Honors Program

University Honors

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Michele Joyner

Thesis Professor Department

Mathematics and Statistics

Thesis Reader(s)

Jeff Knisley, Chris Wallace


Companies continually seek to improve their business model through feedback and customer satisfaction surveys. Social media provides additional opportunities for this advanced exploration into the mind of the customer. By extracting customer feedback from social media platforms, companies may increase the sample size of their feedback and remove bias often found in questionnaires, resulting in better informed decision making. However, simply using personnel to analyze the thousands of relative social media content is financially expensive and time consuming. Thus, our study aims to establish a method to extract business intelligence from social media content by structuralizing opinionated textual data using text mining and classifying these reviews by the degree of customer satisfaction. By quantifying textual reviews, companies may perform statistical analysis to extract insight from the data as well as effectively address concerns. Specifically, we analyzed a subset of 56,000 Yelp reviews on fast food restaurants and attempt to predict a quantitative value reflecting the overall opinion of each review. We compare the use of two different predictive modeling techniques, bagged Decision Trees and Random Forest Classifiers. In order to simplify the problem, we train our model to accurately classify strongly negative and strongly positive reviews (1 and 5 stars) reviews. In addition, we identify drivers behind strongly positive or negative reviews allowing businesses to understand their strengths and weaknesses. This method provides companies an efficient and cost-effective method to process and understand customer satisfaction as it is discussed on social media.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Copyright by the authors.