Is there a name for this kind of analysis?
November 15, 2020 12:10 AM   Subscribe

Let’s say a government gathers public input for the purpose of redistricting. The government amasses a thousand pieces of public input, possibly via different media, describing and justifying different geographic communities of interest. And the government wants to manage and mine that data.

Is there a name or phrasing that would concisely describe what is needed?
posted by NotLost to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you mean doing it in an automated way using technology, then "sentiment analysis".

But, uh, in my (limited) experience in the Canadian government, it's often just a junior policy analyst with a stack of emails and a copy of Excel reading all the emails (and thanking whatever god they believe in for the fact that most of them are form letters) and putting tally marks that count all those detailed emails as votes for or against certain broad possible changes that are being considered.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:49 AM on November 15, 2020 [4 favorites]

Are you looking for a descriptive noun or a tool or methodology? Noun=“comment analysis” or “qualitative data analysis”. Lots of good tools out there!
posted by chocotaco at 4:33 AM on November 15, 2020

It's not exactly what you're asking for, but you might be interested in learning about sortition, a system of government in which decisions are made by a randomly selected representative group of citizens. The idea behind sortition is that it decreases factionalism, and gives you a decision-making body that is more like the population as a whole.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 5:34 AM on November 15, 2020

1. I realize I didn't specifically mention that I mean some kind of automated analysis.

2. I was originally asking for a noun, but a tool or methodology would be even better.
posted by NotLost at 6:33 AM on November 15, 2020

Coding might be the word you seek. It's the process of converting qualitative to quantitative data by categorizing content, intensity, etc. so it can be analyzed using standard statistical techniques. There's automatic solutions, but also a lot of best practices for manual approaches that have been worked out over decades to deal with open-ended survey questions, and the like, to avoid bias, etc.
posted by carmicha at 7:03 AM on November 15, 2020 [4 favorites]

Thank you. This phrasing helped me better describe the desired process.
posted by NotLost at 7:02 PM on November 17, 2020

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