Word clouds can be a powerful visualization technique when dealing with text. Since a word cloud is a collection of words in different sizes, it helps identify the most frequently occurring words. This can have multiple use cases ranging from gauging attitude of successful applicants for a job to analyzing sentiment of a report.
One of the often-overlooked use case in business is to monitor media on a daily basis. Imagine a procurement team of a multinational company that needs to track media for news that can impact prices of inputs they use to manufacture their goods. A manual daily media scan can take up a few man-hours and is prone to human error. Instead, an auto generated word cloud from their favorite media website can help the procurement team pick the sentiment and the relevant news for the day.
You could be head of marketing tracking competitors of managing your brand. A word cloud-based media scan can be your quickest, human-error free and the most efficient way to meet those objectives. Similarly, financiers can find word clouds derived from news websites as the most efficient way to gauge market sentiment.
Illustrative use case: Monitor news websites without web scraping
For a week we took screenshots from our favorite news website – Bloomberg – to create the following word clouds for each day of the week. Each cloud aids us in identifying the most important news – based on the size of the text. The smaller text highlight the other less talked about news but attention worthy stuff.
How we created this tool
We created these word clouds by taking screenshots from the Bloomberg website for seven consecutive days. We then apply text recognition to each image to create word cloud. The word cloud reflects the weightage of each word based on frequency of its occurrence on all the websites that we wish to track (for this illustration we tracked only one).
Image scan – an alternative to web scraping
One can media scan and create word clouds through scraping the web as well. Web scraping is a popular tool for collating for market moving news, monitoring prices, competitor watch and so on through automated data collection from multiple websites. In certain countries, regulations around web scraping may make it illegal to do so. Image scanning technology is therefore a safer bet in most cases.
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