1st CATEGORY: Setup
No matter how good a tool is or how many features it provides – if the configuration and setup of queries and channels fail, even the best analyses may be of little use. Therefore, it is even more important to be provided with an intuitive and well-structured setup surface with assistance and notes on individual features as well as a competent and fast support to be contacted in emergencies. In the case of Webbosaurus, the support team takes care of the entire setup process and supervises the client throughout the entire project. Ubermetrics and Sysomos rely on intuitive and clear surfaces. Queries can be written in both expert and assisted mode. Users have full control over queries, channels and settings in both tools and can resort to the support if necessary. NetBase also relies on a sophisticated assisted mode for queries and at the same time offers the possibility to work with Boolean operators. NetBase’s setup is less intuitive and all in all the tool seems a little more complex, while at the same time being very comprehensive and innovative. The “insights” function provides an example for this: It allows the user to define separate sentiments for words and word groups, which in turn leads to a lower error rate in the accurate identification of sentiments. Historical data is available for analysis retroactively for up to 24 months without extra cost on NetBase as well as on Sysomos.
2nd CATEGORY: Performance & data volume
The strongest tool in the categories ‘number of mentions’ and ‘sentiment and language identification’ is NetBase. The tool detects more mentions on YouTube and Tumblr than its competitors. Ubermetrics also shows a large number of results and a solid language identification. NetBase manages to narrow down the error rate with their innovative approach in the sentiment analysis depending on setup and filters. Assuming that a sentence contains both negative and positive phrases, a mixed sentiment is given in the filter “all sentiments”. In the default setting, the sentiment analysis refers to “primary terms”. There is, however, a possibility to analyse results by “things”, that is: freely chosen terms or word groups like products, persons or brands. The tool is able to discern if these positive or negative terms or word groups relate to the “things” and displays the mention in the respective tonality. Mentions and sentiments are counted separately, which leaves the number of results unchanged even if a result has more than one sentiment. In addition to that, the tonality of terms or word groups can be defined during setup. The tool differentiates between weak and strong (“like”, or even “love”) and determines a “passion intensity”. The results of the full-service provider Webbosaurus cannot be compared to the other tool providers in this category because results are generally processed by a team of analysts.
3rd CATEGORY: Tagging, processing of results
Valuable information can only be gathered from high-quality data that can be edited well. Editing options and useful functions for mass-processing of results are therefore essential. Ubermetrics makes it possible to mass-tag up to 100 mentions and to manually upload mentions via an input window. Webbosaurus allows for a flexible adjustment of metrics. Topic, tonality and group can be adjusted and notes added. Additionally, the tool is equipped with shortcuts that make it possible to edit up to 50 results at the same time. Up to five tags per result can be assigned. NetBase once again wins the race in this category with functions like hierarchical tags that allow up to five topic levels and 60 tags.
4th CATEGORY: Export, dashboard, reporting & alerting
Once you have decided on a monitoring tool, you will usually want to pass on the obtained insights, either by means of an export file (tabular or graphical), a dashboard or an email. With respect to the export file and its metrics, none of the tested tools are able to hold a candle to Talkwalker (over 90 possible metrics). Things look different with regard to dashboards and reports. Ubermetrics impresses with an intuitive and clear design. The report can be customized modularly. NetBase provides a white label report that can be customised individually and easily, even with own graphics and pictures. However, the alert function is hard to find: First, an analysis has to be saved and defined as an alert. Only then, comprehensive means to adjust the alerts become available, e.g. regarding a change in reach or the number of authors. Special feature: Twitter stamina and strength. This examines the length and intensity of a peak on Twitter before an alert is sent. All in all, NetBase provides the most functions in this category, with only the menu navigation being in need of improvement.
Comparing all the tools, NetBase is the one we were most enthused about. It is very innovative and contains many excellent approaches, e.g. the sentiment analysis and hierarchical tagging. NetBase relies on natural language processing (NLP) and semantic analyses that are ideally suited for large amounts of data. However, the period of training and familiarization with the tool is significantly longer compared to the other tools, demanding experts that have already gathered monitoring experience. Sysomos is a versatile tool with features ranging from listening to searching, analysis, publishing and engaging. The tool did not convince in every area, but might constitute a competent platform for everybody who is looking for an aggregated solution. Unfortunately, only the areas of searching and listening were available to us. Ubermetrics might not be able to compete with the big boys (yet), but it makes for a clear and well-ordered tool with a good performance in volume and language analysis – a good tool with good service for the German-speaking market. Webbosaurus considers itself a full-service provider that takes care of everything from tool configuration to processing of results and creation of reports. The focus does not lie exclusively on the tool itself, but on a holistic service.
Should you have any questions regarding the tools or regarding your use case, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We were particularly pleased that Ubermetrics approached us in response to our first tool test and offered to have their tool tested. If you are a tool provider and would like to join our next testing phase, please feel free to get in touch with us.
Co-author: Björn Zosel