Your project collected a lot of posts? Great! But now the real work begins: analyzing all that text-based input and transforming it into actionable insights worth sharing. Our insights tool helps you do just that. Follow the steps below to make sure the time spent on processing your posts is minimal, while getting out maximum value.

Note: The actions taken in our insights tool won't impact the rest of your platform, and won't be visible to participants.

Steps to take - Quick overview

  1. Create new insights

  2. Explore the posts

  3. Define your tags

  4. Tag your posts

  5. Complement and correct the tagging

  6. Draw conclusions

  7. Export the results

1. Create new insights

Select the project you want to analyze and name your new insights.

You can create as many insights as you need starting from the same project data.

2. Explore the posts

After creating your insight, you'll land on the exploration page. Here, you can browse and filter your posts by interacting with the keyword visualisation, by filtering on tags (cf below) or by searching. By exploring your posts here, you get a first good understanding of what people are talking about. If you want to do a full analysis of your project and draw conclusions, this also proves to be a great starting point for all steps below.

The visualization shown is a network visualization. It consists of the important and recurring keywords automatically detected in your project's posts.

The big circles represent groups of keywords that often occur together, and the most important of those keywords are shown inside those big circles.

Clicking such a big circle opens it up to show the individual keywords that are linked with it. Clicking a keyword adds it as a filter to the list of posts on the right-hand side.

Some practicalities:

  • The size of the circles represents the frequency with which those keywords occurred.

  • You can freely zoom and scroll the visualization

  • When exporting, the current view of the visualization will be exported as a png image.

3. Define your tags

An important step when processing and analyzing the collected posts is to group the posts that belong together in a way that makes sense for your project, your needs, and your context. That's where 'tags' come in. You can define them as you see fit and create as many as you need.

Once the posts are tagged, it will be much easier to dive in, summarise and draw conclusions to base your decisions on.

Your custom project tags are used as default tags, prefilled with the posts that were manually assigned to that tag by the author. Don't need them as tags? Simply click 'Reset tags' and you can start creating tags from scratch.

There are two ways of adding tags:

  1. If you have a good sense of what those tags need to be (e.g. by browsing the first X input items), you can manually add your tags in the 'Add tag' input box.

  2. [Premium customers only] If you don't know yet which tags to use, click 'Detect new tags' to get some suggestions based on frequently used keywords in your project input.

PRO tip: Make sure to define relevant project tags when setting up your project.

What form could tags take?

  • (Sub)topics, e.g. for your mobility project those could be 'safety'; 'infrastructure'; 'parking'; 'charging stations'; ...

  • Objectives or Priorities, e.g. 'zero traffic deaths'; 'reduce emissions'; 'safer city center'; ...

  • Departments or Teams, e.g. 'Building & Safety'; 'Development Services'; 'Housing & Neighborhood Revitalization'; ...

  • Meta tags, e.g. 'Positive' & 'Negative'; 'Pro' & 'Con'; 'On-topic' & 'Off-topic'

  • A combination of the above

4. Tag your posts

Now that you've defined your tags, it's time to group all collected posts into those tags. Posts can be assigned to zero, one, or multiple tags.

There are again two ways of assigning posts to tags:

  1. Manually: select the posts that belong together and add them in bulk to one or more tags.

  2. [Premium customers only] Automated: within each tag, you'll find a 'Scan for suggestions' button. Clicking this button will automatically populate your tag with the posts that get linked to your tag name by our algorithm. As indicated, this might take a few minutes. You can leave the page, and e.g. start populating other tags. The machine keeps running in the background, and suggestions get gradually added.

5. Complement and correct the tagging

[Premium customers only] The algorithms used to tag the posts will never be 100% 'correct'. Therefore, when accuracy is required, you can use the optimized annotation flow to go through the tagging results, and manually correct and complement them.

There's a clear visual distinction between approved or manually added tags on one hand, and those that got added automatically without being approved. The posts in each tag can also easily be sorted to bring the non-approved items on top.

A post with a manually added or approved tag (left, 'Health and welfare') and an automatically added one that requires approval (right, 'garden')

Once more, there are two ways to complement and correct the categorization:

  1. One by one: If you want to see the full content of the post, click on the item you want to start with. In the side view, you can read the whole post, and approve or add the relevant tags. With the up and down arrows on your keyboard, you can easily navigate through the list of posts.

  2. In bulk: If you know the input well, or when the titles are enough to tag the posts, you can bulk-approve the suggestions by selecting the respective items in the list and clicking 'Approve'.

Posts that get added in your project after you created your insights, will be assigned to the 'Recently posted' section, from where you can assign them to your existing tag structure.

6. Draw conclusions

Once you've completed the previous steps, click 'Done' to go back to the exploration view.

Here, you can now easily filter on each of your tags and discover the participant input that comes with it. This will allow you to get a good understanding of each tag, and to draw your project's conclusions.

7. Export the results

Once done, you can now export the tagged input to Excel.

The export file will contain a column for each tag, with 'approved' indicating that the tag has been manually added to or approved for the post of that row and an empty cell indicating that the post is not linked to that tag. Automatically assigned tags that haven't been approved have a 'suggested' value.

The export can be used as a starting point to create visuals for your report, or it can serve as an internal tool to browse your posts in a more structured way.

  • Are you passing on the posts to different teams or departments? They can now easily filter on those tags that are relevant to them.

  • Are the posts a starting point for further discussions or participation? Prepare those sessions by looking at one (group of) tag(s) at a time.


Feedback or questions? Reach out to karel@citizenlab.co, and we'll make sure to include your needs when further improving and expanding this functionality.

Did this answer your question?