Today, April 1, 2016, marks the 6th anniversary of the founding of Narrative Science.
When I think of the past 6 years, I’m floored by all of the ways our team has impressed and amazed me. We have lived our mission and values since day 1 and it’s inspiring to think about how hard our team has worked to get us where we are today. As in the past, I’m going to skip the typical anniversary blog post memories. Things like our first customer, first partner, first existential crisis are important milestones, but not the most important.
The most important milestone isn’t an event that occurred or even a single point in time. It’s the evolution of the Advanced Natural Language Generation (NLG) market. It’s the changing attitudes of key decision makers in large organizations. It’s now the widely held belief that NLG is an important piece of the data ecosystem.
In the early days of Narrative Science, I met with many prospective customers to explain our technology and articulate the many uses of Quill. Inevitably, after our pitch, the first question was: “This is amazing, but who is actually doing the writing?!” Tough going in the early days.
We had our fair share of early customers, but it was clear that our task was not only to grow our company, but also, open up the market. We were evangelists and our message was clear: data is overwhelming us, visualization isn’t the end game, data is useless until it is made useful. We were patient, and the world caught up.
Here are four good proof points:
Automated report writing is becoming commonplace
Gartner predicted that by 2018, 20 percent of all business content or 1 in 5 of the documents you read will be authored by a machine.
NLG was named on multiple Gartner Hype Cycles
Gartner’s annual reports on the maturity, adoption and social application of specific technologies acknowledged NLG as an up-and-coming technology in multiple round-ups including “Business Intelligence and Analytics”, “The Digital Workplace”, “Smart Machines”, and “Advanced Analytics and Data Science” - a huge achievement for a technology category that was relatively unknown outside academic circles a few years prior.
We have enough data
Big Data consultant, Bernard Marr, stated it best when he said:
“with the ever increasing amount of information that businesses are finding themselves expected to deal with in the Big Data age, there’s never been a bigger need for tools to break down the communication barrier between humans and machines.”
Data collection and analysis has been successful but people need more value from it.
Innovative companies are using Advanced NLG
Forward-looking and innovative companies like USAA and Deloitte are using Advanced NLG to automate manual processes and free up employees to focus on more high-value tasks. It is only a matter of time before before NLG is in imbedded in the data infrastructure of almost every organization.
The Next Six Years and Beyond
It has been an incredible first 6 years and I couldn’t be happier with our progress. Thank you to all of our customers, partners and investors. All of you have played a big part in helping us get closer to achieving our overall mission of enhancing human productivity and making people smarter. This is still just the beginning and I can’t wait to see what the next six years bring.