(101 Introduction To Social Analytics+ 201 Boolean Mastery+301 Data Analysis And Insights Generation)

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301.4 Insights Generation: Making Sense of Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis

Please watch the video, read the lesson below and take a quiz at the end of this lesson (bottom of this page).


Now that you know the metrics to use and have been introduced to common methodologies used in social listening, how do you exactly bring everything together in a report?

The 5 W’s

Analyses that you will do in social listening research will fall in any of the five W’s: Who, What, When, Where, and Why. They can be either quantitative or qualitative analysis. The below table shows some sample quantitative and qualitative analyses you can do for each category. Note that not all categories have both quantitative and qualitative analysis.


To give you an idea of how these can be applied in an actual report, let’s follow the story of Sonya who needs to prepare a research study about snacking trends. How can she use the five W’s to guide her data analysis?

WHO: Understanding your audience and their persona, as well as influential figures in the space

 She may want to know who is talking about snacks in the market of interest.

To know which influencers her brand can use to promote their products, she can identify top impactful influencers in the space. In Radarr, there is a “Top Influencers” table under the Insights section that can help you with this:


She may also be interested to know specific audience segments that are talking a lot about snacks. This type of analysis is qualitative because she needs to look through the mentions and categorize people into psychographic segments. Since this is not information that is provided by platforms, she would need to qualify this herself based on definitions she will set, such as:

  • Bakers/Cooks – posts about recipes/cooking
  • Students – posts about snacking while studying
  • Movie watchers – posts about snacking while watching movies/shows
  • Moms – posts about preparing/buying snacks for their kids
  • Health Buffs – posts about healthy snacks


WHAT: Breaking down the key conversation themes across different segments and their sentiments

Of course, to identify snacking trends, Sonya needs to know what topics people are discussing in the snacking space. Radarr’s Top Topics feature can help her spot these theme clusters. It also color-codes the themes according to sentiment:


She may also want to know the overall sentiment breakdown across snacking-related conversations:



WHEN: Identifying the specific time of interest – be it by the hour, day, month, quarter, or seasons

Knowing when people were highly talking about snacks would allow her to investigate causes of buzz volume spikes. This would make it easier for her to find trends. After looking at the below Conversation over Time graph from Radarr, she may analyze why there were spikes on 17th March and 27th March:


Analyzing when people discuss certain topics can also be a qualitative analysis, for example, when you are identifying snacking moments – what are the occasions when people would likely snack?



WHERE: Locating the buzz behind social conversations both digitally and geographically

“Where” in terms of social media mentions can be defined in two ways –

Platforms/channels/sites where people post:


Or, it can also be where they are located geographically. In Radarr, there is a Mentions Map graph which shows you in which country/region people posted from, such as in the Malaysia map below:


WHY: Uncovering the triggers, barriers, and motivations, behind the decision and the cultural context that influences it

This type of analysis is qualitative because just like psychographic segments, Sonya would need to define the clusters by which she will categorize the data. In the sample graph below that shows factors that affect people’s product purchase of snacks, she may have defined the themes this way:

  • Accessibility – the availability of products in stores/online shopping
  • Flavor – taste
  • Good Reviews Online – encouraged to buy the product because of online reviews
  • Endorser – interested to buy the product because of celebrity endorsement
  • Packaging – convenient or nice looking pack
  • Price Promotion – discounts
  • Recommended by Friends – word of mouth
  • Healthy Alternative – healthier vs. other brands



Note that you don’t have to answer all the five W’s in every report. The analysis that you need to do will be dependent on the research objectives set at the start of the project. These objectives should guide you from the start until the end of your research. Ideally, anything that does not answer these objectives is not necessary to be included in your report.