Investment research and trading

Discussion of how text analytics technologies are used in trading and investment research. (As opposed to a discussion of the services we ourselves provide to investors.) Related subjects include:

December 1, 2010

The state of the art in text analytics applications

Text analytics application areas typically fall into one or more of three broad, often overlapping domains:

For several years, I’ve been distressed at the lack of progress in text analytics or, as it used to be called, text mining. Yes, the rise of sentiment analysis has been impressive, and higher volumes of text data are being processed than were before. But otherwise, there’s been a lot of the same old, same old. Most actual deployed applications of text analytics or text mining go something like this:

Often, it seems desirable to integrate text analytics with business intelligence and/or predictive analytics tools that operate on tabular data is. Even so, such integration is most commonly weak or nonexistent. Apart from the usual reasons for silos of automation, I blame this lack on a mismatch in precision, among other reasons. A 500% increase in mentions of a subject could be simple coincidence, or the result of a single identifiable press article. In comparison, a 5% increase in a conventional business metric might be much more important.

But in fairness, the text analytics innovation picture hasn’t been quite as bleak as what I’ve been painting so far. Read more

September 19, 2008

Low-latency text mining in the investment market

I’m not at Gartner’s Event Processing conference, but there seem to be some interesting posts and articles coming out of it. Seth Grimes has one on Reuters’ integration of text mining and event processing, including sentiment analysis. Well worth reading. Lots more detail than I’ve ever posted on similar applications.

April 25, 2008

Investment text mining job listing

As per this job listing, at least one “major NYC investment bank” plans to do text mining on a proprietary trading desk.

The successful candidate will mine text data from numerous news sources and incorporate the information the proprietary trading systems.

December 18, 2007

The text mining vendors continue to lack constructive vision

I’ve been thinking for a long time that the various text mining companies doing sentiment analysis should try some public-facing (or at least multi-customer) services. Investors might love such a thing. So might marketing managers (actually, Factiva claims to be active there, at least as per their web site). And as a key part of the strategy, text mining companies selling to enterprises might brand such a site and gain massive awareness accordingly. Well, it seems that public-facing sentiment analysis sites are springing up. At least, Summize has. (Hat tip to TechCrunch.) And the text mining vendors are nowhere to be seen.

So what else is new? Read more

December 12, 2007

Attivio tries to do it all

When Andrew McKay was at FAST, I grumped about his search/BI integration story. Now that he’s trying to do the same thing at a startup called Attivio, it sounds more plausible.

Attivio is having a house party and product rollout in the latter part of January, and details are scarce in the mean time. But here are some highlights.

November 1, 2007

What TEMIS is seeing in the marketplace

CEO Eric Bregand of Temis recently checked in by email with an update on text mining market activity. Highlights of Eric’s views include:

October 17, 2007

Business Objects-Inxight update

I’m at the Business Objects annual user conference, and had a couple of chances to talk with Inxight/text analytics folks. When I asked about areas of commercial application traction, answers were similar to those I got from Attensity and Clarabridge, but not quite the same. Specifically:

The Business Objects/Inxight folks also made a couple of interesting general technical points. Read more

October 5, 2007

Text mining applications as per Attensity and Clarabridge

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: Read more

August 3, 2007

More on text processing in CEP

StreamBase isn’t the only complex event/stream processing (CEP) vendor doing text processing. Progress Apama is as well. Stemming, fuzzy matching, and so on seem to happen all the time. But there’s also at least one case where they flat-out do sentiment analysis.  Edit:  I presume this is in the investment market, as that’s where most of Progress Apama’s business is. Read more

December 27, 2006

Text analytics is finally being used for investment analysis

Jay Henderson of ClearForest tells me that hedge funds are one of their more interesting growth areas. It’s about time.

I think a lot of the reason for investment firms not making more use of text analytics has been structural — Factiva, the (relatively speaking) mammoth joint venture of Reuters and Dow Jones, is forbidden by its parent companies from meeting investment firms’ needs. And that’s kind of a pity, as it’s probably the best-positioned firm to do so. It’s good to hear that the little guys are finally filling the gap.

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