Text Analytics for Beginners using Python NLTK

Learn how to analyze text using NLTK.

In today’s area of internet and online services, data is generating at incredible speed and amount. Generally, Data analysts, engineers, and scientists are handling relational or tabular data. This tabular data columns have either numerical or categorical data. Generated data has a variety of structures such as text, image, audio, and video. Online activities such as articles, website text, blog posts, social media posts are generating unstructured textual data.

Corporate and business need to analyze textual data to understand customer activities, opinions, and feedback to successfully derive their business. To compete with big textual data, text analytics is evolving at a faster rate than ever before.

Text Analytics has lots of applications in today’s online world. by analyzing tweets on Twitter, we can find tending news, people’s reactions to a certain event. Amazon can understand user feedback or review on a certain product. BookMyShow can find people’s opinions about the movie. Youtube can also analyze understand people’s viewpoints on a video.

For more such tutorials and courses visit DataCamp:

In this tutorial, you are going to cover the following topics:

  • Text Analytics and NLP
  • Compare Text Analytics, NLP, and Text Mining
  • Text Analysis Operations using NLTK
  • Tokenization
  • Stopwords
  • Lexicon Normalization such as Stemming and Lemmatization
  • POS Tagging

Text Analytics and NLP

Text communication is one of the most popular forms of day to day conversion. We chat, message, tweet, share status, email, write blogs, share opinions, and feedback in our daily routine. These all activities are generating text in a large amount, which is unstructured in nature. In the area of the online marketplace and social media, It is extremely important to analyze large quantities of data, to understand people’s opinions.

NLP enables the computer to interact with humans in a natural manner. It helps the computer to understand the human language and derive meaning from it. NLP is applicable in several problematic from speech recognition, language translation, classifying documents to information extraction. Analyzing movie reviews is one of the classic examples to demonstrate a simple NLP Bag-of-words model. on movie reviews.

Compare Text Analytics, NLP and Text Mining

Text mining also referred to as text analytics. Text mining is a process of exploring large textual data and find patterns. Text Mining process the text itself, while the NLP process with the underlying metadata. Finding frequency counts of words, length of the sentence, presence/absence of specific words is known as text mining. Natural language processing is one of the components of text mining. NLP helps identified sentiment, finding entities in the sentence, and category of blog/article. Text mining is preprocessed data for text analytics. In Text Analytics, statistical and machine learning algorithms used to classify information.

Text Analysis Operations using NLTK

NLTK is a powerful Python package that provides a set of diverse natural language algorithms. It is free, opensource, easy to use, large community, and well documented. NLTK consists of the most common algorithms such as tokenizing, part-of-speech tagging, stemming, sentiment analysis, topic segmentation, and named entity recognition. NLTK helps the computer to analyze, preprocess, and understand the written text.

!pip install nltk


Tokenization is the first step in text analytics. The process of breaking down text paragraphs into smaller chunks such as words or sentences is called Tokenization. The token is a single entity that is building blocks for sentences or paragraphs.

Sentence Tokenization

Sentence tokenizer breaks text paragraph into sentences.

from nltk.tokenize import sent_tokenize

text="""Hello Mr. Smith, how are you doing today? The weather is great, and city is awesome.The sky is pinkish-blue. You shouldn't eat cardboard"""


Output:['Hello Mr. Smith, how are you doing today?', 'The weather is great, and city is awesome.', 'The sky is pinkish-blue.', "You shouldn't eat cardboard"]

Here, the given text is tokenized into sentences.

Word Tokenization

Word tokenizer breaks text paragraph into words.

from nltk.tokenize import word_tokenize



['Hello', 'Mr.', 'Smith', ',', 'how', 'are', 'you', 'doing', 'today', '?', 'The', 'weather', 'is', 'great', ',', 'and', 'city', 'is', 'awesome', '.', 'The', 'sky', 'is', 'pinkish-blue', '.', 'You', 'should', "n't", 'eat', 'cardboard']

Frequency Distribution

from nltk.probability import FreqDist

fdist = FreqDist(tokenized_word)

Output:[('is', 3), (',', 2)]
# Frequency Distribution Plot
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt


Image for post


Stopwords considered noise in text. Text may contain stop words such as is, am, are, this, a, an, the, etc.

In NLTK for removing stopwords, you need to create a list of stopwords and filter out your list of tokens from these words.

from nltk.corpus import stopwords



{'their', 'then', 'not', 'ma', 'here', 'other', 'won', 'up', 'weren', 'being', 'we', 'those', 'an', 'them', 'which', 'him', 'so', 'yourselves', 'what', 'own', 'has', 'should', 'above', 'in', 'myself', 'against', 'that', 'before', 't', 'just', 'into', 'about', 'most', 'd', 'where', 'our', 'or', 'such', 'ours', 'of', 'doesn', 'further', 'needn', 'now', 'some', 'too', 'hasn', 'more', 'the', 'yours', 'her', 'below', 'same', 'how', 'very', 'is', 'did', 'you', 'his', 'when', 'few', 'does', 'down', 'yourself', 'i', 'do', 'both', 'shan', 'have', 'itself', 'shouldn', 'through', 'themselves', 'o', 'didn', 've', 'm', 'off', 'out', 'but', 'and', 'doing', 'any', 'nor', 'over', 'had', 'because', 'himself', 'theirs', 'me', 'by', 'she', 'whom', 'hers', 're', 'hadn', 'who', 'he', 'my', 'if', 'will', 'are', 'why', 'from', 'am', 'with', 'been', 'its', 'ourselves', 'ain', 'couldn', 'a', 'aren', 'under', 'll', 'on', 'y', 'can', 'they', 'than', 'after', 'wouldn', 'each', 'once', 'mightn', 'for', 'this', 'these', 's', 'only', 'haven', 'having', 'all', 'don', 'it', 'there', 'until', 'again', 'to', 'while', 'be', 'no', 'during', 'herself', 'as', 'mustn', 'between', 'was', 'at', 'your', 'were', 'isn', 'wasn'}

Removing Stopwords

for w in tokenized_sent:    
    if w not in stop_words:

print("Tokenized Sentence:",tokenized_sent)
print("Filterd Sentence:",filtered_sent)

Tokenized Sentence: ['Hello', 'Mr.', 'Smith', ',', 'how', 'are', 'you', 'doing', 'today', '?']
Filterd Sentence: ['Hello', 'Mr.', 'Smith', ',', 'today', '?']

Lexicon Normalization

Lexicon normalization considered as another type of noise in text. for example, connection, connected, connecting word reduce to a common word “connect”. It reduces derivationally related forms of a word to a common root word.


Stemming is a process of linguistic normalization, which reduces words to their word root word or chops off the derivational affixes. for example, connection, connected, connecting word reduce to a common word “connect”.

# Stemming
from nltk.stem import PorterStemmer
from nltk.tokenize import sent_tokenize, word_tokenize
ps = PorterStemmer()


for w in filtered_sent:     

print("Filtered Sentence:",filtered_sent)
print("Stemmed Sentence:",stemmed_words)


Filtered Sentence: ['Hello', 'Mr.', 'Smith', ',', 'today', '?']
Stemmed Sentence: ['hello', 'mr.', 'smith', ',', 'today', '?']


Lemmatization reduces words to their base word, which is linguistically correct lemmas. It transforms the root word with the use of vocabulary and morphological analysis. lemmatization is usually more sophisticated than stemming. Stemmer works on an individual word without knowledge of the context. For example, The word “better” has “good” as its lemma. This thing will miss by stemming because it requires a dictionary look-up.

#Lexicon Normalization#performing stemming and Lemmatization
from nltk.stem.wordnet import WordNetLemmatizer
from nltk.stem.porter import PorterStemmer

lem = WordNetLemmatizer()
stem = PorterStemmer()
word = "flying"

print("Lemmatized Word:",lem.lemmatize(word,"v"))

print("Stemmed Word:",stem.stem(word))

Lemmatized Word: fly
Stemmed Word: fli

POS Tagging

The main target of Part-of-Speech(POS) tagging is to identify the grammatical group of a given word. Whether it is a NOUN, PRONOUN, ADJECTIVE, VERB, ADVERBS, etc. based on the context. POS Tagging looks for relationships within the sentence and assigns a corresponding tag to the word.

sent = "Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany in 1879."



Output:['Albert', 'Einstein', 'was', 'born', 'in', 'Ulm', ',', 'Germany', 'in', '1879', '.']


[('Albert', 'NNP'),
 ('Einstein', 'NNP'),
 ('was', 'VBD'),
 ('born', 'VBN'),
 ('in', 'IN'),
 ('Ulm', 'NNP'),
 (',', ','),
 ('Germany', 'NNP'),
 ('in', 'IN'),
 ('1879', 'CD'),
 ('.', '.')]


Congratulations, you have made it to the end of this tutorial!

In this tutorial, you have learned What is Text Analytics, NLP, and text mining?, Basics of text analytics operations using NLTK such as Tokenization, Normalization, Stemming, Lemmatization, and POS tagging.

I look forward to hearing any feedback or questions. you can ask the question by leaving a comment and I will try my best to answer it.

Originally published at https://www.datacamp.com/community/tutorials/text-analytics-beginners-nltk

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