On the face of it, 2018 does appear to be far away as you look at your Business Intelligence planning for 2016. But if you stop to think about it, 2018 is only two short years away. As 2015 draws to a close and 2016 begins, many of us are closing up this year’s budgets and planning for the next year and beyond. This is always the time of the year where I reflect on the future, and always ask myself as a CEO: “am I ready for what is coming?” Predicting the future is a risky business, but there are professional analysts who make a living doing this sort of thing.
This year, Gartner wrote that by 2018 “smart data discovery will […] include self-service Natural Language Generation (NLG) capability.” Essentially, Gartner argued that Business Intelligence companies need language generation capability to explain the results of data analysis. Today, Yseop is the only language generation software that is fully self-service, and we work with leading companies on both sides of the Atlantic.
The problem that businesses face today is that they have already invested in data collection, storage, and analysis. Big Data is truly becoming bigger every day, but businesses are struggling to turn data into understandable insight in real time. Or to put it another way, businesses have no way to democratize understanding of data. Today, they rely on data visualizations that can only be understood by experts. Fundamentally, data visualizations can show but only words can explain.
The answer for Business Intelligence is simple then: companies need to automate the insight process with software. Essentially they need software that can explain in written language what the data means, what drivers were behind changes, and what to do in response. The answer they need, as far as Gartner and others are concerned, is Natural Language Generation (NLG) as a tool to explain the results of data analysis. However, Gartner goes even further and talks about “self-service” NLG. Self-Service is, of course, the path that software takes as it matures. In many cases, software begins as a service and evolves to self-service as it matures. In the NLG space, Yseop Compose is the only fully self-service enterprise software.
To date, few Business Intelligence companies have adopted NLG software. As we enter 2016, the year 2018 is coming closer, and the question becomes: “will you be ready?” I would be very happy to speak with you to introduce you to our market and help you plan how to keep your Business Intelligence team or product up-to-date and ahead of the curve.
I wish you all a happy holiday season!