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Using NLG to Bridge the Cross-Functional Communication Gap

According to our survey results assessing the outlook on Artificial Intelligence (AI) for 2018, an astounding 95 percent of survey respondents said they are interested in using AI-powered technology to generate natural language from data. In particular, respondents believe that AI and applications like Natural Language Generation (NLG) can assist with cross-functional communication, with applicability across marketing, sales, finance, operations, and many other departments.

A typical analyst can spend hours writing commentary or simply communicating the meaning of data, graphs, or charts to stakeholders. It is particularly challenging for cross-functional communication because the analyst needs to first identify key findings and then translate these findings in a contextually relevant way that the recipient understands. Our Natural Language Generation software, Quill, automates the commentary, connecting insights directly to the reader in a language that he or she immediately understands.

Overall, the process works like this: Data is sent to Quill. Quill performs analytics and transforms the data into a customized report with tailored language. Then, the insights are delivered to their ideal location, such as email, dashboard, chat tool, or portal.

Another way to add commentary to visualizations is by using our Dynamic Narratives extension in a Business Intelligence (BI) dashboard, such as Qlik, Tableau, or Power BI. The reader can quickly digest relative insights next to a visualization, giving a more complete picture.

Here are two additional examples of using NLG to improve cross-functional communication:

Sales & Operations

A business analytics team at a large electronics company provides sales and operations with performance results each week via raw data, charts, and graphs. Readership was low due to the time that it takes to understand the key insights, and the BI team spent hours each week explaining each report.

NLG technology significantly reduces the time spent interpreting and communicating insights by automating the analysis and seamlessly sending narrative reports on-demand to the team via email. By using Quill, the business analytics team can customize the analysis based on the goals of the sales and operations team, delivering contextualized communications to them in the team’s preferred language.


USAA’s decision science team is responsible for providing marketing analytics to the entire company. The raw data didn’t provide the insights that the stakeholders wanted, so the team was frequently bombarded with one-off questions. To help, Quill narratives were embedded into its marketing platform for instant access throughout the company. The insights are easy to understand, using terminology that is applicable to its business.

If you’re noticing a bottleneck in your organization when it comes to communicating insights, NLG is a step in the right direction. With help from automated commentary, analysts save time that allows for other process improvements and creative initiatives to better assist the organization.

Learn more about how AI and NLG are used throughout the enterprise >>


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