Blog: 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. Copyright 2019 Mon, 14 Oct 2013 12:29:59 -0700 Call for Speakers: Sentiment Analysis and Human Analytics (March 6, NYC) Sentiment, mood, opinion, and emotion play a central role in social and online media, enterprise feedback, and the range of consumer, business, and public data sources. Together with connection, expressed as influence and advocacy in and across social and business networks, they capture immense business value.

"Human Analytics" solutions unlock this value and are the focus of the next Sentiment Analysis Symposium, March 6, 2014 in New York. The Call for Speakers is now open, through October 28.

The key to a great conference is great speakers. Whether you're a business visionary, experienced user, or technologist, please consider proposing a presentation. Submit your proposal at Choose from among the suggested topics or surprise us.

The New York symposium will be the 7th, covering solutions that measure and exploit emotion, attitude, opinion, and connection in online, social, and enterprise sources. It will be a great program... with your participation!

(For those not familiar with the symposium: Check out FREE videos of presentations and panels from the May, 2013 New York symposium and from prior symposiums.)

]]> business intelligence Mon, 14 Oct 2013 12:29:59 -0700
2013 Sentiment Symposium Videos + 2014 Conference MR Survey 1) I've posted presentation videos and slide decks from the 2013 Sentiment Analysis Symposium. They're publicly available, no registration required. My goal is simply to give back to the community.

2) I'm planning two conferences for the first half of 2014, the first in New York in late February or early March, the second in Paris on June 2-3. I've set up a short market-research survey. Please share your thoughts on topics & speakers, conference format, and the conference name. I would really like to break away from the "sentiment analysis" label, which is too narrow for the many topics, in business-applied analytical computing, that the symposium already covers. Would you please help by completing the survey. It's anonymous, unless you choose to volunteer your name, and should take no more than 3 minutes.

Please contact me if you have questions regarding the conferences, and as always, I welcome contact from people with interesting stories or challenges in the text / content / social analytics and BI spaces. Do get in touch!

Seth Grimes

+1 301-270-0795

]]> Wed, 04 Sep 2013 07:20:32 -0700
Reminder: Sentiment Analysis Symposium, May 7-8 in New York Sentiment/Social/SignalsA reminder --

The Sentiment Analysis Symposium takes place next week, May 7-8 2013, in New York. This is a business-focused conference with strong academic/research, practitioner, and industry participation. The focus is technologies that mine emotions, opinions, and attitudes from social, online, and enterprise sources, for analysis in conjunction with other social, transactional, personal, and business-operations data.

The Wednesday, May 8 symposium will be preceded by two optional, half-day sessions on Tuesday, May 7: A Research & Innovation session and a Practical Sentiment Analysis tutorial, the latter taught by Prof. Ronen Feldman of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

We offer a 50% discount to academic & government attendees (registration code GOVACAD) and have a special rate for full-time students, $100 for the symposium and $50 for each of the optional sessions (contact sas (at)

On the agenda for the May 8 main event --

  • Visionaries Augie Ray (financial services), Gary Kazantsev (Bloomberg), and VS Subrahmanian (Univ of Maryland).

  • Tech/research stars including Carol Haney (Toluna), Stuart Shulman (Vision Critical, ex-UMass), Catherine Havasi (MIT Media Lab and Luminoso), and Philip Resnik (Univ of Maryland).

  • Research-business leaders including Stephen Rappaport (Advertising Research Foundation), David Rabjohns (MotiveQuest), Julie Wittes Schlack (Communispace), Joseph Hughes (Accenture), and Hal Bloom (Sage Software).

  • Business user presenters include Han Lai (PayPal), Amelia Burke-Garcia (Westat), and Lindsey Sanford (Bernard Hodes Group).

We have some really cool folks attending too, from CapitalOne, Consumer Reports, Dell, Evolve24, the Federal Reserve, JP Morgan, Thomson Reuters, and other organizations. We're thrilled to have as sponsors Accenture, Bloomberg, Lexalytics, Gnip, Converseon, Dow Jones, and NetBase. And we even have non-sponsoring technology companies attending including Oracle, SAS, and Verint, Angoss, Basis Technology, and Sysomos.

Aside from the technology and implementation elements, application focal areas include public relations, marketing, market research, customer service/support, financial markets, media, and healthcare.

Please do join us. Visit to register today.

]]> business intelligence Thu, 02 May 2013 09:45:59 -0700
Social Sentiment Takes Center Stage at the May 8, 2013 Sentiment Analysis Symposium in New York You read it here second (because the press release is already out) -

We've announced the program for the May 8, 2013 Sentiment Analysis Symposium in New York -- a program that "will feature industry-leading speakers and panelists from Bloomberg, IBM, PayPal, Vision Critical, and Westat, start-ups, and academia, covering social media and social intelligence" -- "for Customer Experience, Finance, Healthcare, Market Research, Media." Plus we have four great sponsors so far, BloombergGnip,Lexalytics, and Converseon, with others pending.

Join us!

The symposium is designed for businesses that want to lead the competition -- in customer satisfaction and support, brand and reputation management, financial services, product design and marketing, and an array of other business processes -- for those who understand the advantage they will gain in understanding customer, market, employee, investor, and political sentiment, emotion, mood, and opinion.

The symposium will be preceded, on May 7, 2013, by an optional, half-day Research & Innovation session that will explore cutting-edge industry initiatives, and by an optional, half-day Practical Sentiment Analysis tutorial, designed for advanced business users, software developers, and solution providers. The tutorial will be presented by Prof. Ronen Feldman of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Prof. Feldman is a pioneer in the development and application of data mining and text analytics technologies to solve Big Data problems in finance, marketing, and social media.

The symposium kicks off with 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.
  • Clinical psychologist Dr. Erin Olivo will speak on "Big Data, Linguistics, and the Science of Crowd Psychology."
  • Gary Kazantsev of Bloomberg will cover "News Analytics in Finance."
  • Vision Critical VP Stuart Shulman will speak on "Motivation Through Fear."
  • PayPal Director of Customer Advocacy Han-Sheong Lai will describe how PayPal applied advanced technologies to boost revenue and decrease call volume and cost in a talk on "Customer Experience Improvement."
  • Amelia Burke-Garcia of research-firm Westat will speak on identification of "Health Influencers to Impact Health Behavior."

Registration is online at A Super Early registration discount runs through February 8, 2013. (We also have a 50% government/academic discount and a special low rate for full-time students.)

The Sentiment Analysis Symposium series has drawn steadily growing numbers, at three New York symposium and two San Francisco symposiums held since 2010. (Videos of talks at earlier symposiums are available for free access at the symposium Web site.) 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.

Other distinguished May 8 include David Rabjohns, CEO of MotiveQuest, a social intelligence company; market research innovator Leonard Murphy, founder of Gen2 Advisors; Sean Reckwerdt from Networked Insights, speaking on Social TV; Realeyes Managing Director Mihkel Jäätma, speaking on "Facial Recognition for Emotion Detection"; Prof. Philip Resnik of the Univ. of Maryland, on real-time polling; Dr. Catherine Havasi, of the MIT Media Lab and founder of start-up Luminso, on cross-lingual sentiment analysis; and Hal Bloom from Sage and Lindsey Sanford from the Bernard Hodes Group.

To maximize networking opportunities, the symposium will once again feature evening-before and post-symposium receptions.

Again, please join us!

]]> text analytics Tue, 29 Jan 2013 09:30:17 -0700
Sentiment Analysis Symposium call for speakers + free presentation videos The Call for Speakers is open for the next Sentiment Analysis Symposium, slated for May 8, 2013 in New York.

The New York symposium will be the 6th, covering solutions that measure and exploit emotions, attitudes, and opinions in online, social, and enterprise sources. We typically have both research/academic and business user presentations and participation.

Whether you're an experienced user or technologist, please consider proposing a presentation. Submit your proposal, by December 17, 2012, at Choose from among the suggested topics listed there or submit on a topic of your choice.

Lastly, check out free videos from the October 30, 2012 symposium in San Francisco, and from prior symposiums, via links at For videos from the October 30, 2012 symposium in San Francisco, you can go directly to

]]> business intelligence Fri, 07 Dec 2012 08:58:39 -0700
4 reasons to attend the Oct 30 Sentiment Analysis Symposium The Sentiment Analysis Symposium ( takes place week after next, on October 30 in San Francisco. Will you join us?

Here are four special reasons to attend:

  1. A new closing segment, Social Intelligence at the Social Centers. Twitter and eBay represent social centers. They invented and epitomize social communications and commerce, and we have them on the program for presentations and a panel.
  2. A new, optional, pre-symposium class, An Introduction to Social Media Listening, taught by Mike Moran, noted analyst and consultant and former IBM distinguished engineer. The class will be Monday afternoon, October 29, same time as our optional Practical Sentiment Analysis tutorial, taught by Dr. Diana Maynard of the GATE team at the Univ of Sheffield (UK).
  3. An intensive (and free!) deep dive for hard-core technologists: a Monday morning session on natural language processing, text analytics, and semantic computing.
  4. BeyeNETWORK friends get $100 off the symposium registration fee via the code BEYE.

We have a great program lined up for October 30 (, with keynotes by social psychologist Kate Niederhoffer of Knowable Research (ex-Nielsen and Dachis) and Prof. VS Subrahmanian of the University of Maryland and talks by -- 

  • Financial markets wizards Rich Brown (Thomson Reuters) and Barry Parr (Dow Jones).
  • Consumer and market intelligence stars Carol Haney (Toluna), Bill Tuohig (J.D. Power), and Vaidyanatha Siva (Infosys).
  • Innovators Catherine Havasi (Luminso and the MIT Media Lab), Philip Resnik (Univ of Maryland), Rishab Ghosh (Topsy Labs), and Stuart Shulman (Texifter and the Univ of Massachusetts).
  • Business analytics leaders Graham Mackintosh (IBM) and Daniel Ziv (Verint). 
You'll also learn from user stories, from folks including Elizabeth Rector (Cisco) and Liz Keck (the American Cancer Society).

These are only some of our speakers. We have some really cool folks attending too, from Accenture, Adobe, Altimeter, Amazon, Bloomberg, CBS Interactive, Deloitte, Farmers Insurance, Hummer Windblad, <skip ahead> Wells Fargo, Yokogawa Electric, and a host of organizations you'll hear more from in the years to come. And we have leading edge exhibiting sponsors: social-data innovators Attensity, DataSift, Gnip, and Topsy; social-intelligence mainstays Lexalytics, Converseon, and NetBase; and start-ups Texifter and Viralheat. 

If you're in the agency, marketing, market research, customer service/support, financial markets, media, or healthcare world -- or in other domains that rely on understanding of emotions, opinions, and attitudes -- or if you're a technologist or an aspiring start-up -- this conference is for you. Please do join us. 

Visit to register today. I hope to see you there!

]]> BI Wed, 17 Oct 2012 07:18:35 -0700
Social Sentiment and Engagement Signals, at Oct 30 SF Symposium 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, 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 Pařilová, 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 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!

]]> BI Fri, 03 Aug 2012 11:35:55 -0700
Sentiment Analysis Symposium call for speakers, and free videos from New York 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 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 And consider taking advantage of the super-early registration discount, $300 off your symposium registration, good through July 12.

]]> BI Thu, 28 Jun 2012 05:23:21 -0700
Please check out the Text Analytics Summit, Boston, June 12-13 The next Text Analytics Summit is coming up in four weeks. The June 12-13 conference will be the 8th annual Boston summit, the 8th Boston summit I've been privileged to chair. Will you join us?

The summit series was the first business-focused conference dedicated to BI on text, to techniques that turn text into data in the service of diverse applications. It remains the best, a testimony to outstanding speakers, great networking opportunities, and the unparalleled importance text plays in the Social, Big Data era.

As chair, I can extend to you a special $300 registration discount, via the code SG12. Use it and hear speakers on customer experience, marketing, e-discovery, financial services, and social-media analytics -- from organizations that include American Express, eBay, Fidelity Investments, Maritz Research,, NASA, and Walt Disney. Visit for information, and follow the Registration link to register now.

Whether you're a veteran user or just getting started with text analytics, I hope you'll join us next month in Boston!
]]> BI Wed, 16 May 2012 08:29:36 -0700
Social Sentiment Matters! 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 today. See you there!

]]> text analytics Mon, 16 Apr 2012 05:45:28 -0700
The Science of Sentiment: An Interview with Seth Grimes
(Originally appeared at

Seth is an analytics strategist with Washington DC based Alta Plana Corporation . He is contributing editor at TechWeb's InformationWeek, founding chair of the Sentiment Analysis Symposium, and Text Analytics Summit, and text analytics channel expert for TechTarget's He is the leading industry analyst covering text analytics. Seth consults, writes, and speaks on business intelligence, data management and analysis systems, text mining, visualization, and related topics.

One of my favorite perks about this whole blogger thing is meeting some amazing people, and every once in while even getting to know people I consider to be my "heroes".  Seth Grimes is one of those folks. Since I began exploring the possibilities of social media analysis, text analytics, "Big Data", etc.. over and over again I would run into some piece pf genius written by Seth. In many ways our current careers parallel in terms of overall positioning and strategies, but Seth has achieved a level of reach, influence, credibility, and thought leadership than I can only aspire to. He's just that good.

Seth is an analytics strategist with Washington DC based Alta Plana Corporation . He is contributing editor at TechWeb'sInformationWeek, founding chair of theSentiment Analysis Symposium, and Text Analytics Summit, and text analytics channel expert for TechTarget's He is the leading industry analyst covering text analytics. Seth consults, writes, and speaks on business intelligence, data management and analysis systems, text mining, visualization, and related topics.

Seth invited me to attend his upcoming Sentiment Symposium as a guest blogger, but I just couldn't fit into my schedule. Instead, I suggested that we do an email interview to talk a bit about the symposium, but also about his views on where market research fits (or doesn't fit) in the new Business Intelligence paradigm taking shape right now. I think his take is important for market research to hear and I think you'll find a lot of value in what he has to say.

Seth will also be a guest on Radio NewMR on Tuesday, October 25th. Click here to register to listen to the interview live.

We conducted this interview via email over the past week. Enjoy!

LM: Thanks for agreeing to chat with me Seth! As a long time fan,  it's a real honor. First off, you're deeply involved in text  analytics and sentiment analysis.  How and, more important, why?  And what's in it for market researchers?

SG: My thanks to you Lenny for inviting me.  I'm always honored when people value what I have to say!

How is easy: I'm a consultant and industry analyst.  I help user organizations and solution providers with analytics strategy.  This work involves business intelligence and text analytics and their application to meet business challenges.

Why?  Personally I'm fascinated with language and use of automated technologies -- natural language processing (NLP) and computational linguistics -- to help machines get at meaning and discover patterns.

What's in it for market researchers?  First off, the technology will help you automate analysis of free-text survey responses, verbatims.  There's huge potential ROI just in that step.  I know of one organization that, via use of text analytics software, was able to reduce processing of periodic surveys from one person-week to half a day's work.  But beyond surveys, the technologies allow you to turn the Net -- online and social sources -- into one huge focus group and to draw insights in near real-time.

LM:  You're involved in a number of conferences including the upcoming  Sentiment Analysis Symposium. Can you tell me a bit about these  events and what your goal is in having them?

SG: The conferences are a natural for me, an outgrowth of the writing, speaking, and consulting I've been doing for years.  So, we have -

The Sentiment Analysis Symposium, coming up November 8-9 in San Francisco, and the Text Analytics Summit, -- where folks in market research, marketing, customer experience, financial service should be in order to best exploit attitudes and emotions in online and enterprise source, and where they should be heading.  And I'm founding chair of the summit, which started in 2005  with similar goals, covering a broader area however.

The conferences are at the intersection of technology and business, about discovering insights in content that contribute to better decision making. They're about learning and making connections.

LM: Over the past year my career has followed a similar path  (consulting, writing, speaking leading into event organizing), so I  can relate to the trials and joys of putting these things together! I've found an intense interest in topics related to emerging business  intelligence technology from a fairly small segment of the marketing  and insights communities, and a lot of resistance to embracing these  new approaches from the rest. Has your experience been similar, or are you finding  growing interest from a broader audience? If so, what is fueling the  change?

SG: The audience is growing, as folks understand the technologies' potential and as they learn how leading-edge organizations are benefiting from it. I try to cross-pollinate where I can, to evangelize analytical technologies in business domains that could profit by adopting them, and to bring business concerns to technology companies.  There's significant need.

Text and content analytics appear first on my agenda, as means of discovering and exploiting the business value of content.  I'm also a booster of integrated analytics.  The aim is to link content-sourced information with data from transactional and operational systems and -- given new, renewed interest in location intelligence and in the "when" of clickstreams, transactions, and behavior tracking -- geospatial and temporal analyses, joined via semantics.

OK, that's a load of techno-speak, so I'll restate by saying this stuff is going to be -- getting to be -- huge.  It will surface in augmented reality and other consumer-facing applications, with smart content and advertising delivery, sensitive to context and situation, critical tools for business competitiveness.  Yet the mainstream BI and market-research worlds are only starting to clue in. Resistance? More, I'd say, a lack of vision in some cases and of time to consider the possibilities in others.

LM: There is certainly a lot of energy being applied to developing  new tools in this space; what is your take on the current "state of  the industry"? How close are we to fulfilling the potential of these technologies?

SG: I've been using a photo of Alan Turing in recent presentations.  Turing's 1930s work defined computability, and he was also a  marathoner who almost qualified for the 1948 British Olympic Team.  I use a photo of Turing running, and only once has someone in my audience recognized him.  I show Turing as a runner because we're engaged, with text analytics and sentiment analysis, on a course toward machine comprehension of human language and, complementing understanding, machine language generation, toward machines that can pass a modernized Turing Test.  The race is on, but we're still a long way from the finish line.

LM: What recent developments in the field are you most excited about,  and which company do you think is closest to "getting it right" in  terms of the practical application of these technologies?

SG: What's cool?  Beyond-polarity sentiment technologies, which detect mood and emotion, not just in text but also in speech.  Image and video analytics: Information extraction from even more sources. Identify resolution: What's someone's demographic and psychographic profile?  Question answering -- that is, semantically-infused information access that goes way beyond search -- the kind of stuff we're seeing in IBM Watson, Wolfram Alpha, and Apple's Siri.

Cool stuff, but in terms of meeting basic, right-now business needs, there are actually a fair number of companies getting it right.  I won't answer in print, but folks should get in touch or attend the conference to learn about them!

LM: LOL, fair enough! On that note, who are you most excited about hearing at the upcoming Symposium and why? 

SG: I curated the program to appeal to a business and technology common ground.  It's designed for people working in customer experience and CRM, marketing and market research, competitive intelligence, financial services, and so on, and not just myself.  You should check out the agenda, which is online ; it's all great (although I admit to bias)!

But actually, what I'm really, really looking forward to is just chatting with people -- speakers and attendees -- during the breaks and the pre- and post-conference receptions.  Frankly, I learn the most in those informal, unscripted conversations.

LM: A lot of media coverage has been given to the idea of "Big Data",  and I certainly see what appears to be a fairly rapid wave of  consolidation, new entrants, and repositioning from the big tech firms taking place. It seems as if the focus of all that activity is to make  a play for data ynthesis/convergence to support the "Big Data" idea.  What role is text analytics and sentiment analysis going to play in bringing this brave new world to life?

SG: Yeah, Big Data, this season's buzzword.  It's marketing speak, and we're already seeing backlash, that the challenge most often isn't volume, it's complexity and data integration.

Much of that complexity is created by the desire to bring text-sourced information -- facts and opinions -- into the analytical mix.  You need "natural language" to explain what you're seeing in the numbers... hence our conversation now.

LM: OK, last question Seth. What changes do you expect to see in the next 5 years in the market research space as a result of the advances in text analytics, sentiment analysis,  and "big data" integration/analysis? How  does the traditional survey/focus group paradigm fit into that future?

SG:  heard a speaker say, earlier this year, that with a "culture of listening," there is "no need for surveys." I posted a photo of his slide to Twitter -- the gentleman is director, consumer services at large CPG company -- which ignited a Twitter exchange with consensus: No, you need surveys. For customer-experience initiatives, for market research, you can't learn everything you need to know without systematically asking a set of directed questions to a known set of respondents.  Text analytics, sentiment analysis: These technologies will help you do better surveys, with larger numbers of respondents, even flash surveys (let's call them) that can be turned around really quickly.

Focus groups, on the other hand, are slow, expensive and subjective.  As I see it, they are very replaceable by online/social-media monitoring.  Bye-bye.

We'll see even further linking of survey- and social-sourced insights with behavioral and psychographic profiles inferred from "big data" clickstream, location, service utilization, transactional, and other tracking data and mined from content.  This triangulation -- ensemble methods that coordinate and combine multiple models and approaches -- is the way to go. 

LM: You're preaching to the choir my friend; I couldn't agree more that the future is about the synthesis of multiple data streams. Thanks so much for the great conversation Seth and good luck with all of your efforts! 

]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2011 05:48:54 -0700
Find value in online/social text and sentiment: free report, conferences
- 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

- For a deeper dive into customer/market attitudes and opinions, check out the Sentiment Analysis Symposium, November 9 in San Francisco, 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,, 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

]]> BI Tue, 04 Oct 2011 07:52:49 -0700
Anderson Analytics Eyes Text Analytics Software Space with OdinText 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 if readers would like to get in touch.

]]> text analytics Thu, 16 Dec 2010 05:24:49 -0700
Content Analytics in Five Easy Pieces The Why of content analytics is clear: Quantify text and other "unstructured" sources and you can improve content delivery and findability, optimize storage, facilitate reuse, and extract business information. Why is easy; How is more complicated. A variety of semantic and analytical technologies come into play although different approaches best suit different business challenges, information types, and analysis styles.

We will explore the Why and How of content analytics at next week's Smart Content conference. Whether or not you can attend, five articles I've recently published will help you come up to speed. They're accessible -- not technical -- Five Easy Pieces if you will, with a great deal of richness, to be explored, beneath their surfaces.

Check out --

We'll hear more about success stories in diverse business domains at the conference; we'll explore all things content analytics. But even if you can't join us, key a watch on the topic. "Unstructured" content, from online, social, and enterprise sources, is a next big thing for BI and content management both as boundaries expand to create a world of semantically unified business information.

]]> Wed, 13 Oct 2010 10:26:49 -0700
Semantics and Analytics Unlock Value in Social and Online Content Facebook, LinkedIn, Trip Advisor, and Twitter -- social media -- are almost incidental, replaceable tomorrow if another platform proves more attractive, powerful, and agile. (Think AOL and MySpace.) It's content that is king, the message delivered via the blog/e-mail/news/forum medium, generated by corporations and individual producers, traveling a two-way street between them and information-consumer audiences, who in turn comment, repost, and remix at will. And it's Smart Content, the focus of a conference I'm organizing, that allows producers and consumers alike to find the greatest profit, however measured, in online and enterprise content.

The information governance concept, beloved by corporations and consultants, barely applies. It's a challenge creating standards and maintaining content-production rules, more a drag than a benefit, given the highly competitive, fast changing, almost chaotic content marketplace. It's semantic and analytical technologies, which help you find and exploit patterns relevant to your goals, whether expanding readership or automating sense-making, that allow content producers and consumers to keep up, to create findable, flexible, and reusable content and to generate business-linked insights.

Smart Content, the conference, is really just a next step in the BI/analytics/applications market education and match-making I've been doing for years. The opportunity is huge -- business and technical -- a consequence of the value content analytics can bring to news and social media and Web and enterprise content.

We'll cover a spectrum of approaches -- as applied in media & publishing, advertising & on-line commerce, marketing and PR, finance, research, and the Semantic Web -- enhancing the value of news and social media and Web and enterprise content -- with links to enterprise information management, content strategy, BI, text analytics, and search.

We'll start with Visionaries Panel with Dries Buytaert, CTO at Acquia and creator of Drupal, Natasha Fogel, EVP at Edelman StrategyOne, and Mark Stefik from XEROX PARC, followed by Jeff Fried of Microsoft explaining What Business Innovators Need to Know about Content Analytics.

We'll have talks by Rachel Lovinger, content strategy lead at Razorfish, Darrell W. Gunter, EVP/CMO at Collexis, and Randall Snare & Elizabeth McGuane of iQ Content, Dublin -- preceded by a series of lightning talks that will help attendees learn about the gamut of innovative smart-content solutions -- and followed by five Application Spotlight talks. Then stick around for a networking reception.

Smart Content will take place Tuesday, October 19 at the Executive Conference Center at 48th & Broadway in Manhattan. Learn more, and register today, at Register by September 10 for a $200 early-bird discount.

As my colleague Laurel Earhart, Smart Content marketing director, puts it, Smart Content is designed for decision makers, implementers, solution providers, and also investors. We're expecting great things to happen!

Lastly, I'm quite happy and appreciative to have TechTarget and the BeyeNETWORK as a Smart Content media sponsor, and the support of other prominent media and solution providers in the content management and analytics space. I'd love to have TechTarget readers and community members join us for what is sure to be an excellent program, due of course to the quality and expertise of the Smart Content speakers.

Please visit for more information and to register. (Early-bird rates run through September 10.) Thanks!

]]> BI Wed, 08 Sep 2010 08:58:51 -0700