of Traditional Sentiment Analysis

Learn about how modern generative analysis tools help companies overcome traditional sentiment analysis challenges such as ambiguous language, negation, and adapting to different industries and domains.
Nicole Bansal
Nicole Bansal, April 12, 2023

Sentiment analysis models have become indispensable tools for businesses aiming to understand and respond to their customers' emotions and opinions. However, traditional tools face a range of challenges, especially around dealing with nuances in language. Cutting-edge generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools are helping companies overcome these hurdles, and gain a deeper understanding of what their customers are thinking and feeling.

Here are some of the top challenges most sentiment analysis models face, and how tools like Viable can help companies overcome these obstacles to maximize the potential of their sentiment analysis efforts.

  1. Dealing with ambiguous language

One of the most significant challenges sentiment analysis models face is handling ambiguous language. Ambiguity arises from various factors, including sarcasm, idioms, double meanings, and irony. For instance, the phrase "I can't wait" could express positive anticipation or sarcastic disappointment, making it difficult for a model to determine the correct sentiment.

Generative analysis tools address this challenge by leveraging advanced natural language processing (NLP) algorithms, such as transformer-based models like GPT-4, to better understand and interpret ambiguous language. By training on a diverse range of text data containing numerous examples of ambiguous language, these tools can provide more accurate sentiment predictions, even when faced with challenging language constructs.

  1. Handling negation

Another challenge that sentiment analysis models face is managing negation. Negation can significantly alter the meaning of a sentence, turning a positive sentiment into a negative one or vice versa. For example, the phrase "not bad" actually means "good," and it can be difficult for a model to understand this reversal of sentiment.

Advanced techniques help generative AI models grasp the relationship between words in a sentence and their impact on sentiment. By considering negation in the broader context of the text, they can make more accurate sentiment predictions, enabling businesses to better understand their customers' true emotions and opinions.

  1. Adapting to different domains and industries

Sentiment analysis models often struggle to adapt to different domains and industries. Each industry has its own unique jargon, slang, and terminology, which can significantly influence sentiment interpretation. For example, the term "sick" has a negative connotation in the healthcare industry but can be used positively to describe something cool or impressive in informal settings.

Cutting-edge generative analysis tools address this challenge by allowing businesses to train and customize their models with domain-specific data, improving the models' performance in specific industry contexts. Furthermore, these tools incorporate domain adaptation techniques to enhance the model's ability to generalize across different domains and make better sentiment predictions. This adaptability enables businesses to effectively analyze text data from various industries and gain valuable insights into their customers' sentiments.

  1. Coping with multilingual data

As businesses expand globally, they encounter multilingual data from customers across different regions. Most sentiment analysis models are trained on a single language, making it challenging to analyze text data in multiple languages accurately. But doing so leaves out valuable qualitative data in other languages that can go a long way in helping businesses understand how customers in different regions feel about their offerings.

The good news is that, since they’re trained in various languages, modern tools are able to support multilingual data analysis without sacrificing accuracy. Alternatively, businesses can use tools like Viable in conjunction with language translation services to convert multilingual data into a single language before performing sentiment analysis. Doing so allows businesses to better understand the sentiments of their global customer base and refine their products and services accordingly.

  1. Addressing imbalanced data

In many cases, sentiment analysis models are trained on imbalanced data, where one sentiment class (e.g., positive or negative) is overrepresented compared to the others. This can lead to biased model predictions in which the model is more likely to predict the overrepresented class.

Viable's generative analysis tools tackle this challenge by employing various techniques that address data imbalance. By doing so, these tools can provide more accurate and unbiased sentiment predictions, ensuring that businesses gain a comprehensive understanding of their customers' emotions and opinions.

  1. Handling short and noisy text

Social media platforms, where users often express their opinions and emotions, are a crucial source of data for sentiment analysis models. However, text data from social media can be short and noisy, containing misspellings, abbreviations, slang, and informal language. This makes it challenging for traditional sentiment analysis models to accurately determine the sentiment of such text.

Modern generative analysis tools powered by GPT-4 are able to handle short and noisy text by using advanced techniques, such as spelling correction, slang normalization, abbreviation expansion, and tokenization. Plus, these tools employ advanced NLP techniques to capture subtle patterns in this type of text, leading to better sentiment predictions.

  1. Identifying and managing aspect-based sentiment

Traditional sentiment analysis models often focus on determining the overall sentiment of a given piece of text. However, in many cases, customers express different sentiments about various aspects of a product or service within the same piece of text. For instance, a customer may write a review praising a hotel's service but complaining about the room quality. Identifying and managing aspect-based sentiment is crucial for businesses to pinpoint specific areas that need improvement.

Viable's generative analysis tools address this challenge by employing aspect-based sentiment analysis models, which are designed to identify and analyze sentiment towards different aspects within a text. By focusing on aspect-based sentiment analysis, businesses can gain deeper insights into the specific areas that delight or disappoint their customers, enabling targeted product improvements and better decision-making.

  1. Ensuring data privacy and security

With cyberattacks on the rise, the risks to business’ data has never been higher. As they prioritize data privacy and security, businesses must ensure that the text data they use for sentiment analysis is handled responsibly and securely. Analyzing sensitive customer data without proper consent or violating data privacy regulations can lead to severe consequences, including legal penalties and loss of customer trust.

Modern generative analysis tools maintain data privacy and security by implementing strict data handling policies. Viable is SOC 2 Type II certified and can anonymize customer data, removing personally identifiable information (PII) in order to help to protect customer privacy. By using privacy-preserving techniques, these tools allow businesses to learn from data without directly accessing sensitive information, ensuring compliance with data privacy regulations.

  1. Evaluating model performance

Measuring the performance of sentiment analysis models can be challenging, as traditional accuracy metrics may not provide a comprehensive understanding of the model's true capabilities. For instance, a model with high overall accuracy may still struggle with certain types of text or specific sentiment classes.

Being able to evaluate sentiment analysis models effectively is essential for proving their efficacy, and modern generative analysis tools enable businesses to do just that. By using a combination of performance metrics, such as precision and recall, modern tools provide a more detailed understanding of the model's strengths and weaknesses. This allows businesses to identify areas for improvement and optimize the model's performance, ensuring that their sentiment analysis models meet their specific needs and provide the most valuable insights possible.

Overcome these challenges with sentiment analysis tools powered by AI

Sentiment analysis models offer businesses a powerful way to understand and respond to their customers' emotions and opinions. However, traditional models face various challenges that prevent companies from gaining a holistic view of their customers’ feelings towards their offerings.

By leveraging generative analysis tools from Viable, businesses can overcome these challenges and harness the full potential of sentiment analysis to make more informed decisions and improve customer satisfaction. Ready to take your sentiment analysis to the next level? Get started today.

Nicole Bansal
Nicole Bansal, April 12, 2023
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