As the amount of textual data available on the Internet grows substantially each year, there is a need for tools to assist with exploratory data analysis. Furthermore, to democratize the process of text analytics, tools must be usable for those with a non-technical background and those who do not have the financial resources to outsource their data analysis needs. To that end, we developed TextQ, which provides a simple, intuitive interface for exploratory analysis of textual data. We also tested the efficacy of TextQ using two case studies performed by subject matter experts—one related to a project on the detection of cyberbullying communication and another related to the user of
Twitter for influence operations. TextQ was able to efficiently process over a million social media messages and provide valuable insights that directly assisted in our research efforts on these topics. TextQ is built using an open access platform and object-oriented architecture for ease of use and installation. Additional features will continue to be added to TextQ, based on the needs and interests of the installed base.