For a while I've been thinking about Yelp reviews, in particular about the information lost by distilling the reviews down to one number. It isn't clear how this number, the average rating, is calculated either. Is it an average over all time? Is it only considering the last month? Or, is it weighted such that more recent reviews have a larger effect on the average?
A lot of the information lost is in the time domain, the change in time of a business' ratings. Presumably, a change in ownership or management could result in a change in the quality of a business, positively or negatively. Also, a business that just opened might get poor reviews but over time improves through addressing feedback or from the staff gaining more experience. These sort of changes should be present in user reviews on Yelp. I'd like to find a way to see these changes to get a better sense of the quality of a business.
Using the APIs, we can search like you would on the website, but through Python code. We can also request data about businesses we find from searching. I'll get started by creating a function to perform API requests.