Besides asking them technical questions, I surveyed Attensity and Clarabridge last week about text mining application trends, getting generously detailed answers from Michelle De Haaff of Attensity and Justin Langseth of Clarabridge. Perhaps the most important point to emerge was that it’s not just about particular apps. Enterprises are doing text mining POCs (Proofs of Concept) around specific apps, commonly in the CRM area, but immediately structuring the buying process in anticipation of a rollout across multiple departments in the enterprise.
Other highlights of what they said included:
- Voice of the Customer remains hot, hot, hot.
- Closely allied with Voice of the Customer, and also hot, is Voice of the Market and/or more direct competitive intelligence.
- Classical warranty analysis is quiet but not wholly dead. Attensity, historically strong in that application, sees it as merging into Voice of the Customer. Clarabridge, previously not so strong there (if I recall correctly), is getting at least a little of the traditional-style warranty business.
- Human resources (especially Voice of the Employee – I detect a trend in application-naming here) gets mentioned a fair amount. It’s usually not the first text mining application an enterprise deploys, but it’s a common follow-on.
- Antifraud isn’t just for insurance companies. Retailing and money-laundering also got mentioned as areas where text mining helped combat fraud.
- Insurance industry use of text mining for claims analysis, I gather, goes well beyond just fraud detection.
- Intelligence is obviously a huge market for Attensity (not so much for Clarabridge), but I didn’t focus on the classified stuff. That said, I was reminded of Attensity’s awkward phrase link analysis, which has nothing to do with hypertext, but instead is the detection of relationships between entities. This lies at the heart of a non-empty set of civilian law enforcement applications and the like.
- Investment research applications of text mining still seem nascent and experimental, at least if one talks with Clarabridge and Attensity. That said, Factiva is a large subsidiary of Dow Jones now, and ClearForest a smaller one of Reuters, and they’re doing something or other. Apparently, it’s much more document tagging for the sake of readers or search-style filters than it is for use in any kind of business intelligence/statistical mining kind of application.
All this isn’t too different from what I posted back in July, but I think text mining application trends is a subject that bears frequent revisiting.