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Data shows conversations about March Madness

Aware, the leader in collaboration intelligence, revealed the top employee insights from its study on the March Madness tournament. The study is part of ongoing research to evaluate conversational data for broader insights into employee sentiment and the crossover between organizational intelligence and business impact.

Aware’s Data Science team analyzed over 400 million anonymized employee conversations in online collaboration environments between February 1 - March 31, including employee sentiment surrounding each NCAA team, comparing it against Vegas bookmaker odds to determine if there was a correlation. The research was conducted using the Aware collaboration intelligence platform and proprietary Natural Language Processing (NLP) models which identify, analyze, and deliver contextual intelligence sourced directly from the authentic voice of the employee in real time collaboration environments including Slack and Microsoft Teams.

Key findings include:

  • Conversations about March Madness began well before March indicating a high level of employee engagement prior to the actual start of the tournament.

  • Employee engagement related to March Madness was highest on weekends, indicating collaboration tools are in heavy use to facilitate co-worker conversations about popular events even outside of work hours.

  • Over 60% of employees described their brackets as busted after the first day of the tournament.

  • Conversations spiked on March 16, day one of the tournament, as employees encouraged each other to join groups and submit brackets in office pools.

  • Bookmaker odds and employee social sentiment were on par, and closely aligned, suggesting insights at scale in the workplace were as accurate as the projections of professional oddsmakers.

  • Of the teams that made the Sweet Sixteen, outliers Florida Atlantic and Gonzaga had higher sentiment trends than their relative odds, while Alabama had significantly lower sentiment. This indicates that employees may be championing these teams despite their odds.

  • During the week of March 26, conversations about Florida Atlantic and UConn soared, as did conversations related to the Women's NCAA tournament.


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