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Seth Grimes

Welcome to my BeyeNETWORK Blog, which will focus on text analytics and other matters related to making sense of unstructured information sources in support of better enterprise decision making.

About the author >

Seth is a business intelligence and decision systems expert. He is founding chair of the Text Analytics Summit and principal consultant at Washington, D.C., based Alta Plana Corporation. Seth consults, writes, and speaks on information-systems strategy, data management and analysis systems, IT industry trends, and emerging analytical technologies. Seth chairs the Sentiment Analysis Symposium and the Text Analytics Summit.

Editor’s Note: More articles and resources are available in Seth's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

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I have released the speaker line-up for the fifth Sentiment Analysis Symposium, slated for October 30, 2012 in San Francisco. The symposium will feature speakers and panelists from leading firms (including Dow Jones, IBM, Infosys, J.D. Power, Thomson Reuters, and Toluna), start-ups, and academia. We'll also, once again, have a solution-provider exhibit area for demos and one-on-one discussions with sponsors and pre- and post-conference networking receptions, at San Francisco's Bently Reserve.

The symposium will look at applications in marketing and market research, customer experience, and social intelligence.

Given our timing just a week before the 2012 national election, we will have a special Voice of the Voter segment. What's that about? As we know, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and online news sources provide an up-to-the-second picture of the mood of the electorate: The reaction to key campaign themes and events. Ability to hear, respond to, and shape the 'voice of the voter' will make or break future politics. Campaign 'social intelligence' capabilities have become essential, so we're featuring expert speakers -- from IBM, the University of Southern California, Verint, and other organizations -- to help us understand how, who's winning the online/social sentiment race -- Obama or Romney, and why.

The symposium kicks off with thought-leader talks covering a range of sentiment analysis applications:

  • Professor VS Subrahmanian of the University of Maryland will speak on "Sentiment and Signals," providing a leading researcher's view on the use of sentiment and semantic analysis and data mining for government, industry, and intelligence

  • Rich Brown, head of quantitative and event driven trading solutions at Thomson Reuters, will speak on the role emotion plays in financial markets.

  • Toluna vice president Carol Haney, a pioneer in coupling survey research to social-media analytics, will speak on "Social Media Insights and the Mind of the Consumer."
Registration is online at sentimentsymposium.com/registration.html, with early-registration prices available through September 10, 2012. Government employees are eligible for a 50% government-academic discount.

The Sentiment Analysis Symposium series has drawn steadily growing numbers, at three New York symposiums and the first in San Francisco in November 2011. (Videos of the last three symposiums are available free, online.) The symposium both builds on past success and aims to stay on the leading edge of sentiment technologies and applications. The symposium showcases ground-breaking sentiment-analysis applications and provides unique learning opportunities.

In addition to talks by Prof Subrahmanian, Mr. Brown, and Dr. Haney, the symposium will once again have a half-day, day-before Practical Sentiment Analysis tutorial, on October 29, to be taught by Diana Maynard, research fellow at the University of Sheffield, UK. Dr. Maynard is a key member of the team behind GATE, the open-source text-analysis platform.

Other October 30 talks cover customer-experience management, media analysis, market research, marketing, and social intelligence topics. They include:

  • Using Sentiment Analysis to Make Net Promoter More Actionable -- Bill Tuohig, J.D. Power and Associates
  • Amplify Sentiment by Measuring Impact -- Barry Parr, Dow Jones
  • Harvesting Mobile Micro-Slang -- Jeannine Bartlett, Earley & Associates
  • Sentiment Analysis and the Consumer Genome -- Vaidyanatha Siva, Infosys Ltd.
  • Multi- and Cross-lingual Concept Based Sentiment Analysis -- Catherine Havasi, Luminoso
As usual, the symposium will have a series of 5-minute lightning talks just before the lunch break. This year's showcase innovative start-ups with presentations:
  • Analyzing Weibo, the Chinese Twitter -- Ken Hu, Soshio
  • Extraction of Sentiment from Social Networks -- Kristie Wells, Swipp
  • Quantifying Crowd Psychology -- Dr. Erin Olivo, SmogFarm
  • Analysis and Visualization of Social Media Content -- Tereza PaĹ™ilová, Masaryk University (tentative)
  • Beyond Sentiment: The Next Generation of Social Intelligence -- Rob Key, Converseon

The conference will conclude with the Voice of the Voter segment. To maximize networking opportunities, the symposium will once again planning evening-before and post-symposium receptions.

Sentiment Analysis Symposium information is online at sentimentsymposium.com. I will single out sponsors Attensity, Converseon, Lexalytics, and NetBase for thanks, given their support that makes the symposium possible.

We do have additional sponsorships available, and I'm still looking for a couple of business-user (non-vendor) speakers. Contact me!

Posted August 3, 2012 11:35 AM
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The Call for Speakers is open for the next Sentiment Analysis Symposium, slated for October 30, 2012 in San Francisco. Whether you're an experienced user or technologist, please consider proposing a presentation. Submit your proposal, by July 6, 2012 please, at sentimentsymposium.com/call-for-speakers.html. Choose from among the suggested topics listed there, or surprise us!

The San Francisco symposium will be the 5th, covering solutions that measure and exploit emotions, attitudes, and opinions in online, social, and enterprise sources. We'll have a new, special focus on signals -- on discovering and applying information with the greatest business value -- on sentiment data mashed-up with profiles, behaviors, transactions, and influence networks.

It'll be a great program. Given the timing, one week prior to the November presidential election, we're planning a Call the Election competition. Let me know if you'd like to take part!

Lastly, check out FREE videos of presentations and panels from prior symposiums via links at sentimentsymposium.com/contact.html. And consider taking advantage of the super-early registration discount, $300 off your symposium registration, good through July 12.

Posted June 28, 2012 5:23 AM
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Social sentiment matters -- customer opinions, attitudes, and emotions -- rants and raves that affect corporate reputation, provide valuable market and brand insights, and help you understand and engage with customers.

Yet there are too many low-grade tools out there. Sentiment analysis done right is about much, much more than simply scoring tweets and reviews. Sentiment analysis done right discovers business value in customer, consumer, and constituent content and behaviors, whether online, on-social, or in enterprise feedback.

The Sentiment Analysis Symposium, May 8 in New York, is the place to learn more.  This is an authoritative conference that brings together experts and practitioners from research and industry. You'll have an unmatched opportunity to learn about state-of-the-art technologies, how they are applied, return on investment, and how to choose from among the many available options.

Options help you understand social conversations and also direct and indirect feedback (such as surveys, contact-center notes, and warranty and insurance claims), online news, presentations, even scientific papers: Any information source that captures subjective information.

Advanced analyses monitor and measure sentiment and often much more, linking sentiment to demographics, customer profiles, behaviors, and transactional records. They help business analysts (and marketers, market researchers, customer service and support staff, product managers, and other users) get at root causes.  These are the explanations of behaviors captured in transaction and tracking records. Sentiment analysis means better targeted marketing, faster detection of opportunities and threats, brand-reputation protection, and the ultimate aim, profit.

Social Media revolve around feelings, attitudes, and emotions. Facebook and Twitter are major sources of sentiment (and also of complementary social connectedness data). Facebook and Twitter accounts have profile data attached to them, but nothing that matches the detailed, usably-structured information you can find on LinkedIn. Google is the ultimate information-access engine, capable of bringing together information from a huge variety of disparate sources, including sentiment information such as product, restaurant, and hotel ratings, although when corporations wish to find, mine, and exploit sentiment they need to turn to deeper BI and analytics tools.

There's no one-size-fits-all sentiment solution, not Google or one of the several as-a-service solutions out there or any of the capable analysis workbenches or social-media analytics tools. Instead, there's a whole spectrum of sentiment sources and analysis possibilities.

These are a sampling of the topics that will be covered at the May 8 Sentiment Analysis Symposium. You will meet and learn from experts, strategists, practitioners, researchers, and solution providers - experienced and new users and those evaluating solutions. A sample of speakers for the event includes the American Red Cross, Fidelity Investments, Thomson Reuters, American Express, Kraft Foods, and the Wall Street Journal.

For a crash course on technology concepts, you should also attend the May 7, half-day Practical Sentiment Analysis tutorial, taught by Prof. Bing Liu. (Check out this profile of Bing that appeared in the January 27, 2012 New York Times.)

To register please visit sentimentsymposium.com/registration.html today. See you there!

Posted April 16, 2012 5:45 AM
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This is a quick entry to tell you about three things --

- My free report, "Text/Content Analytics 2011: User Perspectives on Solutions and Providers," is out. Are you looking for business value in "unstructured" social, online, or enterprise sources? My report will provide background information and "wisdom of the crowds" guidance you can use. Download the report free via altaplana.com/TA2011.

- For a deeper dive into customer/market attitudes and opinions, check out the Sentiment Analysis Symposium, November 9 in San Francisco, sentimentsymposium.com. We have speakers lined up from Zynga, HP, Amazon, TripAdvisor, the Red Cross, and more. They'll talk about the role sentiment plays in customer experience, marketing, market research, quality, and other applications.  It'll be a great day for learning and networking!  (BeyeNETWORK & TechTarget community members should use the registration code BEYE for $100 off.)

If you're new to sentiment analysis, the optional, half-day Practical Sentiment Analysis tutorial, http://sentimentsymposium.com/tutorial.html, is for you. The tutorial precedes the symposium on Tuesday afternoon, November 8.

- If you'd like a broader view of the text analytics market -- technology, solutions, and applications, the Text Analytics Summit is for you. This year, 2011, we're going west, with a San Jose summit November 10-11. 

For a really rich experience in text, content, and sentiment analysis, why not join me at both conferences?

Please get in touch with any questions.

Seth, @sethgrimes

Posted October 4, 2011 7:52 AM
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Data mining and market research consultancy, Anderson Analytics is beta testing a new text analytics software platform with two Fortune 500 clients. The platform, currently known as OdinText, is being developed specifically for use by market researchers. It is expected to be offered in SaaS model and may be commercially available as early as summer 2011.

Tom is a text analytics early adopter and long-time proponent. He was one of the first to apply natural language processing (NLP) techniques for ad-hoc consumer research although he chose to focus on professional services in the years when market-research oriented solutions such as Buzz Metrics and Cymfony (later acquired by Nielsen and TNS, respectively) first emerged. Tom is also behind a Next Generation Market Research movement and says that Anderson Analytics' solution is based on the firm's years of research and experience.

Tom has responded to a few questions.

Seth: That Anderson Analytics has been quietly working on developing a text analytics software product is a welcome surprise. How did that come about?

Tom: We've always done a little internal development to fill gaps. I've been relatively open about my opinions on the state of text analytics software in general, and that there are no perfect tools out there. It's more about selecting the right tool or combination of tools for the right job and then knowing how to use them. I realized as early as late 2005 that the software out there really isn't developed with the analyst in mind, and that developing something seemed to make sense. Text Analytics has changed a lot since 2005, and it will continue to do so. So I doubt it comes as a surprise to anyone following this field that we're now in development of something more elaborate. Our feedback so far has been very positive.

Seth: There are many text tools on the market, so why now?

Tom: Well I've spoken to market research directors at several Fortune 500 companies. Interestingly, most of them had similar experiences and opinions in regard to text analytics that I had. Many had tried, or requested proof of concepts from large vendors in the text analytics industry and had been underwhelmed by what they saw, especially considering the price tag. It was clear to me that there was still a lot of room for something created by those who both understand text analytics and the needs of market research professionals.

Seth: Will this be a stand-alone, do-it-yourself tool or part of a larger service offering?

Tom: Probably both. Initially an 'OdinText Lite' intended as DIY option, I also think text analytics can add value to some of the other offerings of full service research firms. We also envision slightly different modifications depending on intended use. This in my opinion is one of the major failings of what some of the other large vendors are offering, tools that supposedly can handle any type of text regardless of source. If you build something for everything, then how accurate and useful can it possibly be for a domain expert? In this case the intended expert is the customer intelligence expert, not so much the PR or advertising executive.

Seth: I heard you've already been approached by one large agency regarding some sort of investment or partnership?

Tom: Well yes. However, Anderson Analytics is well positioned to get a quality product into the hands of our customers. That said I do try to keep an open mind if someone brings something additional to the table which can add value.

Seth: Thanks, Tom.

Tom: We're on the Web at OdinText.com if readers would like to get in touch.

Posted December 16, 2010 5:24 AM
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