One of the most common questions I get from people interested in Natural Language Generation (NLG) is “how do we choose the first project?” The value of a software that can automatically write reports, or automatically explain data in real time is obvious, but it is harder to know where to start. There is no shortage of options for a Natural Language Generation use case, the key is choosing the right one for your first project both so you can test the software and so you can get the ROI you need to prove the software’s value.
Since NLG is a new software, there is a shortage of information when it comes to how you evaluate NLG solutions. But even after choosing the software vendor with whom you will work, the process has really just begun.
1. Pick the Right Size Natural Language Generation Use Case
As you look at potential Natural Language Generation use cases, your first project should be small enough to finish quickly, but complex enough to evaluate the software. At the same time, you need a project that will offer you a strong ROI so that you can expand the use of the software from there. Download our white paper for a comprehensive discussion of how to choose your first Natural Language Generation use case.
2. Lead with the Business Outcome Not Just “Cool Tech”
The market is full of “cool” technologies, but many of them are solutions in search of a problem. While the problems that Natural Language Generation software fixes are clear, not all NLG vendors are created equally. Ideally, you should choose a use case before speaking with vendors and your use case can be the criteria that the vendors must meet to reach success. At the same time, you may learn about new functionalities as you speak with vendors.
3. Do Your Homework!
This may seem like a no-brainer but there is good information out there to help you through this process. Our white paper “How to Choose the Right Use Case for Natural Language Generation” is a good first step. Big agencies like Gartner, Forrester, and others also have teams of analysts that look into NLG and other software that can help. Smaller analyst firms like Ventana research can also give you personalized advice. Working with new tools can seem overwhelming, but the truth is there is plenty of help available if you know where to look. The key is finding vendors who help you cut through the buzzwords and inflated marketing.