Software // Information Management
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6/10/2009
12:57 PM
Seth Grimes
Seth Grimes
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Reports from the 2009 Text Analytics Summit

The number and quality of end-user presentations at year's Text Analytics Summit prove that Marti Hearst's 1999 observation, "The nascent field of text data mining (TDM) has the peculiar distinction of having a name and a fair amount of hype but as yet almost no practitioners," is definitively no longer operative...

The number and quality of end-user presentations at year's Text Analytics Summit prove that Marti Hearst's 1999 observation, "The nascent field of text data mining (TDM) has the peculiar distinction of having a name and a fair amount of hype but as yet almost no practitioners," is definitively no longer operative.

The summit was vendor heavy in its first year, 2005. For the last couple of years, end users have dominated the program. Their numbers held up this year even with overall attendance down about 1/6, a far smaller loss (due to economic conditions of course) than I've observed at other, recent analytics conferences. I'd pin much of the text summit's loss on integrators and start-ups facing limits imposed by a down economy. They're out there, but better to cut conference presence than R&D or staff when budgets are tight.

Voice of the Customer was (again) a popular summit topic, augmented this year by very helpful talks on sentiment analysis (e.g., by Bing Liu) and with broadened coverage of listening platforms and on-line sources including social media. I believe this year's was the first summit with open-source (GATE project coordinator Hamish Cunningham) and search (Usama Fayyad and Daniel Tunkelang) on the program.

And I again presented a pre-summit workshop, Text Analytics for Dummies. I've posted my slides, which folks are welcome to use however they wish.

Rather than recap further myself, I'll point you to a rich crop of blog articles posted by summit attendees.Let's start with industry analysts:

Next up, software industry representatives:

And there was one end-user blogger that I know of:

Barney Beal covered the summit for SearchCRM. He filed articles: Text analytics market small but growing amid recession, according to IDC and Text analytics software, net promoter score helps JetBlue take off with customer service.

I'll link you to one other source, the twitter tweets created with the #textsummit hashtag, and in particular to the tweet-stream generated by Christine Sierra of Lexalytics.

Need I say that I'm already looking forward to next year's summit?The number and quality of end-user presentations at year's Text Analytics Summit prove that Marti Hearst's 1999 observation, "The nascent field of text data mining (TDM) has the peculiar distinction of having a name and a fair amount of hype but as yet almost no practitioners," is definitively no longer operative...

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