Online Sentiment, Machine Learning, and Prediction

Moderated by: Alistair Croll
Disruption & Opportunity
Location: Mission City B1
Average rating: **...
(2.42, 12 ratings)

Today’s web analyst has moved far beyond funnels and visitors. Automated systems decide who gets what content, and language parsing tries to distill sentiment from millions of online interactions.

Photo of Ben Gimpert

Ben Gimpert

Altos Research

Ben was a professional software developer for ten years, and a BBS scenester in the mid-nineties. He is also one of those annoying former quants. Ben’s past clients include investment banks like JPMorgan Chase and Credit Suisse, the hedge fund Natura Capital, and EdF Trading an energy trading house. He built a taxonomy browser for Encyclopaedia Britannica in 2004, and previously worked for ThoughtWorks as a convert to agile software engineering.

Ben teaches and speaks on machine learning, software engineering, financial analysis, and the culture of quants. While living in London, Ben was an early contributor to the grassroots cartography project OpenStreetMap. He continues to manage a portfolio of financial assets via a quantitative trading strategy built upon sentiment and predictive analytics. He has an MSc in Finance from London Business School and a BEng in Computer Science from Northwestern University.

Photo of Margaret Francis

Margaret Francis

Exact Target/ CoTweet

Margaret Francis is the acting Product Manager for CoTweet at ExactTarget and the former Vice President of Product at Lithium Technologies/Scout Labs, where she led development of the social media insight and analytics platform. As former Director of Strategy at Razorfish, Ms. Francis developed marketing and technology strategies for Fortune 500 companies and led cross-functional teams to deliver cutting edge web sites and digital marketing programs. Ms Francis’ clients have included major brands such as Netflix, Coca-Cola, Visa, Nike, Apple, Citibank and Disney. She is a graduate of Yale University and SFAI and a frequent speaker on the topic of social media metrics and their integration into marketing program measurement.

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Ryan Strynatka


As Director of Product Management with Radian6, Ryan leads the Product Management team, overseeing product planning, market strategy, and go-to-market planning. Ryan has over a decade of technology industry experience, focusing on Product Management, Social Media, Spatial Analysis and Customer Service.

Prior to joining Radian6 in 2009, Ryan focused on digital photogrammetry, Geographic Information Systems and remote sensing applications with Leica Geosystems. Ryan holds an undergraduate degree in Geography from the University of Western Ontario and a post-graduate diploma in Remote Sensing from the Centre of Geographic Sciences.

Photo of Josh Merchant

Josh Merchant


Josh is the Co-founder of Lymbix, a company that has created a product called ToneCheck; revolutionizing the space of sentiment analysis. Josh maintains his focus on all the technical aspects of Lymbix including systems management, integration, and support. Originally from Toronto, Josh made the decision to relocate permanently to New Brunswick in 2008 to concentrate his full efforts on Lymbix. Josh is the driving force and visionary behind the intelligence technology being developed to fuel the suite of real- ‐world applications under the Lymbix umbrella. Prior to Lymbix, he led a Ruby on Rails practice building customized software applications for other businesses. Josh holds a degree in Computer/Electrical Engineering from the University of New Brunswick.


  • Thomson Reuters
  • EMC Data Computing Division
  • EnterpriseDB
  • Microsoft
  • Gnip
  • Rackspace Hosting
  • IBM
  • Windows Azure MarketPlace DataMarket
  • Amazon Mechanical Turk
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Aster Data
  • Cloudera
  • Clustrix
  • DataStax, Inc. (formerly Riptano, Inc.)
  • Digital Reasoning Systems
  • Heritage Provider Network
  • Impetus
  • Jaspersoft
  • Karmasphere
  • LinkedIn
  • MarkLogic
  • Pentaho
  • Pervasive
  • Revolution Analytics
  • Splunk
  • Urban Mapping
  • Wolfram|Alpha
  • Esri
  • ParAccel
  • Tableau Software

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