I was at the Text Analytics Summit yesterday. After the sessions and theoretically* before the drinks, there was a group of subject- or industry-specific “roundtables.” The three best-attended roundtables by far — each with at least 20% of the total roundtable attendees — were on “Voice of the Market”, “Competitive Intelligence”, and “Sentiment Analysis”. (Yes, those are in practice pretty close to being the same thing.) Thus, over half of the show attendees who voted with their feet on a particular subject area of interest picked one in the customer/marketing area.
*In reality, the bar opened early, and I took a Sam Adams into the roundtable room.
Now, it’s possible this reflected a certain vendor bias. Most of the show’s attendees are either vendors or users whose attendance the vendors pay for, and many of the rest are prospects the vendors encourage to come. The show’s program is also heavily influenced by what the vendors think is important. Still, this is confirming evidence that the text mining industry’s center of gravity has shifted emphatically to the CRM area.