PNS Introduces a New Text Analytics Service for Extracting Meaning and Sentiment from Unstructured Data

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The PNS Coding Service provides accurate and nuanced interpretation of raw text recorded by people about brands, companies, values and messages in polls, customer feedback, social media discussion and other streams of open-ended written commentary.

Princeton National Surveys (PNS), the online survey research service provider based in Pennington, NJ, announces a new support service for coding open-ended responses. The service is targeted at organizations and individuals who value text-based responses, but need to better categorize and dimensionalize the meaning in those responses than current automated solutions are able to provide.

The PNS Coding Service uses a combination of skilled coders and computer assists to code free-form textual comments. This human-intelligence text analytics method helps researchers to cost-effectively glean deeper insights from questionnaires, reviews and social media conversation. It allows analysts to offload this important but time-consuming function to skilled practitioners so that they have more time to discover stories in data and activate the meaning they uncover.

In this era of Big Data, the need to uncover the meaning and the causative influences behind the data becomes more and more critical. Verbatim data in which people provide the reasons for their attitudes and actions can be one of the richest sources for this kind of discovery, but refining the immense amount of raw text into meaningful data taxes the limited capabilities of researchers. This problem is not solved by automated solutions where word counts and algorithmic ontologies often result in primitive and misleading classifications. This is magnified by the many respondents who make spelling or grammatical errors in their writing, use slang, emoji, or social media speak to signal context, or employ sarcasm and hyperbole to express their opinions.

Princeton National Surveys’ 50 years of experience with open-ended coding gives it unmatched expertise in deciphering and cataloging verbatim comments. Skilled PNS coders work closely with clients to transform their tangle of textual data into actionable, concise and well-organized categorical data. Coding frameworks and reporting formats are flexible and, depending on the size and complexity of the project, results can be delivered in one to three business days.

According to Scott Fulmer, PNS Coding Product Manager, “Verbatim feedback and responses are rich resources for insights because the consumer or constituent is telling their own story in his or her way using his or her words. Extracting such insights is messy and error-prone, especially with today’s tendencies to reach for automated solutions. We’ve designed our service for clients whose needs go beyond simple word counts and rigid taxonomies of language and concepts, and whose needs are best served by tapping human intelligence for comprehending and classifying written communications.”


About Princeton National Surveys:

Founded in 1965 as the in-house field arm of research pioneer G&R, PNS today blends state-of-the-art technology with deep research experience to provide their clients with the assistance needed for the highest quality data collection, processing and reporting. For more information about the new coding service visit

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Scott Fulmer
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