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Lexalytics sentiment analysis learns Nordic languages

Lexalytics has added language support for Danish, Norwegian and Swedish to its sentiment analysis software

Sentiment analysis software supplier Lexalytics has added language support for Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, which organisations can use to analyse how Nordic customers talk about their products and services online.

The Nordic language support is introduced as part of Lexalytics’ cloud-based text analysis service Semantria, which the company acquired in July 2014 to complement its own on-premise analysis software. Both are used by firms such as Microsoft, Cisco and Bitly to mine data on tweets, surveys, documents and more to pick up consumer intentions and sentiments.

Lexalytics’ current and future partners and customers can now access over 19 million more consumers in their own language, said Lexalytics CEO Jeff Catlin.

A notable omission to the Nordic languages support is Finnish, which Lexalytics stated may come later. While the company now supports 19 languages, adding smaller languages is challenging.

“Larger languages have really great pre-existing lexical resources; smaller languages don’t – so, we have to generate all of the annotations ourselves via native language speakers,” said Seth Redmore, chief marketing officer at Lexalytics.

Danish enterprise social media management platform Falcon Social is one of the first companies to implement the Nordic language suite. It has used Semantria for two years and has been helping Lexalytics in the development of its Nordic tools.

“Lots of our clients have been asking for [Nordic language support] for a long time and there have been small vendors which could have supplied this, but not at a quality we thought was good enough,” said Falcon Social data engineer Jess Alfredsen. “So we have been working with Lexalytics and Semantria to give them some training data and evaluate their services while they were developing tools for the Nordics.”

As the Nordic language extension is very new, Falcon Social’s platform can also override Semantria if errors are detected.

Safe data harbouring

Lexalytics has also announced certification of compliance with the Safe Harbour personal data protection framework between the US and EU. While the timing is unfortunate with the recent news of Safe Harbour’s invalidation, Redmore doesn’t see it as a problem for the company because it doesn’t store data and deals primarily with public and social information.

“Unlike many other businesses that are affected by this ruling, Lexalytics is not in the customer data aggregation business,” he said. “We did Safe Harbour because we had the request from a few of our customers, and we feel that the privacy policies and processes are still solid business practices. Some of our European customers using the US datacentres will probably move to our EU datacentre [in Ireland], but other than that there’s no effect.”

Lexalytics, founded in 2003, claims to be behind the first commercial sentiment analysis tool. But competition is increasing, with other suppliers such as AlchemyAPI – acquired by IBM in March – entering the field.

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