Case Study



In this success story, we explore how Mfon Akpan used Navigator’s Sentiment Analysis tool to analyze the brand sentiment of a U.S.-based rideshare company.

Use this story as a guide for using Navigator’s functionality for analysis.



Mfon Akpan, Assistant Professor of Accounting at Methodist University, helps companies use data to make better decisions.

Along with instructing classes on finance and accounting, he also teaches a series on business intelligence. His course explores how organizations can use analytics, data mining, and data visualization to improve their operations.

In addition to teaching, Mfon is also a doctoral candidate in accountancy at Indiana Wesleyan University. As part of his dissertation (co-authored by Dr. Tiffany Schuster, Indiana Wesleyan University), Akpan needed to conduct an applied research project to help a business solve real-world problems.


The Challenge

For this project, the university paired Akpan with a U.S.-based rideshare business.

Management at this company wanted to estimate their return on investment from community initiatives. Such activities could include sponsoring a youth sports league or giving away free rides for a particular cause.

Executives knew these promotions sparked lots of buzz on social media and traditional news outlets. But they needed to determine whether such activities generated enough media coverage to justify their cost.

“At a publicly-traded company, you’re spending investor money,” explains Akpan. “You need to be a good steward of that capital and justify every dollar you spend.”

More importantly, the rideshare business struggled to determine how people had responded to these community initiatives.

Traditional social media metrics show only how many people engaged with a post.

But Akpan wanted to dig into the data further and gauge the public’s reaction, whether positive or negative, to these community initiatives.


How Navigator Helped

An example of Sentiment trend data within the Navigator platformAn example of Sentiment trend data within the Navigator platform

After wrestling with this problem, a company director suggested Akpan try Navigator to quantify social media sentiment.

Akpan had already built an impressive pool of raw data from the rideshare company’s social media campaigns. This included metrics such as likes, shares, and comments.

The next step was to make the data work harder.

“I have this raw data from social media,” explains Akpan. “But then the next question was, ‘What does this mean?’”

“Do customers like these campaigns? Do customers dislike them? In other words, what’s the sentiment? That’s where Navigator came in.”

Akpan, with support from the Liferaft team, used Navigator’s Sentiment Analysis tool to collect references of the company from across the web.

By collecting reputational-related keywords, Akpan could finally quantify public sentiment. And this allowed for a far deeper level of analysis than what was possible prior.


The Results:

With the sentiment analysis and dashboard analytics provided by Navigator, Akpan could provide far more insight into the effectiveness of the rideshare company’s community initiatives.

Because directors could now prove a positive return on investment from these sponsorships, it became easier to justify funding for upcoming projects.

And management could quickly pick initiatives that had a positive impact on their brand, while passing on those that performed poorly.

Akpan’s sentiment analysis provided other insights, too.

For instance, executives could now determine which social platforms provided the best return on investment for future marketing campaigns.

Akpan could even compare the rideshare company’s brand sentiment to rival organizations and track changes in public perception over time.

Navigator’s functionality allows for additional methods of data analysis, including:

  • Which terms are used most frequently in conjunction with the brand or campaign
  • Which areas in the world are providing strongest sentiment or chatter
  • Key influencers or top authors related to the company or campaign

“It was a great experience working with LifeRaft. If I were talking to a decision-maker, I would say: The more data you have, the more you can understand about your business. And ultimately, that means you can make better decisions."

— Mfon Akpan

If you are interested in contacting Mfon Akpan about this case study or his research, please email him at:

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