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Frequently asked questions

As we’ve spent time talking with people, the same questions pop up again and again. People often want to know—how can Narrative Science and its NLG technology improve their business and their lives? So, we captured a few of these questions and their answers here.
 

Narrative Science

We help people understand and communicate what is most important in their data. By transforming data into insightful, human-like language, our natural language generation (NLG) technology enables people to be data-driven without needing to be data literate. As the leader in NLG for the enterprise, we works with customer including Credit Suisse, Deloitte, MasterCard, USAA, and members of the U.S. intelligence community, empowering them to make better decisions, focus talent on higher-value opportunities, create differentiated products, and realize untapped potential-- all through the power of data storytelling.

Organizations have invested significantly in tools to analyze and report on data-- yet everyday decision-makers still struggle understanding what is driving business performance. We help people spend their time on high value tasks by automating manual, time-consuming data analysis and reporting activities.

Our technology delivers data-driven information in the most relevant, timely, and intuitive way possible-- through language. Language that automatically conveys insight at incredible scale and that can be integrated into your existing data analytics applications. Dedicated to serve the enterprise, our Natural Language Generation software has achieved AWS Competency Partner status and is SOC 2 compliant-- trusted by the world's largest organizations in some of the most highly regulated industries.

We offer Quill, a Natural Language Generation (NLG) platform, and Dynamic Narratives, an out-of-the-box NLG product extension for data analytics and visualization tools. See below for more information regarding our products.

Our customers include enterprise organizations such as USAA, MasterCard, Deloitte, Credit Suisse, Groupon, PricewaterhouseCoopers, IN-Q-TEL, and members of the U.S. Intelligence Community.

Our partners include a rapidly growing ecosystem of leading technology companies, resellers, and alliance partners who seamlessly integrate, implement, service and sell our technology. See our partners page for a current list. 

Yes! We’re always looking for intelligent, talented, and passionate people to join our team. If you’re looking for a flexible, energetic, and inspiring environment, we invite you to explore an opportunity with us. 

Natural Language Generation (NLG)

Natural Language Generation (NLG) is a subfield of artificial intelligence (AI) that represents a computer's ability to extract the most interesting and important facts from structured data and express those concepts in natural language. At Narrative Science, we turn data into actionable information that is easy to understand, so that everyone can be data-driven without needing to be data literate. 

Our NLG platform Quill goes beyond translating data into language. Quill is configured to automatically analyze, interpret, and communicate information from your data the way your business does-- producing narratives that adhere to your preferences around tone, language, and format.

Our Dynamic Narratives product extensions integrate NLG seamlessly into BI and analytics environments, increasing adoption of those tools by immediately explaining insights within data and visualizations.
 

Artificial intelligence refers to machines tasked with doing things typically done by people. Specifically, people acting intelligently, such as using language to identify the most relevant facts and communicate complex ideas.

Codifying that experience, we’ve created our proprietary Natural Language Generation (NLG) technology. Powered by artificial intelligence, our NLG products generate narratives that mimic the analytical and writing capabilities of a top-tier analyst, producing human-sounding narratives—yet created at a scale not possible by humans.

Fundamentally, NLP reads while NLG writes. NLP systems look at language and figure out what ideas are being communicated. NLG systems start with structured data, analyze it, then transform the insights into natural language. This blog post explains the differences in a bit more detail.

We’ve built our NLG products specifically for the enterprise, aimed to communicate insights from data in a way that highlights what is most relevant. Unlike business intelligence and visualization tools, which are built for individuals with skills to analyze and interpret data insights, our products are built for the business literate-- those that want to be data-driven, but may not have expertise in data analysis. It does this by providing information that is:

  • Relevant: By surfacing the most interesting and important facts from data, our technology provides context-aware insights for each intended audience.

  • Intuitive: Our NLG engine produces human-like language. It automatically utilizes variable word choice, understands when it’s best to combine sentences, and identifies the appropriate pronoun usage, verb tense, and grammar to produce fluid, conversational language that is easily consumable.

  • Timely: By updating whenever there’s a change to the underlying data, our NLG technology can automatically scale the communication of information.

Narratives are the natural way we communicate. Instead of reporting numbers and visualizations that users still need to analyze and explain, data-driven narratives tell the what and the why, automatically creating a richer, more nuanced understanding of a business— so you don’t have to rely on analytic experts to translate the insights or manually interpret them yourself.

Narratives are the automated, data-driven stories that our Quill and Dynamic Narratives products produce. They are packed with relevant insights, written in conversational language, and generated at machine scale— empowering your people to work smarter and realize their greatest potential.

Quill

Quill is our robust and flexible Natural Language Generation platform, powered by artificial intelligence, that is taught to automatically analyze, interpret, and communicate insights from your data in the tone, style, and language of your business.

Quill can receive structured data in any of the most common forms (JSON, XML, CSV, etc.) and can consume data from disparate data tables and databases. You can send data directly to Quill's API.

If you utilize our SaaS offering, data is processed in our database hosted in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud, an extremely reliable and secure cloud computing environment that enables you to deliver data quickly and securely. When you utilize our on-premise offering, you have full control of your data, as it’s processed within your own managed environment. 

Yes. We take data security very seriously and use industry standard encryption protocols to assure that data traveling to and from its hosted infrastructure will not be compromised. We have achieved certifications in SOC 2 compliance, AWS Partner Competency status, and conduct an annual third party audit to validate the security of our infrastructure. 

Access to our servers and the Quill application is restricted to valid personnel through firm access control protocols and firewalls. We also offer on-premise deployment options if you want full control over security features or are hesitant to hand over data to a third-party service provider.

Quill performs a range of descriptive and advanced analytics entirely dependent on your intent. By understanding the purpose of your communication, identifying the metrics to meet that purpose, performing the analysis to figure out what is most interesting and important, and pulling in the relevant data, Quill generates a narrative to your intended audience that is indistinguishable from what a human would write. 

Quill can produce narratives about virtually any topic, as long as that information is rooted in quantifiable data. The platform can produce diverse written assets directly from data—including operational performance reports, regulatory reports, customer communications, and much more. Narratives are adaptable to the desired length, tone and style, depending on the intended audience.

Yes. Quill is configured in accordance to your organizational preferences, producing narratives that meet the voice and tone requirements of the reports and communications you’re already producing. And it can be styled to meet your particular communication or business need, using bullet points, long-form prose, and more.

Narratives can be generated in a variety of formats, including Word, PDF, HTML, JSON, XML or plain text. They can also be delivered when you initiate an API call for on-demand delivery. Quill’s narratives can be published on websites, mobile, social, business intelligence platforms and any application that can connect to our API.

Yes. You can request that Quill create tables to go with your narrative. In addition, Quill's narratives can be used along with your existing charts and graphs to further explain or provide greater context.

The rate at which Quill produces content varies depending on the size and complexity of the data. However, in most cases, narratives are produced immediately.

Yes. We host Quill on Amazon’s Platform as a Service offering, Amazon Web Services, allowing us to quickly scale our infrastructure in response to your needs. You interact with the hosted platform only when sending data, retrieving stories, and reviewing them. Our team of experienced Customer Success managers work with you and Quill to ensure your narratives reflect your desired tone, style, and format. 

Yes. If you want full control over security features, or are hesitant to hand over data to a third-party service provider, the full stack of Quill services can be installed within your managed environment. This allows narrative generation to take place without your data ever being exposed to a public network. Quill can be deployed into either a customer-owned data center or a customer managed cloud environment. 

Dynamic Narratives

Dynamic Narratives integrates insightful natural language explanations of data and visualizations into any BI or analytics platform. As users interact with their data, charts, and graphs, Dynamic Narratives immediately update, enabling users to identify and communicate key insights faster. Dynamic Narratives can be leveraged using our out-of-the-box extensions for leading BI platforms, or integrated into data analytics products via a developer API.

Several innovative partners are currently using Narratives within their platforms. See our partners page for the latest list.

Dynamic Narratives perform a range of descriptive and advanced analytics. Depending on the type of visualization displayed, Dynamic Narratives will automatically run various analytic packages, such as CAGR, correlation, and regression, to generate a narrative explaining concepts such as change over time, relationships between data sets, and distribution of values. Learn more about the analytics within Dynamic Narratives in this blog post.

Dynamic Narratives allow you to tailor your narratives according to your preferences. You can adjust the following: level of detail, text format, names of measures and dimensions, sentiment of the stories, and order of content.

If your BI and analytics platform is already a partner of ours, check out our partners page to download and install the NLG extension directly into your platform. If you are a BI and analytics company interested in seamlessly integrating NLG capabilities into your platform, contact us to learn more about our OEM offering.

Getting started

For Quill, it depends on the length and complexity of the desired narrative, the size and complexity of the data, and whether Quill is familiar with the domain. Other factors include the availability of required data and ability to meet data specifications. If you don’t have those resources, our Customer Success team is happy to help. 

For Dynamic Narratives, most customers can get up-and-running immediately once they download and install the product extension into one of our partner technology platforms, or once they follow the API documentation steps if they are integrating our product into a new data visualization platform.

We would love to talk with you and show you the power of Quill and Dynamic Narratives. Please contact us, request a demo or check out our case studies  to learn how our products can be applied to increase operational efficiency, spur innovation, scale employee efforts, and increase adoption of your BI tools.

To see Quill in action, please request a demo. To see Dynamic Narratives in action, please see a variety of our extensions at work. You can also check out Quill Engage for your Google Analytics application.

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