Searching for relevant risk, reputation, and market intelligence in today’s digital landscape may feel even more impossible than finding a needle in a haystack. Organisations need to understand what’s happening in their world; what’s changing, why, and when they were mentioned. But the universe of events and headlines that may impact these questions is now so incredibly vast. Organisations need to find a way to narrow it down.

This is where data taxonomies come in. More intelligent and intentional than saved queries, taxonomies act as the compass to your business roadmap. They filter out what’s not important, directing decision-makers to the exact insights they need to understand their corporate reputation, performance, and influences.

What is a data taxonomy?

A data taxonomy is what we use to organise the vast data contained within the Polecat platform. This is the umbrella term that categorises data into meaningful collections. A taxonomy consists of a collection of topics, keywords, and signifiers surrounding a specific theme. For example, ‘ESG’ or ‘energy transition’.

Why do you need taxonomies?

Polecat uses AI to analyse billions of documents for reputational impact, matching with thousands of companies and stakeholders with business-critical topics every day.

This is a minefield to navigate without some sort of guidance.

Taxonomies are a way of focusing in on the issues, and therefore the data, that matter to you. This, however, doesn’t mean you get a narrow view. A taxonomy can encompass as many topics and keywords as are relevant to that overarching theme. These can be updated extremely simply, in seconds, by our team or yours.

It fast-tracks you to the intelligence you need and, from there, you are free to dive into the specifics of each topic or headline, or zoom out to see global activity and impact.

When data is attached to a taxonomy it is given clear context. Whatever trend, impact or pattern you see is a direct driver for the taxonomy you’ve created. One that directly impacts your business roadmap.

Learn more about Intelligence in Context.

How taxonomies are used?

Taxonomies can be used to inform any area of interest, from reputational influencers to operational concerns to insured perils. There are two primary use cases where taxonomies provide valuable insight for decision-making:

Thematic analysis

Taxonomies can be used to give you a broad-scale view of a market theme. For example, a taxonomy about ‘Greenwashing’ would show you all the market trends, drivers and conversations happening around this theme.

This view can be used for industry benchmarking or to dynamically monitor materiality for example.

Issue management

You can also create taxonomies on a more reactive basis. Taxonomies can be highly focused and finite to represent specific situations and their potential impact.

This nuanced view can be used to track the impact of market incidents or to monitor the performance of a PR campaign for example.

How we create taxonomies in Polecat

Over the decades, we have been adding topics, sources and more to our platform. More importantly, we have been perfecting how to organise this unstructured data into a digestible structure: taxonomies.

Here is our process:

Build the taxonomy

We work with both pre-curated and custom taxonomies.

Our pre-existing taxonomies have been curated since the beginning of Polecat. They cover common and critical themes for most organisations, such as ‘ESG’, ‘Reputation’ and ‘Risk’. Any customer can benefit from these taxonomies immediately. However, these are not static which we discuss further down.

We also curate taxonomies based on your long-term and short-term goals. Whether you have a list of topics, some preliminary research, or nothing but a theme – we can build a taxonomy that encompasses this in days.

In this scenario, our team completes all the set up for you. Alternatively, users are able to build their own taxonomies or customise curated ones within the platform.

Get combined search results

Polecat aggregates all your searches to deliver one cohesive answer. Because the taxonomies are already packaged up for you when you come to the platform, you can go directly to the results. No need for multiple searches, you can search everything at once.

Results are shown in various charts, tables, and links. You can see a complete and detailed report, or a single trend visualised, right away. Similarly, our impact score consolidates various measures, including sentiment, reach and performance, to show you the overarching effect a taxonomy is creating.

Discover more about Impact Score here.

You can also have as many taxonomies as you want or need. This means you can ask as many questions as you like, about anything, and at any time – with the latest and most relevant data.

Evolve your taxonomy

All of our taxonomies grow bigger and smarter. This happens continually. You can make additions, or ask for updates, to your taxonomy at any time, but our team is also constantly researching and adding new topics. We keep our pre-existing and your bespoke taxonomies updated on a regular basis using AI techniques (including the solutions InsideTrack, ChatGPT, and Polecat Data Science) and subject matter expertise: AI+IQ.

Or if an incident occurs, we may suggest you create a new taxonomy to keep an eye on it. For example, pride backlash with retailers could be critical to your corporate reputation measures and could therefore warrant a focused view.

Users also don’t need to create Boolean or iterative searches or constantly update saved searches. These updates come into immediate effect for every user and can happen up to 10 times in a single day.

In short, Polecat and its taxonomies are far from static. They develop dynamically according to the world around us, without any user intervention.

The benefits of taxonomies at a glance

  1. Pre-curated taxonomies are ready immediately
  2. Taxonomies can be custom-built or customised in days
  3. Search time is cut down significantly by combined search
  4. Taxonomies are continually growing and up to date
  5. Polecat performs automatic updates 10 times a day
  6. Users don’t need to invest in market research to inform taxonomies (unless they want to!)
  7. Polecat’s taxonomies turn on immediately, giving you excellent time to value
  8. Taxonomies are extremely flexible and can look at any topic
  9. Users can have as many taxonomies as they want
  10. Taxonomies can show results in any language

How do I build the right taxonomy?

The quick answer: you don’t need to.

Because our taxonomies can easily be changed, there’s no reason you need to get things right the first time round. In fact, we would expect your taxonomy to change over time or for new ones to appear.

Language changes, new topics come into existence, and new terms are formed. Covid meant nothing before the pandemic, and lab-grown diamonds is not a term that was needed until recently.

Alongside our team’s research, you can use InsideTrack to identify big picture trends, new drivers, changing influences and more. Not only can you see that a new idea has emerged, but you can also see the moment, the publication, where it sparked.

Either way new topics are identified, our team is always on hand to provide support and insight, so you get the most value from the platform.

Taxonomies that breed intelligence

Taxonomies are a lens through which you can interpret data and find intelligence. Without them, you won’t be able to find the insights you need, no matter how credible your sources or vast your data.

For organisations looking to monitor their reputation, see how the market influences their position, and make actionable changes to move the needle in their direction, taxonomies are essential.

Get a free trial to see how taxonomies will benefit your reputation, risk and sustainability management. We’ll guide you through using the platform for up to two months so you can see its full value.