May 01, 2017 | Zack Blois
4 Reasons Your BI Needs Natural Language Generation
Is your company trying to bridge the gap between data and action?
Many businesses attempting to translate the power of data into actionable insights fall short as they spend too much time manually interpreting the output of analysis and struggling to communicate results to key stakeholders. This challenge can be solved with Natural Language Generation (NLG).
The following four reasons explain how NLG will help your company take its BI tools and analysis to the next level:
1) Democratizing analytics
Companies across the globe are using data visualization tools, BI platforms, and analytic apps, but these tools are often siloed within the organization, too often requiring special skills or training. The value of these systems in delivering actionable information is tied directly to the recipient’s data interpretation skills.
With that in mind, many BI consultants that advocate for dashboards and visualization tools to help business users with data analysis also say that delivering a story, or an Intelligent Narrative, alongside those tools enables broader usage and adoption. Or as Dan Woods, IT consultant and Forbes contributor, describes it:
...For many people, language is more accessible than visualizations, and it is certainly more able to point precisely to what is most important and describe the subtleties that cannot be expressed in a chart.
2) Increasing accuracy
Let’s face it: graphs, charts, and data sets are not a universal language—even if many of us wish they were. These types of visualizations leave the data (and outcomes) open to interpretation.
Surveys indicate that only 25% of all knowledge workers receive effective training in information analysis and use. This is worrisome—inadequate training can lead to inaccurate interpretation. However, language is universal. Narratives, whether a few sentences or extensive paragraphs, help break down interpretation barriers, analysis paralysis, and basic confusion.
3) Improving operational efficiencies
Time spent on deciphering charts and graphs is time that could be spent working on a company’s business, so why not let an intelligent, Advanced NLG system automate your BI reporting?
One of our clients, an analytics team at a Fortune 500 CPG company, started using Narratives for Power BI to produce a range of narratives that fed into an internal monthly report (coincidently about operational efficiency gains and losses.) Historically, the writing and analysis process took 4 days but by using Advanced NLG, they were able to reduce time spent writing the report in half.
4) More engaging insights for your customers
Client communications can vary by industry but an overarching commonality is that clients should find the communication to be useful. Motivated by this very reason, one of our partners’ clients, a national transportation company, enhanced their client communications process with our integrated narratives.
The company had been communicating status reports to clients using data visualizations but they discovered that engagement with the dashboards was really low. Face-to-face time with clients was spent discussing and explaining insights hidden in the dashboards.
Since adding NLG-powered narratives to the client-facing updates, clients are more engaged with their dashboards and have a better understanding of what is occurring with their business so that they can devote client meetings to higher-level, more strategic discussions.