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Attensity, Teradata and Anderson Analytics talk on the future of text analytics

The text analytic market is set to exceed £635mln as businesses look to capture customer sentiment to gain competitive advantage.

Companies from industries as diverse as financial services, pharmaceuticals and online retail are today looking to harness the voice of the customer across social networks to improve their services.

The technology to capture customer sentiment is becoming increasingly sophisticated, responsive, and flexible to distinct business needs. Despite the recent surge in uptake there remains a general lack of understanding among businesses about the full potential of text analytics to boost the bottom-line.

In this light, Text Analytics News caught-up with leading players in the text analytics market to talk about the potential of analytics: Catherine Van Zuylen, VP of Products, Attensity; Tom Anderson, President, Anderson Analytics (OdinText); and Daniel Graham, General Manager Enterprise Systems, Teradata.

Text Analytics News: How did you first get into text analytics and what attracted you to the technology?

Anderson: From 2001 through 2005 I worked on Starwood Hotels Customer Satisfaction Program, and during that time we had over a million VOC Surveys coming in per year. It was very different from other types of research I had conducted in the past, and while we were using very advanced analysis on quantitative data points I realized that the text comments could add so much more explanatory power to the analysis.

In graduate school my main area of interest was in gaining consumer insights through data mining, and though text mining (NLP) was still relatively new at least in terms of adoption, I started exploring the various software already on the market and found we could more easily answer and solve various business questions by leveraging the unstructured data available to us. So in 2005 I started Anderson Analytics and during the past six years we’ve leveraged these new techniques in a number of ways I hadn’t even thought of at the time.

The rise of social media during this time certainly helped propel this field and offer even greater opportunities. Expanding beyond survey research to working with data from Bulletin boards, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter has certainly kept it exciting.

Graham: Around 2000, I was at IBM working with Watson Labs on text analysis projects. At the time, we were working with a stock brokerage in Manhattan with their call center. Consumers would call in and tell the contact center person dozens of personal things, some of which could be used to improve service and also sell more to the consumer. I learned a great deal about ontologies, text processing, and text analytics. At about the same time, a few Professional Services people were able to help Ford Motor use a data warehouse to solve the Firestone Tire blow out problem affecting their SUVs and trucks. There was lot of text processing and data warehouse analytics needed for that.

Being in analytics for most of my career, the use of text analysis was fascinating. There was huge potential in many applications. I think the complexity of the text problems were also attractive - these were tough computer science problems which just makes it all the more fun when you solve them. I have always been fascinated with why the computer can’t read. This is a start.

Zuylen: I’ve been involved in the text analytics space for nearly a decade. I was attracted to the text analytics space because it provides the ability to truly organize the world’s textual information - transforming research papers, tweets, emails, and billions of other documents into actionable insights that have the power to transform human knowledge and drive real global understanding and innovation…

To support the emergent analytics market, Text Analytics News has organized the Text Analytics Summit (London, April 23-24) which focuses on how to improve consumer insight to drive competitive advantage.


Sign-up to learn how you can benefit from text analytics with business-boosting tips delivered by Aviva, Merck Group, HM Revenue & Customs, among many other groups. 


This is your once-only chance to:


  • Learn how to store and analyse large amounts of data to make real time decisions and extract deep insights
  • Discover how to accurately capture and analyse the voice of your customer to improve the marketing of your product / service and drive customer retention
  • Meet Attensity (the event sponsors) in person to see how text solutions can drive your business forward


George Kiley, Chief Editor, Text Analytics News says: “Today, it is crucial that we focus on what makes financial sense. So the London Summit centres on how text analytics can offer a source of commercial advantage – importantly, told through the stories of recent adopters.”


To learn more about the agenda, speakers and sponsors please click here to download the Summit Brochure.


For more information and to book your place contact George Kiley at [email protected],

or Tel: +44 (0) 207 3757545

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