Competitive intelligence

Discussion of how text analytics technologies are used for competitive intelligence or “Voice of the Market” applications – i.e., to analyze (usually web-based) information and comments about competitors. Related subjects include:

June 10, 2008

Attensity update

I chatted recently with David Bean, Attensity’s CTO, and then with marketing exec Phil Talsky. Highlights included: Read more

January 31, 2008

The biggest text analytics company you probably never heard of

I caught up with Expert System S.p.A. last week. They turn out to be doing $10 million in text technology annual revenue. That alone is surprising (sadly), but what’s really remarkable is that they did it almost entirely in the Italian market. As you might guess, that figure includes a little bit of everything, from search engines to Italian language filters for Microsoft Office to text mining. But only $3 ½ million of Expert System’s revenue is from the government (and I think that includes civilian agencies), and under 30% is professional services, so on the whole it seems like a pretty real accomplishment. Oh yes – Expert Systems says it’s entirely self-funded.

As of last year, Expert System also has English-language products, and a couple of minor OEM sales in the US (for mobile search and semantic web applications). German- and Arabic-language products are in beta test. The company says that its market focus going forward is national security – surely the reason for the Arabic – and competitive intelligence. It envisions selling through partners such as system integrators, although I think that makes more sense for the government market than it does vis-a-vis civilian companies. In February the company is introducing a market intelligence product focused on sentiment analysis.

Expert System is a bit of a throwback, in that it talks lovingly of the semantic network that informs its products. Read more

January 12, 2008

A claim that Google is doing pretty detailed extraction

In a blog post focusing on SEOing for local search, some interesting claims are argued, including:

  1. Google knows what a review is. (This seems to be “everybody knows it” conventional wisdom.)
  2. Google knows how many stars a review got. (Ditto.)
  3. Google tracks who the reviewer is and how many other reviews s/he wrote (that’s the big insight of the post and related conversation).

Pretty interesting. Text mining companies are paying a lot of attention to Voice-of-the-Market these days; even so, I question whether then can do the same things out of the box.

December 19, 2007

Scout Labs – yet more public-facing sentiment analysis

Scout Labs sounds like even more of what I was thinking of than Summize. It’s a shame that the “traditional” text mining vendors didn’t get there first.

December 7, 2007

QL2 – web text extraction and more

Here are some highlights of the QL2 story, per exec Mike McDermott.

Read more

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 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

October 5, 2007

Nice new phrase — Voice of the Market

Michelle DeHaaff, Attensity’s VP of Marketing, just introduced me to a nice phrase — Voice of the Market, obviously related to Voice of the Customer. As Michelle put it:

We’ve also expanded into what we call Voice of the Market data – providing a combination of analysis on external and internal data

– this is how we’ve heard our customers put it:

*Customer feedback comes in many forms……when customers don’t know you are listening (blogs, public web forums) it is important to hear what they say.

*When customers purposely tell you something (via emails, in surveys, captured in customer service notes) it is not only important, but expected….

The first of those would be Voice of the Market, while the second would be Voice of the Customer.

May 16, 2007

Interesting comment thread on reputation tracking

Techcrunch blogged skeptically about Umbria’s* service, specifically its partnership with PR Newswire. The comment thread had a fair amount of pushback, largely from vendors with skin in the game.

*Note: Umbria has a non-obvious URL.

I haven’t actually spoken with Umbria — uh, guys, why not? — but they seem to have a reputation tracking service. Their niche is apparently to quantify/measure by a variety of metrics, and that’s supposedly what makes their service (and their competitors’) worthwhile. Read more

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