June 17, 2008

SPSS update

I emailed a bit with Olivier Jouve last week, and chatted with him at the Text Analytics Summit yesterday. He cited a figure of 2400 SPSS text mining users (unique user organizations). The majority of these are for a low-cost, desktop-based surveys product. But when I pressed him, he eventually gave a 500-1000 figure for actual Text Mining For Clementine users.

That is, of course, hugely more than any of the independents (e.g. Attensity and Clarabridge) have. And it’s focused on marketing-oriented apps — especially Voice of the Customer — just as those vendors are. Even so, they report rarely seeing SPSS, and SPSS agrees with that assessment.

The obvious explanation — which Olivier does not dispute — is that Text Mining For Clementine sales are focused on Clementine data mining users. But that raises an interesting follow-up — how much data mining are these users really doing on text data? Attensity and Clarabridge customers do little true data mining, but Olivier asserts that SPSS customers do quite a bit — predictive modeling, real-time scoring, and the whole enchilada.

By the way, Olivier actually no longer runs SPSS’ text mining business. He’s moved to Chicago as VP of Corporate Development, focused on acquisitions. Coincidentally, he has a glum view of the prospects for independent text analytics companies, and believes the best course for them is to be acquired.

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