I chatted with Lexalytics CEO Jeff Catlin at the Text Analytics Summit today. Lexalytics is a 14 person company, which represents a doubling over last year. Jeff thinks Lexalytics is on track this year to double again.
Lexalytics’ main business is OEMing sentiment extraction, e.g. to the many blog-analysis/reputation-management (i.e., Voice of the Market) companies that recently started up and in some cases have been bought by big market analysis firms. Lexalytics can and sometimes does extract the more basic stuff as well, but sentiment analysis is the heart of its business. A partial customer list can be found on the Lexalytics site. Lexalytics extracts in the English language only.
One feature Lexalytics is proud of is that it doesn’t just assess sentiment from a phrase; it also gives a confidence (“evidence”) weighting. In such a fuzzy area as sentiment, I think that’s a good idea.
Lexalytics has a demo site, PoliticalTrends.info. The links on the left show some of the charts and reports they offer. But the bar charts in the middle inadvertently show the limitations of an approach that overweights some kinds of linguistic analysis at the expense of others. As I write this, the top 5 “Breaking themes in the last 3 days” are
- last week
- court decision
- web site
- nuclear program
- front page
I think that particular part of the app might work better if a little more restriction were placed on what is or isn’t counted as a “theme.”