Factiva/Dow Jones

Analysis of text mining-centric news provider Factiva, now wholly owned by Dow Jones. Relates subjects include:

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

November 19, 2007

I would like to know what Factiva is up to

Who should I talk with?

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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

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

April 30, 2007

ClearForest, Reuters, Factiva, Dow Jones, and possible futures

ClearForest is being acquired by Reuters. That ClearForest is being bought is unsurprising. The company recently pulled in its marketing horns dramatically, a common sign of putting oneself up for sale. The Reuters move, meanwhile, can be seen as a sequel to the divestiture of its half of Factiva to former 50-50 partner Dow Jones.

If the two main parts of the text mining market are custom publishing and finding warning signs, then both could actually be a good fit with Reuters. The custom publishing part is obvious. As for early warning – well, maybe ClearForest will lose its competitive edge in consumer product warranty analysis or something, but a significant fraction of the early warning market is tied to news articles, web postings, and other things that are a good fit for Reuters.

But the really interesting (at least to me) possibilities arise in the core Reuters and Dow Jones business of supporting investment decisions. Read more

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