Text Analytics: Coming soon to an application near you!

  1 m, 30 s

I’ve long believed that Text Analytics was going to “pop” one day and start showing up in all sorts of applications.  I talked with a company yesterday that made me believe that day may be coming soon.  The company is “ScreenRetriever” (www.screenretriever.com <http://www.screenretriever.com> ) and they make a really cool screen monitoring application for parents to track their teens computer usage on things like Skype and Facebook.  As the father of two late teen boys I can say firsthand that it’s something I worry about, though thankfully I have no horror stories on that front.  ScreenRetriever has done a really nice job of putting together a clean and easy to use application that lets you see what your kids are seeing and saying.
Text Analytics comes in as a potential new add-on feature for services like this, where the text that’s flowing through these applications can be analyzed to spot worrisome patterns, dramatic changes in groups of friends or possibly new themes in their discussions.  A pre-built taxonomy and fixed look at the world probably isn’t going to get it done in this space, the kids are constantly coming up with new acronyms, so it would have to be a “data driven” application where the software discovered interesting terms and threads of discussion.  I can’t say if this feature will ever be added, but what peaked my interest is how different this use case is from the standard media monitoring and customer satisfaction applications that Text Analytics is typically found in.  The technology is getting good enough to start showing up in lots of different verticals, so I’m expecting to see some really interesting use cases in the next year or so.