Attensity (Flashback to 2011). Suggestions on structured & unstructured connection.
November 16, 2013

Attensity (Flashback to 2011). Suggestions on structured & unstructured connection.

Alan Bainbridge | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version


Modules Used

  • Attensity Analyze

Overall Satisfaction with Attensity

  • Attensity is excellent (and unique) in being able to find and quantify the presence of topics, sentiment or 'about-ness' as specified by the user. The linguists at Attensity really know what they're doing. Their technology is great at appropriately grabbing linguistic variations of the same thing.
  • Attensity lets you slice and categorize your unstructured data across different dimensions (according to a category set users setup). For example you can categorize by sentiment (positive and negative) and about-ness (customer service, product, brand, etc.)
  • I found their professional services people EXTREMELY responsive and helpful. I included some suggestions for improvement below, but this is more about a company-wide approach to pro-serv and training. Jerry T. was so great to work with!
  • I have not used Attensity since 2011 so this might be dated. I found it was much less useful the more abstract the subject matter was. I found it VERY effective at finding instances of concrete problems such as problems with a specific product/object/part. I found it much more difficult to analyze and categorize text that had to do with a customer's experience. I don't know that this is a flaw in Attensity's technology. I think this is due to the almost limitless ways a customer can describe an experience. Whereas with products customers tend to use a narrow range of specific terms and model/part #s. With experiences customers/respondents often use different and sometimes 'wrong' terminology. I found it very difficult to build category sets that would capture all/most of the feedback around a specific experience without bringing in too many false positives.
  • One way around this is to set up respondents (in a survey for example) to focus their comments on something specific, or to provide survey check-boxes for respondents to indicate how they feel their feedback fits into categories. But I found Attensity professional services (this was in 2011 or earlier) to be resistant to using structured data with unstructured. It seemed that they were so in love with their tool that they were reluctant to see how it would be enhanced by using structured data along side it.
  • I found that Attensity as a company could benefit from having 1 or more methodological approaches that they teach clients step-by-step. They were GREAT at teaching us how to use the functionality of the tool. But I found them lacking in teaching a philosophy or method for approaching the building of a category set and identifying the best standard reports for a clients' audience(s). As a client I wanted more suggestions from them in terms of how to best build a category set and more suggestions on the best reports to build from in for our managers, directors and board.
  • I recall the feedback helping us identify the real magnitude of an issue that we know was present, but we weren't asking about on our survey. Because no one asked the customers about this issue no one knew how big of a problem is was until we were able to show the volume of feedback on a specific issue.
I would advice them to marry the unstructured data to structured data wherever possible. If building a survey, I would advice asking multiple questions directed at very specific products or experiences. For example "What could our staff at the <LOCATION NAME> store do to be more helpful?" is a very directed question. "How could we improve our service?" will likely include feedback about the customer service line, the website, other stores and perhaps specific complaints. Ask very specific questions does much of your categorization for you. Also, I find Attensity works better for product feedback than for service feedback.
All clients should make sure to establish their proper nouns ("Entities") with professional services. This can take time.
Example: If you're Carl's Jr. you need to set up Attensity to know that $6 Burger is a proper noun/product name not a dollar amount.

Using Attensity

In my current job we do not use Attensity. I work as an HR analyst we have all/most of the data we need as structured data. We have very little unstructured data. It would not be a good fit for our team.