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BUTTER: Free Text Analysis Software for Social Scientists

Welcome to BUTTER

Today, there are more ways to think about text as data than ever before in human history. The rapid expansion of text analytics and natural language processing into the social sciences has been great for us “word nerds” with programming backgrounds, but not so great for curious scholars and students who are lacking in technical expertise. For many people who want a simple way to get “up and running” with text analysis, the idea of learning a new programming language, figuring out entire ecosystems of package dependencies, and trying to get things to “just work” can be daunting. Even for those of us who do text analysis for a living, it can be frustrating at times.

Welcome to BUTTER — a free text analysis program that allows you to build your own pipelines without having to write a single line of code. The idea behind BUTTER is simple: there are a lot of existing text analysis methods out there that social scientists commonly need, so why not just put them all into a single application? With BUTTER, you can do dictionary-based content coding, calculate common readability metrics, and even train/deploy your own word2vec models. The list of available methods in BUTTER is constantly growing.

With BUTTER, you can perform dozens of text analysis methods, build your own text analysis pipelines, and even run multiple analyses in parallel. Additionally, this software is plugin-based and modular, which means that new features can be added with minimal effort. Don’t you wish that all text analytics were as smooth as BUTTER?