Sentiment analysis is an important tool for businesses looking to get a better understanding of how their customers feel about their products. Instead of surveys that offer abstract ratings, it lets companies look at the emotions underlying how users talk about their goods or services.
Lexalytics has offered such technology for years, licensing its Salience Engine to other firms who then baked it into product’s like DataSift’s social media filtering platform. Now it’s looking to bring that same technology to smaller firms around the globe with the acquisition of Semantria, whose Excel-based sentiment analysis tool offers an easy, affordable way to find out the emotions behind customer satisfaction ratings.
Semantria CEO Oleg Rogynskyy claims that his company’s Excel plug-in can get a person from zero to complete sentiment analysis within minutes of signing up, assuming they’ve already got tweets, Facebook posts, or some other data set to look at. Now that it’s joining Lexalytics, the company is rolling out a series of products that will extend its reach and usefulness. First is a Google Doc plug-in — giving Mac users access to the tool — that is set for release in early September, as well as a native app powered by Lexalytics’ backend, which is due closer to the end of the year.
For its part, Lexalytics is looking to use its investment, which I’ve been told came in below $10 million, to expand its customer base within the United States and abroad. Lexalytics CEO Jeff Catlin told TechCrunch that Semantria’s sales team will allow the company to shift its focus from purely powering applications and services for others to a more traditional enterprise software as a service business.
According to Catlin, the combination of Lexalytics’ four years of research in natural language processing for a wide range of languages including Mandarin, Korean, and Japan and Semantria’s affordable service gives the firm a lead in Asia, where millions join the middle class each year and hundreds of millions use a diverse set of social networks.
Those interested in seeing what sentiment analysis can say about customers can use Semantria’s trial to analyze up to 20,000 documents, tweets, or survey responses for free.