As people and businesses around the world depend on news more than ever, we have a greater need for information we can trust and understand. We do our best to stay informed so we can manage our way forward. We want facts with context.
The real value of information is being able to understand it. This is best achieved when information is communicated in the way humans know best: through language. This is where technology like natural language generation (NLG) steps in. NLG software transforms data into language you would think humans wrote. It takes in structured data and autogenerates written or spoken stories about the most important insights.
When you’re looking for answers from tables of data or visuals on a dashboard, you can more quickly find the answers you’re seeking if you’re able to read natural-language summaries that tell the story. NLG narratives are fact-based because they’re data-driven; you feel a strong element of trust because you’re tapping into a source of truth — not qualitative information, but hard data.
For example, we partnered with TIBCO Spotfire to augment its COVID-19 dashboard. We also built a COVID-19 reporting platform based on a COVID-19 tracking sample that Microsoft’s Power BI team created. The dashboards are a great way to aggregate data and represent information in graphs, maps and charts. The visuals are an excellent starting point, but when you have the narrative, you gain a better understanding.
As situations change all around us, perhaps like never before, we are a world full of people in need of understanding. One thing you can count on is change, only now it seems to be happening faster — meaning we need information faster. We need to be ready to inform and influence direction, particularly in mission-critical situations where every level of operations needs to understand the company’s data quickly.