Text Analytics Summit

Posts about or based on the Text Analytics Summit, an annual conference about text analytics formerly called the Text Mining Summit. Related subjects include:

May 12, 2011

The Text Analytics Summit needs to be replaced

I wasn’t asked to moderate a panel at the Text Analytics Summit because the guy running it — NOT Seth Grimes — didn’t feel “comfortable” with me doing so.  (I wanted real discussion; Ezra evidently just wanted to buy off sponsors and partners with marketing-opportunity slots.)  I also wasn’t given a press pass.* (Although uninterested in the sessions, I was interested in stopping by and meeting some newer vendors.)

*This is although I’ve spoken at four prior versions of the event, and responded to their request for free consulting as recently as this year.

OK, that might have been personal in some way — but Nick Patience tweets a very similar story. Even Seth himself tweets that

They have a business model that does not apply well to the IT conference space.

The Text Analytics Summit has been troubled for years, but evidently things have gotten worse.

This is more than an incidental problem. Interest in text data is exploding, and marketplace confusing about text analytic technology abounds. More clarity is needed, but too few folks have found an economic model for providing it. (The industry shares some of the blame for that.) I’m glad Seth is doing other conference work — notably on sentiment analysis — but yet more is needed.

If I get into the conference business — and it seems natural that I would — I’ll try to help fill the gap. But if somebody else beats me to the punch, more power to you, and please let me know how I can help.

June 19, 2008

The Text Analytics Marketplace: Competitive landscape and trends

As I see it, there are eight distinct market areas that each depend heavily on linguistic technology. Five are off-shoots of what used to be called “information retrieval”:

1. Web search

2. Public-facing site search

3. Enterprise search and knowledge management

4. Custom publishing

5. Text mining and extraction

Three are more standalone:

6. Spam filtering

7. Voice recognition

8. Machine translation

Read more

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. Read more

June 17, 2008

TEMIS tidbits

The usual TEMIS execs didn’t make the trip to the Text Analytics Summit this year. But cofounder Alessandro Zanasi did come, and I chatted with him for a bit. Alessandro is also author of a recent book on text mining, and pretty much a one-man Italian operation for France-based TEMIS. Despite his nominal 100:1 manpower disadvantage vs. Italian national-champion text anayltics vendor Expert System S.p.A., Alessandro proudly rattled off four different Italian government accounts he’d won vs. Expert System, all of them apparently in the government area.

Beyond that, Alessandro denies all the rumors that have grown out of TEMIS being hard to reach recently. He reports that pharma is still TEMIS’s big market, but stresses that this covers a range of apps, from research to Voice of the Market. I do get the sense that TEMIS’s sentiment extraction capabilities are less sophisticated than some of the other vendors’ — but the other vendors I’m thinking of are pretty focused on English, SPSS aside. If you need sentiment analysis in non-English languages — e.g., French or Italian — TEMIS should definitely be on your vendor shortlist.

June 17, 2008

Intro to Lexalytics

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. Read more

June 17, 2008

Voice of the Customer/Market is indeed where the action is

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. Read more

June 16, 2008

Attensity update updated

I chatted a bit with Attensity’s CTO David Bean and sales VP Jeff Johnson yesterday at the Text Analytics Summit. Jeff confirmed what has colleagues had already told me — most of the action is now in Voice of the Customer/Market, he expects a very strong June quarter, etc. But one thing I posted last week wasn’t quite right. Hosted implementations (i.e., SaaS) haven’t yet reached the 50% level at Attensity. However, they are indeed growing fast, and they’re all (or almost all) in the Voice of the Customer/Market area.

May 8, 2008

Text Analytics Summit and associated Seth Grimes white paper

Ironically coming right after a Google indexing problem, I am putting up my first sponsored blog post ever. It’s in connection with the forthcoming Text Analytics Summit, at which I will be speaking (in Boston) on June 16. The post itself offers a free white paper by the estimable Seth Grimes.

Read more

October 4, 2007

Video Search Summit announces time travel

The First Conferences Ltd. folks who bring you the disappointing Text Analytics Summit are now also launching a “Video Search Summit”. It’s the “first annual” such, and is “inaugural.” On the other hand, their site has a page saying: Check out who has attended in the past – it’s an A – Z list of anyone who is anyone in Video Search! And it gives a list of same.

That’s pretty typical for First Conferences marketing. (And I hope they’ll edit that page after they read this …)

If the Video Search Summit is anything like the four Text Analytics Summits First Conferences has organized to date, it will be a great venue for technology vendor executives to chat with each other, untroubled by interruptions from customers* or prospects.

*Except for any they bring along themselves to participate in their talks.

July 22, 2007

Text analytics marketplace trends

It was tough to judge user demand at the recent Text Analytics Summit because, well, very few users showed up. And frankly, I wasn’t as aggressive at pumping vendors for trends as I am some other times. That said, I have talked with most text analytics vendors recently,* and here are my impressions of what’s going on. Any contrary – or confirming! — opinions would be most welcome.

*Factiva is the most significant exception. Hint, hint.

If you think about it, text analytics is a “secret ingredient” in search, antispam, and data cleaning,* and this dominates all other uses of the technology. A significant minority of the research effort at companies that do any kind of text filtering is – duh — text analytics. Cold comfort for specialist text analytics vendors, to be sure, but that’s the way it is.

*I.e., part of the “T” in “ETL” (Extract/Transform/Load).

Text-analytics-enhanced custom publishing will surely at some point become a must-have for business and technical publishers. However, it appears that we’re not quite there yet, as large publishers make do with simple-minded search and the like. In what I suspect is a telling market commentary, there’s no headlong rush among vendors to dump text mining for custom publishing, notwithstanding the examples of nStein and (sort of) ClearForest. I don’t want to be overly negative – either my friends at Mark Logic are doing just fine or else they’re putting up a mighty brave front – but I don’t think the nonspecialist publishing market is there yet. Read more

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