I chatted with Sysomos, Biz360, and Jive Software this week. There are many solutions available to you when you want to begin listening to the broader conversations that are taking place on social channels. I am continuing to play with these solutions and will have more hands on feedback in the near future. However, here are my take-aways from my conversation with Sysomos.
Sysomos is definitely an engineering-driven company, the product originates from University research efforts that began in 2005. They have a large index of data, they began crawling the web back in 2006, and now have more than 2 billion documents in their index. These are very impressive numbers.
What are the product and pricing options?
Sysomos now has 2 products, MAP and HeartBeat.
- MAP is focused on the customer that needs to do in-depth research providing fairly robust search options and allows an unlimited number of searches. Customers buy a single concurrent user license at $2500 per user per month..
- Heartbeat is focused on customers using SMM for brand monitoring and comes in two versions, Basic and Professional.
- Basic allows customers to make use of 5 queries, 10 tags, 5 unique users (and a partridge in a pear tree) at a cost of $500 (USD) per month. Unlike some products, you are not charged based upon the number of search results returned.
- Professional is double the cost at $1000 (USD) but provides for more than double the offering. It supports up to 10 queries and 25 tags with an unlimited number of users.
Sysomos makes use of Natural Language Processing (NLP) to give automated sentiment analysis. From an accuracy standpoint Sysomos seems to deliver the same level of accuracy as others providing automated sentiment analysis. Note:
- Their use of a gas gauge UI to represent sentiment is the most intuitive display I have seen to date. It is very easy to gain a quick overview of how that search terms are doing.
- With the MAP product the sentiment is locked, users cannot change the value. This is due to the fact that it is a shared dataset. However, Sysomos could benefit the users by providing an override ability for users to give a community-driven sentiment score in addition to their automated score. Yes, it would have to take into account perspective, but could be, and would be, very powerful.
- The Heartbeat product comes with its own dataset. The sentiment can be overridden but does not feed back to the community as the data is separate from that used by the MAP product.
The sentiment engine has been trained and is constantly being tweaked. In fact, Sysomos initially fed the engine 200,000 pieces of text from a variety of domains, rated as positive or negative, and used this to help train the engine. Sysomos claims that the engine regularly performs at a rate of 87% accuracy as it is regularly retested. I’m skeptical that it can be anything higher than 70% on average, but do appreciate the regular testing, tweaking, and refinement. It is what is needed as we improve the science of sentiment analysis.
The products match up well with others that I have seen. However, they lack any sort of CRM integration, which is a major hole in my opinion. The products do support exporting data to PDF or CSV files, your data is not locked in.
The user interface is intuitive, easy to use, in line with Scout Labs who, in my opinions, provides the most usable interface of the SMM makers I have reviewed. I will spend more time with the products, stay tuned.