July 13, 2017 9:21 pm Published by

Knowledge is power

In the accommodation and tourism industry, knowing what happens, when, and where gives your business a tremendous advantage against your competitors.  However, the Niagara Region hosts tons of events all year long.  How do you keep up with the news?  How do you prioritize these events?  How long does this process take you?

Five minutes

That’s what it took for the RapidMiner text mining program to generate a list of the most publicized events -without a marketing team doing the research.

Have you heard about the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta?

I had not until today!  It was the event mentioned most frequently by websites announcing cultural events in the region when I came in to work this morning.  I did have to do a little digging – the result of text mining is a list of words.  “Henley” was in the top ranks, and I did not know what it was, so I googled it.  As it turns out, it’s a rowing regatta that will be hosted from August 6th to August 13th in St-Catharines, and will attract more than 2800 athletes from all over the world! As a business owner or manager, are you prepared to take advantage of this opportunity?

family-557100_1920Retailers: have you prepared special advertisement campaigns targeting young athletes?

Restaurants: what about changing your menu specials to please this special crowd and their families?

Hotels: Time for sales or night packages for the teams?

You can do this too

Starting out in text mining requires nothing more than your computer.  You can do this pretty quickly using Wordcloud.  Just copy and paste text and the most common words will come back in the biggest font.  You will notice that the most common words are not always the most useful – you can remove anything irrelevant from the word list.

At, we use RapidMiner, a software that allows you to do more advanced text mining.  You can download the free version here for free.  You will need to be determined when using this tool – remember that skills are acquired with time, and you will face you share of mistakes.  Start with easier tutorials, then once you have mastered the tool, move on to harder materials. If you need assistance or would like to inquire about advanced analytics services we offer, you can always contact us at 



If you would rather learn on your own, there are plenty of tutorials on the web to help you along the way, as well as videos if you ever get stuck.  With a little patience and creativity, you will soon be on your way to create value for your business.


Not everything on the internet is free-for-all

You can mine websites, as long as you read and respect their “terms of use”.  This can take some time, but is absolutely necessary!  Using data ethically is of paramount importance, even for beginners.  To learn more about ethics in data science, you can refer to our article Open data part 2: Using it the right way.


Creativity + Data = Business Value

Simple recipes for generating business value can easily be gained with rudimentary tools and a little creativity.  I’m not talking about full-fledged analytics, I’m talking about simple technologies that can make managing your business a little easier.  These technologies are available to everyone right now – you just have to try.

My challenge to you

Join the data revolution! Next time you have an “Eureka” moment, share with us on Twitter, Linkedin or Facebook using #MyDataMoment!   Let’s create a community where we can all share our data insights – and support each other in our learning.

My next article on text mining will reveal a hidden data agenda behind this blog! Don’t want to miss it?  Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin!

Categorised in:

This post was written by Valérie Plante-Brisebois

Comments are closed here.