As one of the “old dogs” in the field of Text Analytics, I thought it was high time that I jotted down my thoughts on all the changes that the space has undergone over the last 12 months or so. To put it bluntly, its been a wild year… lots of the existing vendors getting swallowed up by big companies (a little sampling for ya): March 21, 2008 SAS buys Teragram, January 8, 2008 Microsoft buys FAST. What do all these changes mean for the space? As the owner of a small company in this space, I don’t really see it as a positive for the customers. I believe that Text Analytics has come a long way in the last 3 or 4 years, and while it was inevitable that many of the smaller players would be acquired, I suspect that the acquisitions will decrease the amount of innovation going on in the space. New startups are sure to fill the void, but I suspect that there will be some reinventing the wheel in some of these new companies. Beyond the acquisitions, the technology itself is far more usable now than it was 5 years ago, and the enhancements that are coming will, in some cases mimic human behavior. One of the first examples of this is in product review sites where text analytics is allowing a number of these sites to measure the consumers opinion or confidence in a product, identify the problem areas and find other consumers with hands on experience with the product of interest. Keep an eye on the space, as the really exciting stuff like Grammatic tagging is just begging to make its way to the markets, so the changes in the space are sure to continue at breakneck pace.