Understanding the Comments Report: Sentiments and Themes

Quantum Workplace uses text analytics to assign themes and sentiments to every comment left on your survey

This article applies to Engagement Survey analytics. Learn more about theme and sentiment analysis in our Pulse analytics here.

In this article: 


Our software classifies every comment on the survey as either negative, positive, or neutral/mixed. We color code sentiment in the following ways: 

  • Negative (Red): represents things that employees don’t like, think can be improved, or both.  
  • Positive (Blue): represents things that employees like, think are going well, or both. 
  • Mixed/Neutral (Gray): represents things that employees have either mixed or neutral feelings about. 
  • Unclear (White): represents a comment that can't be confidently identified.

How does Quantum Workplace calculate sentiment? 

Our automated text analytics uses the "bag of words" model to detect sentiment, which essentially means that our tool breaks each comment down into units called n-grams and looks at the sentiment of each n-gram in order to approximate the overall sentiment of the comment.  

Unfortunately, this methodology can also fail to detect sentiment:  For example, the comment “I have nothing bad to say,"  the word "bad" would be classified as negative, causing the comment to be incorrectly coded as negative until the sentiment is manually changed by an Admin. 

Overall, our tool correctly classifies comment sentiment about 70 - 80% of the time. 

Can I change the sentiment associated with a comment? 

Yes, Admin users can change sentiment by clicking on the colored circle to the left of the comment and selecting the new sentiment. Anyone who has access to the comments report will see the new, correct sentiment that you've updated.  


Themes are topics related to the workplace. As an example, the phrases ‘maternity leave,’ ‘childcare,’ and ‘work and home life’ all relate to the theme of Work-Life Balance. 

Check out our Glossary for the complete list of our 36 themes.

How are themes displayed in the Comments Report?

Comment themes appear as tags below each comment. 


We also display a bubble chart on the comments report to show the aggregate analysis of comment themes.

In this bubble chart, themes are placed along an x-axis that indicates net sentiment. The size of each bubble indicates how often a theme is brought up in comments, the larger the bubble, the more frequently the theme is brought up. 

Clicking the icon in the top-right corner allows you to view the chart in a full-screen view or download the chart in various formats. 

bubble chart 1 v2

Can I change the theme associated with a comment? 

Yes, Admin users can add or remove themes to any comment. 

To add or remove a theme, click on the tag icon to the left of the listed themes for a comment. To remove a theme, click the minus sign of the theme you'd like to remove. To add a theme, type the theme into the search box, select from the drop-down or create your own, and click "Save." 

How are themes calculated?

Our text analytics calculates themes similarly to how it calculates sentiment in that it first breaks down the comment into smaller units (n-grams) and then checks to see if any n-grams are linked to one or more themes. The comments report displays all themes that are detected within a comment.