For the last several years, text analytics technologies have been continually improving and are increasingly being incorporated into new information filtering solutions. These advanced analytical tools are critical not only for the intelligence community but also for corporate executives and researchers and for any content-intensive information applications. Text analytics extracts key information from unstructured text and helps to retrieve otherwise hidden information. It is a key component of many customer relationship management (CRM) applications, as well as for media and publishing, competitive intelligence, reputation monitoring, e-discovery, compliance, and financial analysis. Because of this, we've seen a number of acquisitions of text analytics firms by larger search companies (Business Objects acquired Inxight, Reuters acquired ClearForest, SAS acquired Teragram, and IBM acquired SPSS) and an increased pace of product and service rollouts.
Seth Grimes of Alta Plana, author of "Text Analytics 2009: User Perspectives on Solutions and Providers," says, "The global text-analytics market is growing at a very rapid pace, an estimated 40% in 2008, creating a $350 million market for software and vendor supplied support and services." He also "projects 2009 market growth up to 25% despite the economic downturn."
Susan Feldman, IDC's vice president for search and discovery technologies, recently issued a market update on the search and discovery market, which includes text mining vendors. "Two thirds of the way through 2009, the search and discovery software market continues to be a bright spot in the IT industry, but it is clear that the recession is finally catching up to the market," she wrote. "Vendors report that sales are strong in some key areas such as ecommerce, eDiscovery, and sentiment analysis, but sales in general are taking longer to close. Nevertheless, search and related technologies such as text analytics and language analyzers supply a missing piece for many software applications, so we expect this market to continue its relatively strong growth."
One company competing in this space is TEMIS (www.temis.com), which recently expanded its U.S. presence and announced its intention to intensify its focus on the U.S. market. The company says it experienced 44% growth in 2008 over 2007-10% above its plan.
"It's clear that text analytics has taken off as a hot market, and TEMIS' expansion of its US business underlines this fact," said Feldman. "As the volume and flow of information increases, publishers and corporations are turning to automation to tag their content to make it findable, to understand what their customers are saying, to monitor trends and opinions about their products and their companies. That's impossible, given the exponential growth of information that needs to be processed, unless the process is automated."
Recently, I sat in on a webinar from TEMIS about the launch of Luxid 5.1, its collaborative corporate solution for analyzing and discovering strategic information. The company says Luxid turns unstructured data into actionable knowledge. The new version is designed to make in-depth analysis easier for information specialists and to move text analytics tools to a broader audience of users within the enterprise. The release goals for 5.1 were to make the product stronger (improved scalability and robustness), broader (with a new Toolbar and Content Pipeline), and easier (new discovery and collaborative features).
The Luxid Content Pipeline is a module dedicated to feed Luxid with the biggest range of possible content sources. Connect to virtually any source of information including content databases (Scopus, Factiva, LexisNexis, Dialog, Science Direct, etc.), web content, and corporate groupware (EMC Documentum, email, .doc files, PDFs, etc.).
The other noteworthy addition in this release is the Toolbar, a simple component that extends the power of content enrichment to the desktop. One example in the webinar was looking at a page of Google news-with the entities that were built on-the-fly shown in a sidebar on the left.
Another recent announcement came from Clarabridge (www.clarabridge.com), a provider of text mining software used by many Global 1000 companies to improve customer experience management (CEM). The company launched Clarabridge Social Media Analysis (SMA) and says it is the industry's first advanced text analytics software that allows companies to integrate social media content into their existing internal enterprise feedback to create more useful customer analysis.
Clarabridge also just announced an impressive 50% growth in third-quarter sales over the same quarter in 2008. "Despite the down economy, we continue to expand our customer base because we address a critical component to the health and success of businesses across the board. Our solution helps companies quickly and accurately understand their customers' needs so decision makers can make intelligent business decisions fast," said Sid Banerjee, CEO of Clarabridge.
So the growth is impressive by these text analytics vendors, and we can expect to see continued improvements in this sector. But the best part is that enterprise users gain welcome improvements in access to information-better, faster, and more relevant.
For More Information
Paula J. Hane, May 1, 2006, Spotlight article, http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/Spotlight/Text-Analytics-Enable-Intelligence-Solutions-17281.asp.
KMWorld White Paper: "Text Analytics & Sentiment Analysis," June 2009, www.kmworld.com/Archives/Default.aspx?ContextSubtypeID=89.
Susan Feldman, IDC, "Worldwide Search and Discovery Software 2009-2013 Forecast Update and 2008 Vendor Shares," September 2009, for sale at $4,500, www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?sessionId=&containerId=219883.
Seth Grimes, "Text Analytics 2009: User Perspectives on Solutions and Providers," (An Alta Plana research study supported by seven sponsors, including TEMIS), June 2009, http://altaplana.com/TA2009.
Text Analytics News, http://social.textanalyticsnews.com.