The hidden message in reams of text

Excellence may be its own reward, but we consider recognition by one of the world’s most authoritative reviewers high praise indeed. That’s why we at…

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December 3, 20185 minutes read

Excellence may be its own reward, but we consider recognition by one of the world’s most authoritative reviewers high praise indeed.

That’s why we at OpenText™  are pleased to announce that OpenText™ Magellan™, our AI-powered analytics platform, has been named a Strong Performer in two recent analyst reports on text analytics and machine learning from Forrester Research. Moreover, we’re proud that Magellan was included in Forrester’s first-ever evaluations of these particular areas of AI. So we’ve got some serious momentum on our side!

“We see it as another major vote of confidence in our flexible, open, next-generation approach to AI and the powerful functionality, including subtle nuances of human language, built into Magellan,” said Zachary Jarvinen, head of product marketing for Analytics & AI at OpenText.

Notebook-based machine learning: Modern tools to make AI coding easier

The latest report, the Forrester Wave: Notebook-Based Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning (PAML) Solutions[1], lists OpenText among the nine vendors that matter the most in this fast-growing market segment, which report authors Mike Gualtieri and Kjell Carlsson describe in the report as “like a collection of brilliant teenagers… developing, maturing, and learning from each other at breakneck speed.”

Vendors in this segment offer machine learning and predictive analytics tools that leverage “notebooks” (interfaces that collect code, algorithms, and commentary to make programming projects easier and more efficient), such as the open-source Jupyter Notebook at Magellan’s core. And they program in popular languages such as Python and R. It’s a modern, forward-looking approach to PAML that supports the tools and languages used by the latest generation of data scientists (in contrast to legacy vendors’ commitment to proprietary tools and language dating back as far as the 1990s).

OpenText was ranked in the Strong Performers band. “OpenText surprisingly, yet delightfully burst onto the machine learning scene with Magellan,” Carlsson and Gualtieri wrote in the Wave. “[It] tackles the gnarliest, most under-leveraged, valuable data… with sophisticated text analytics…” –referring to the unstructured data that makes up nearly 80% of most enterprises’ information assets.

“The real benefit of using OpenText Magellan is the ability to operationalize models in business-friendly interfaces in its vast portfolio of enterprise information applications and services,” such as Business Network and Captiva, the Wave continued. (This way, it can deliver efficient, easy-to-use solutions for common use cases including predictive maintenance, smart content capture, and Voice of the Customer.) “OpenText Magellan is compelling for existing OpenText customers,” the report concluded in its vendor profile of OpenText.

Magellan received Forrester’s highest scores, 5 out of 5, in the data acquisition, visualization, and solution roadmap criteria.

Forrester rates vendors in concentric waves of functionality.

AI-based text analytics

Magellan was also a Strong Performer in Forrester’s AI-Based Text Analytics Wave[2] earlier this year, which picked eight top vendors in this field to evaluate in detail. Again, we were pleased that Magellan did so well the first time Forrester explored this particular category. OpenText received the highest scores possible in the “breadth of functionality,” “extensibility and customization,” “training data for Machine Learning,” vertical specialization, and overall strategy criteria.

Boris Evelson, the lead analyst for the AI-Based Text Analytics Wave, noted several distinguishing points about Magellan, including:

  • Subjectivity detector. “OpenText’s text analytics is the only product we evaluated that classifies findings by ‘fact’ (e.g. coming from a reputable news source) versus ‘opinion’,” he wrote. At OpenText, we believe this is an especially relevant feature amidst today’s confusing accusations of “fake news.”
  • Ability to analyze large and complex documents. We see this as setting OpenText apart from the other vendors in the Wave, which in our view specialize in more short-form text analysis such as social media, IMs and email. Built on a robust Apache Spark platform, OpenText Magellan is, we believe, ideally suited for analysis of extremely complex enterprise documents such as contracts, business plans or manuals, which might have hundreds or even thousands of pages.
  • Deep integration. “It is a natural text analytics platform of choice for customers who already use other OpenText ECM and BPM products,” Evelson wrote.

He also noted that complex concept extraction is a key differentiator in the text analytics market. “As basic, mostly keyword-extraction-based technology becomes outdated and less effective, improved complex concept extractions (emotion, effort, intention, risk, and fraud-level tagging) will dictate which providers lead the pack. Vendors that can provide these advanced features position themselves to successfully deliver enterprise-grade text analytics solutions to their customers,” Evelson wrote in the Wave.

In fact, understanding complex concepts and the mood and subjectivity of a piece of content are among the helpful features OpenText AI and Analytics is emphasizing as it continues to expand Magellan’s functionality, said Marc St-Pierre, Vice-President for AI & Analytics Consulting Services at OpenText.

“The Wave highlights the most important capabilities of Magellan for Information Governance, enabling our customers to reduce costs, mitigate risk and augment the value of their content, using AI to augment their operational processes,” St-Pierre added.


[1] The Forrester Wave™: Notebook-Based Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning Solutions, Q3 2018

[2] The Forrester Wave™: AI-Based Text Analytics Platforms, Q2 2018

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