Amazing how things can change in a year. Last year at this time Lexalytics was looking forward to another great year with continued growth in our core business as we slugged it out with the likes of Clarabridge and Attensity. Fortunately, we achieved our goal of a great year. 2013 was our best year ever, and by far our most profitable, so we hit on that one, but the industry has changed so dramatically in the last year that I barely recognize it. Clarabridge raised a ton of money and seems to be in the midst of remaking their business, while Attensity has sort of disappeared from our radar. So, what’s going on here?
I believe this is an inflection point and text analytics is in the process of fully merging into the likes of big data and Business Intelligence. The technology has come far enough that it’s now time for text analytics to move away from its deeply technical roots, stop being a separate discipline, and move forward as a fully incorporated business practice.
In our business we are seeing a broadening of the industries that see a need for this technology, from the traditional CRM/Voice of the customer applications, to BI and predictive analytics, to new areas like Document management and Legal discovery. Text analytics is finally jumping the chasm and becoming a business centered application with measurable ROI across a breadth of industries. Traditional text analytics companies will probably fade away, to be replaced by product and solution oriented businesses.This is likely to happen in 2 different ways: some of us will remake our businesses into vertically oriented product businesses, while others will likely be snapped up by bigger companies that see value in owning this kind of technology. Either way, change she is a comin’.
So, what will the landscape look like at the end of 2014? It’s hard to say, but I feel pretty confident that it will look a lot different than it did at the end of 2013.