NEW YORK – Porter Novelli has launched PN Sonar, the latest in an ongoing trend of proprietary monitoring tools emerging from agencies.

Sonar pulls social, print and broadcast data from various third-party sources, which is then analyzed for grammar patterns and sentiment. The data analysis involves a combination of applying algorithms and human review.

“We repeat this process until the sentiment analysis accuracy is 95 percent,” said Joe Shantz, senior vice president of analytics at PN. “The accuracy is obtained by tweaking the algorithm and gaining machine learning.”

Marketing technologies have long grappled with sentiment analysis because of the difficulty of automating context clues, for instance, to decipher whether the word “sick” is being used favorably.

Shantz says Sonar takes into account the client’s sector and platform to mitigate this issue. For example, if a client is active on Twitter with younger consumers the word “sick” would be more likely be tagged positive, especially if used in conjunction with an emoticon.

"We observe differences in language between the client’s specific language and competitors," he added. For example, Apple fans use different language and grammar than their competitors.

Shantz joined PN in July 2012, following stints at Yahoo and MySpace's analytics teams. His arrival came just two months before Israel Mirsky, PN's EVP of emerging media and technology, departed the firm to join fellow Omnicom company Annalect as global MD of social solutions.

"Every data analysis tells a story – and that story isn’t 'the client’s positive sentiment went up by 5 percent over the last reporting period' – it’s all about the story of the relationship between the stakeholder and the client," Shantz noted.

PN declined to name data sources for Sonar, which will be included for clients that use the agency for monitoring services. TrendingTarget, PN's real-time conversation tool launched is 2011, is currently being retooled and not offered.

Hotwire recently launched Listening Post, an internal tool that allows users to gain granular insight into influencers’ networks on specific brand or topic. Prior to SXSW, Waggener Edstrom partnered with Little Bird and Tator Tot Designs to launch Hey Big Fish to identify top influencer conversations at the show.