Attensity Q makes it easier for businesses to drink from the Twitter firehose

But social media monitoring's value has limitations, according to one analyst

In the NLP (natural language processing) business for a while, Attensity sees an opportunity to get new customers with Q, a visualization tool it says can help non-technical users like marketers find insights in oceans of social media data.

"Any type of end user can pick up and start listening," said Martin Onofrio, Attensity's chief revenue officer. "You spin it up and start listening. It's that high-level observation tool."

Attensity's underlying platform provides real-time access to Facebook, more than 150 million blogs and forums, and the Twitter firehose.

Of course, within those data sets and particularly Twitter, "there's a massive amount of garbage" that Attensity's technology can clean out through spam filters, heuristics, taxonomies, domains and other techniques, said Sean Timmins, director of enterprise solutions.

However, with Q "the goal is not to target individual people," Timmins said. "We're not an ad engine."

Q users can simply put in topic phrases and the system will start harvesting conversations that seem to be related, and presenting the data in a visual format.

If a Q user spots something interesting -- say, a sudden burst of social media messages that are critical of a company's product -- that data set can be moved into another Attensity tool, Analyze, for deeper, root-cause analysis. Attensity has created a workflow that makes the data migration process simple, according to Timmins.

There are at least a dozen components to Attensity's NLP engine that examine various parts and types of speech, such as entities, voices, topics and intent, Timmins said. The system can also be tweaked to properly handle entities with multiple meanings, such as by separating the McDonald's restaurant chain from a local farm called McDonald's, he added.

Q will be available as an on-demand service later this month.

There are many vendors in the NLP market, all of which are scrambling to develop the best algorithms, filters and presentation tools to make sense of the Web's ever-larger pool of social media data.

Recently, NLP vendors have made progress in doing the same things as before, but for additional languages, said analyst Curt Monash of Monash Research. They've also gotten better at parsing "shorter messages with more questionable spelling and grammar," such as Twitter posts, he added.

However, NLP vendors haven't made much progress in deepening their engines' understanding of language, according to Monash.

What Q does should also be taken into context, he said.

"Analyzing the Twitter firehose is a bit of a fad," Monash said. "The largest consumer companies certainly gain value from it; other cases are less clear."

"Simple stand-alone social media monitoring, like what Attensity is introducing, is worth having," he added. "But it's like any other [business intelligence]. If you don't get the occasional insight from it, you're doing something wrong."

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetbusiness intelligencesoftwareapplicationsdata warehousingdata miningAttensity

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?