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Published April 22nd 2010

How Are Workspace And Query Related?

(Answer: it is a bit like the relationship between a classroom and some students.)

About 2 months ago, I started to use Brandwatch’s service on my own. The company had made me an offer to become its COO and I wanted get to grips with the systems and test it out. Rather foolishly, it turns out, I did this without any of the usual training and before I knew about the fast and responsive tech support. And that is where I started getting lost: I could not for the life of me figure out the difference between a workspace and a query.

Too proud to actually admit my misunderstanding when I joined, I got the chance to see our chief report writer in action setting up a few queries and a workspace. He was carrying out some in-depth social media analysis for one of our clients and their competitors. It was great to see how he went about it as when running home the next day, I had something of a Eureka moment and the classroom/student analogy popped into my head.

I realised that I, as the Brandwatch user, could be thought of as the teacher, the workspace as my classroom and the queries are the students in the classroom. As the teacher (Brandwatch user) I decide which students (queries) I wish to compare and what I wish to compare them on. I can decide how many students to include in my classroom (workspace) and even whether I need 1 classroom or several.

Classroom with Three Figures by Lavern Kelley from Cliff1066TM

Classroom with Three Figures by Lavern Kelley from Cliff1066TM

Let me try to illustrate my analogy with an example. Say I wish to buy a family car with three seats across the middle in both the front and back rows. My initial Google search has identified two good options; the Fiat Multipla or the Honda FR-V. So I set up the a query for each of these car models, wait 20 minutes for all the data to get populated and then open a workspace. As I want to compare these two models on a like-for-like basis I use the first few tabs of the workspace to compare the two models. I create a ‘new query group’ to do this and then click on the components called ‘History for query group’ and see how many more mentions one site gets vs the other. Adding a few more ‘query group’ components and I can compare the sentiment, see which vehicle is being mentioned more on the most important websites, etc. I may be stretching my analogy too far here, but each tab could be a different subject (French, English, Geography, etc) and each component a lesson. In the same workspace, I can also look into detail on either one of the models, for example looking at the topics that are most prevalent.

In the above example, the workspace was used to compare different queries as well as focus on one query, just like a classroom is used to teach different students and provide some one-on-one attention for any given individual.

Now my analogy is not perfect, but, for me, it was something of a Eureka moment. I apologise if this is obvious to you, but that is probably beause you have had the benefit of the training and the help of the tech support team. Or maybe I am just a bit thick; back to school for me perhaps?

Image by cliff1066™ licensed under Creative Commons.

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