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This paper describes a study to explore the integration of group support systems (GSS) and artificial intelligence (AI) technology to provide solicitation, analytical, visualization and sense-making support for attitudes from large distributed marketing focus groups. The paper describes two experiments and the concomitant evolutionary design and development of an attitude analysis process and the MindMine comment analysis tool. The analysis process circumvents many of the problems associated with traditional data gathering via closed-ended questionnaires and potentially biased interviews by providing support for online free response evaluative comments. MindMine allows teams of raters to analyze comments from any source, including electronic meetings, discussion groups or surveys, whether they are Web-based or same-place. The analysis results are then displayed as visualizations that enable the team quickly to make sense of attitudes reflected in the comment set, which we believe provide richer information and a more detailed understanding of attitudes.
Date of Conference: 4-7 Jan. 2000