Major Growth in Text & Content Analytics, Report Says

User adoption of text and content analytics grew 25 percent last year, as it is expected to do for the next several years. For 2010, the growth resulted in an $835 million market, according to a newly available report, "Text/Content Analytics 2011: User Perspectives on Solutions and Providers."

The 62-page report is the result of a study by analyst and consultant Seth Grimes, a recognized expert in text analytics, and is available for free download from his Alta Plana Website. In compiling the report, Grimes relied on results from 224 survey respondents and conversations with numerous vendors and technology users.

The study, sponsored by various analytics vendors, aimed to answer the question, "What do current and prospective text/content-analytics users really think of the technology, solutions, and solution providers?" At this juncture, companies are using text and content analytics mainly for social media analysis and, essentially, for next-generation search.

The need to keep up with social media is a key driver behind the growth in text and content analytics use, with consumer-focused companies and organizations among the technology's primary users. In fact, the top four categories of content most important to users are all social, online, or both. These categories are:

  • Blogs and social media
  • Online news articles
  • Online forums
  • Online reviews.

The focus of text analytics on "unstructured" data like Web content and email communication is nothing new.

In July, a Webinar with Kent State University Professor Denise Bedford looked at the use of text analytics to make sense of the incredible accumulation of data in all forms, Web included. Text and content analytics is also an important component of linguistic sentiment analytics, which attempts to analyze words from various kinds of content including social media for indicators of sentiment, opinions, or emotions and then to make predictions based on those findings.

If you're interested in hearing Grimes's perspectives on text and content analytics firsthand, join him here for an All Analytics e-chat next Wednesday, October 12, at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Shawn Hessinger, Community Editor

Shawn Hessinger is a community manager, blogger, social media and tech enthusiast, journalist, and entrepreneur based in Northeastern Pennsylvania. He serves as community manager and blogger for, a business news and information Website, and contributes regularly to the online business news source, Small Business Trends. He is the founder of, an online content and media community, and has provided blogging and social media services and consulting for companies all over the world. He researches and writes on a variety of business, Internet-related, and other tech topics including business intelligence and analytics. He is also keenly interested in computer-aided data management as it relates to his various online ventures. A newspaper journalist with more than 11 years experience as a reporter and then managing editor, Shawn began blogging in 2006 and now provides a variety of consulting and outsourcing services in Search Engine Optimization, Web development, and online marketing to companies large and small. He is a strong advocate for the use of BI and related computer data management in business decision making, whether using software as a service (SaaS), cloud, or other applications, and in the opportunity these technologies provide to transform small startups and larger established businesses alike.

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Re: Deeper dives on text & sentiment analytics
  • 10/5/2011 2:48:23 PM

John, I think you hit on something here that businesses will indeed need to figure out how to manage effectively for the type of analysis they do and data they deliver -- and that's the growing sense of entitlement people have about the type and value of information that should be readily at their disposal. You're right, as Google gets better and better at delivering search results based on less than optimal search requests, people's expectations about the data they should be receiving does get kind of skewed. Teachers might be spotting the trouble now, but I don't imagine the problem will stop in the academic world but move on the the business environment as well.


Re: Deeper dives on text & sentiment analytics
  • 10/5/2011 12:41:21 PM

There's both an upside -- better delivery of appropriate content to the appropriate user -- and a downside possible: the training effect that because unstructured text analytics will make it possible to get what you want (or close enough) without asking very precisely, people will be trained to just throw some words at the problem and accept the result.  This is already happening, for example, as natural language gets better on Google, with weaker high school and college students -- teachers report more and more students refusing to learn to compose or refine a search because they figure that whatever they got back from what they  put in is "right".  (And they're entitled for it to be right, too!)

Re: Deeper dives on text & sentiment analytics
  • 10/4/2011 9:25:44 PM

Hope you'll join us for the e-chat DataCrunch. Please save the date and share the link with a friend.

Re: Deeper dives on text & sentiment analytics
  • 10/4/2011 9:13:07 PM

I agree this has been gaining a lot of momentum recently.  I am amazed that their already is a market size defined, since this is a fairly new area.  I am curious to learn more as well on this topic.

Re: Deeper dives on text & sentiment analytics
  • 10/4/2011 9:11:31 PM

Hi Beth,

Sounds like fun! I was fascinated when I took a look at how much this market is growing and how much has to do with keeping up with social and other online content. Having often been on the other side of this market in the production end, it's pretty interesting to see the time, money and effort spent on monitoring these new communications channels.

Deeper dives on text & sentiment analytics
  • 10/4/2011 6:06:47 PM

Shawn, thanks for providing highlights of Seth's text analytics study. This is obviously a huge and growing area of interest for companies, as his research shows. I'm looking forward to getting more of Seth's insights on text analytics, as well as sentiment analysis, during our chat with him next week. As you mentioned, that'll take place on Wed., Oct. 12, at 2 p.m. ET, here. Seth also is hosting the Sentiment Analysis Symposium next month in San Fran. He's got an interesting lineup of speakers, including folks from Zynga, TripAdvisor and Amazon.