Unstructured Data: The Missing Piece of the CX Puzzle

By: Lisa Sigler

September 22, 2015

CEM Solutions
Customer Engagement
customer experience
customer experience management

Imagine that you did a survey about your website and 89% of respondents indicated that your site did not help them solve their issue. That’s exactly the situation that confronted a major health care insurance provider.

I would guess that was not a happy realization for the insurer. Company websites are generally intended to be helpful, and, well, 89% is a really big number. That’s a lot of people who were not able to get the info they needed.

However, like a giant jigsaw puzzle, the full customer experience (CX) picture is made up of many different pieces that fit together. The 89% figure was a major piece that showed that the website had problems, but it didn’t tell the insurance company anything else. Fortunately, that alarming survey result was not the only information they had available.

In addition to that piece of structured data, the insurance company also had unstructured data in the form of social media conversations. They applied text analytics to determine what people were talking about on social media sites with respect to their brand. Then they used sentiment analysis on this processed data. The analysis confirmed the survey results:

  • 8X as many comments were negative vs. positive
  • There was 700% more negative feedback about finding information

Digging even deeper, they determined that customers were most frustrated by their inability to find plan-specific information. Segmenting the data by type of user revealed that new customers who were shopping for plans were unable to figure out which one would be best for them, while existing customers were confused when trying to answer questions about making changes to their current policies.

The insights they found in their unstructured data helped them to plan a website redesign project that prioritized making plan-specific information easy to find. The unstructured data provided the missing piece of the puzzle that allowed the company to see the whole picture accurately and take appropriate action.

Unstructured data is found beyond social media—it’s the write-in text in your surveys, the emails your customers send you, the call recordings from your call center, and dozens of other sources. It helps you to explain your survey results, find the root causes of revenue trends, and gauge customer sentiment toward your brand. Without a way to capture and analyze unstructured data, your customer experience management projects will always be missing a piece.

Read more about this health insurer’s story as well as other cases where unstructured data revealed the big picture in the Clarabridge research report What Your Structured Data Isn’t Telling You.


Lisa Sigler is Sr. Manager of Content Marketing at Clarabridge. For over 16 years, Lisa has used her writing and editorial skills to bring the value and benefits of technology to life. In her current role, she works to demonstrate Clarabridge’s position as thought leader and trailblazer in the Customer Experience Management market. Lisa holds a B.A. of English from Kent State University. Read more from Lisa on Twitter @siglerLis.