Demystifying Big Data Analytics

‘Big Data’ is a term used to refer to a collection of data that is huge in size and grows exponentially with time. The data set being large and complex, is difficult to store and process using traditional data management tools. For example, the New York Stock Exchange generates about one terabyte of new trade data per day. Also, more than 500 terabytes of new data gets ingested into the databases of social media site Facebook, every day. 72 hours of video are added to YouTube every minute. Google receives over 2,000,000 search queries every minute. Data volumes are expected to grow 50 times by 2020. This data is mainly generated by uploading photos and videos, exchanging messages, adding comments etc. Big Data is characterized by its massive volume, high velocity, variety, veracity and complexity.

Big Data can be generated by machines, humans and organizations. Machine generated data refers to data generated from real time sensors in industry machinery or vehicles, and is the biggest source of Big Data. Data comes from various sensors, cameras, satellites, log files, bio informatics, activity tracker, personal health care tracker and many other sense data resources. Machines generate data at real time and normally require real time action. With human generated data, we refer to the vast amount of social media data such as status updates, tweets, photos, videos, etc. Such data is generally unstructured. Organization generated data, is highly structured in nature and trustworthy. It is in the form of records located in a fixed field or file and is generally stored in relational databases.

It is not the amount of data that is important, but what organizations do with it. Big data can be analyzed for insights that lead to better decisions and strategic business moves. It is used to enhance operational efficiency and serve customers better. Big Data, combined with high powered analytics can help business recalculate risk portfolios within seconds. It also helps detect fraudulent behavior and determine root causes of failures and defects in near real time. Big Data Analytics is crucial for the growth and success of a firm.

The computing power of Big Data Analytics enables us to decode entire DNA strings in minutes and will allow us to find new cures and better understand and predict disease patterns. Big Data Analytics is also used in the High Frequency Trading space, where social media trends and news feeds are analyzed in split seconds to make buy and sell decisions. By examining customer data, Walmart can now predict what products will sell and car insurance companies can understand how well their customers actually drive. Enhancing customer satisfaction is one of the most sought after goals of Big Data Analytics today.

Although tools like NodeXL, RapidMiner and KNIME are available to analyze data, they have limitations with respect to data extraction and visualization. Other drawbacks include:

  • The inability to combine data that is not similar in structure or source and to do so quickly and at reasonable cost
  • The inability to process the volume at an acceptable speed so that the information is available to decision makers when they need it

More so, there is a shortage of people with the skills to bring together the data, analyze it and publish the results.

All the above mentioned challenges can be addressed with a solution like PHRAZOR by vPhrase that automates data analysis and report generation. The reports contain graphical elements coupled with comprehensive narratives to aid quick understanding, and thus faster decision making.

For instance, PHRAZOR studied real-time television channel performance data and generated the following report:

Apart from the news and media industry, it also finds applications in the healthcare, education and BFSI sectors.

Big Data is at the foundation of all the megatrends that are happening and it is up to us to leverage the power of analytics to march forward and realize our business goals.

Business Intelligence Decoded

The world’s most popular cooking site and largest digital food brand uses Business Intelligence (BI) to understand user preferences as they navigate through the site. The user’s behavior is tracked based on various parameters like the kind of food pages visited, amount of time spent on a particular page, food categories preferred, device used to navigate through the site, frequency of visit, etc. This allows them to personalize the experience, helping each user find relevant content faster and thus serving them better. Customer satisfaction shooting up added to the popularity of the site and generated more revenue. BI not only helped in running a successful marketing campaign, but also in generating a good return on investment.

Business Intelligence is a suite of software and services that convert raw data into important information that drives profitable business actions. Business Intelligence solutions perform data analysis to generate reports, summaries, dashboards, maps, graphs, and charts that provide users with meaningful insights about the business.

The image below aptly explains the process.

Image Credit: DTM Systems

Business Intelligence solutions are extensively used to identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), understand market trends and spot business problems. They benefit the organization in multiple ways described as follows:

  • Enhance productivity: With the process of data analysis and interpretation becoming faster and more efficient, business is understood better and reports are generated at the click of a mouse thus allowing employees to save enough time to focus on higher value activities.
  • Understand market behavior real-time:  By analyzing current trends and spotting business opportunities at the right time, fact-based decisions can be made in favor of the business.
  • Improve ROI: By doing a comparative analysis of various business strategies, BI solutions help to identify the ones cutting the most cost and time, reducing the risk factor and generating the highest profits for the firm.
  • Protection from online threats: Business Intelligence solutions equipped with powerful analytics and advanced security tools protect organizations from data breach and malware attacks.
  • Enhance marketing and sales intelligence: BI solutions help gain insights into consumer behavior, helping marketing professionals design strategies to target the right audience at the right time, and in the most appropriate way.
  • Optimize internal processes: Availability of relevant information to various teams within the organization speeds up various internal processes, improves operational efficiency and ensures optimal resource utilization.

It is estimated that the Business Intelligence and Analytics market will grow to $20 billion by 2019. Executive Management, Operations, and Sales are the three primary roles driving Business Intelligence adoption in 2018. Making better decisions, improving organizational efficiency, growing revenues and increasing competitive advantage are the top four business intelligence objectives organizations have today. Additional goals include enhancing customer service and attaining greater degrees of compliance and risk management.

Current BI solutions analyze data from the warehouse to present information in the form of dashboards, which include graphs, charts and pie-diagrams. The collection, extraction and transformation of data to be loaded into the warehouse is a time-consuming and costly process. Moreover, understanding dashboard content not only requires a certain level of technical expertise, but also there are chances that the interpretation is prone to human error and bias. A more sophisticated yet low-cost business intelligence solution like EXPLORAZOR by vPhrase solves these problems by not only generating insightful dashboards but also writing stories to describe them. EXPLORAZOR, unlike other Business Intelligence platforms which create static dashboards, creates dynamic dashboards which change every time a fresh data set is ingested. EXPLORAZOR sees to it that you don’t miss out on any important insight. This ensures that opportunities aren’t lost and faster, well-informed decisions are made.

Modern BI solutions like EXPLORAZOR form the crux of organizations that aim to stay competitive and remain viable in this increasingly data-driven world.


What are Intelligent Narratives and why every business needs them?

About 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second for every human being on the planet by the year 2020. Data is growing faster than ever before and with sophisticated mechanisms like the cloud, it can be efficiently collected and stored. However, less than 0.5% of all data is analyzed and used at the moment. The reason? Organizations have limited time and resources that can be dedicated to data analysis and interpretation.

Business Intelligence tools output information in the form of reports and dashboards, which include tables, pie-charts and graphs focusing on the company-specific Key Performance Indicators. The graphical elements on a dashboard put forth the big picture but miss out on the finer nuances involved in data presentation. Although a huge amount of data with potential value is collected, dashboards don’t do much to make the most out of it. Moreover, the manual interpretation of dashboard content requires a certain level of technical expertise and in most cases is biased, erroneous, incomplete and time-consuming. Most often dashboard users wish for the content to be explained quickly in a simple language. Dashboards don’t do much to help understand data in its totality, extract value from it to uncover insights and translate them into business outcomes.

Those who lag in understanding lag in performance, which is why we have Intelligent Narratives to supplement the graphical elements on dashboards and add more value to the information communicated. Narratives give a quick, compelling and coherent account of the data, present information that matters most to the user and aid faster, better decision making. With narratives, data is presented in the form of stories – in conversational language, and is translated into useful, actionable insights.

Intelligent Narratives are based on Natural Language Generation – a subset of Artificial Intelligence and are used extensively in the various sectors ranging from banking and financial services to healthcare and education. The media industry is leveraging the power of Intelligent Narratives to gain a competitive advantage. For instance, Sony has been using the narratives generation platform PHRAZOR by vPhrase to understand channel performance reports better.

What looked like the following with dashboards,

Now looks like this:

The platform automates the analysis of data and presents it in narrative form, cutting down time and cost by a huge amount. Speaking of Sony, the tasks of data analysis, report generation and comprehension which took 5-6 hours combined, can now be accomplished in less than 30 minutes with PHRAZOR. The platform is scalable and can process a much larger chunk of data in lesser time, thus bridging the gap between data and action.

Businesses need Intelligent Narratives as they provide the following benefits,

  • Accurate analysis at the right time, enabling organizations to make the most out of current business opportunities
  • No special skills or training needed for interpretation
  • Organizational productivity shoots up as people can focus on higher value activities
  • Help with customer satisfaction


AI revamping the educational space

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning are touching our lives in many ways –from smart cars to virtual personal assistants like Siri and Cortana, games like Call of Duty, Facebook’s photo tagging suggestions based on facial recognition to recommendations on Netflix – we have seen it all. AI has been a boon to the healthcare industry by providing assistance to doctors, improving healthcare processes and treating patients more effectively. The BFSI space too has embraced AI to automate data analysis and reporting, detect frauds and serve customers better with the help of intelligent chat-bots.

The potential of AI in the field of education is yet to be tapped completely. Recently the US-based IT services provider HTC Global announced its plans to expand into the Indian educational space with their AI-powered recommendation engine and student services. HTC Global’s recommendation engine suggests courses and electives based on their utility during placements and also the student’s caliber and interest. By venturing into the student services space, the company looks forward to ease out the tedious admission process.

AI and Machine Learning based facial recognition software can be used for attendance tracking. The software “learns” over time and is able to map faces of the students with their respective names or student IDs.

The “one size fits all” approach is one of the major drawbacks of traditional classroom programs – and teachers cannot do much about it. It is difficult to understand the needs of 40-50 students in the class and provide personalized coaching while also looking into a ton of other school activities. AI has stepped in to address this issue effectively by introducing adaptive learning software – it facilitates custom tailored education by responding to the needs of each individual and taking into account their grasping power and degree of understanding.

Third Space Learning has been providing one-to-one mathematics tutoring online, connecting students with teachers from all over the world. It uses Big Data and Analytics to provide real-time feedback to teachers about how the concepts taught have been received, if they’ve missed out on or need to stress more on any particular topic, etc. Teachers also get a clear picture of each student’s performance, their strengths and weaknesses, thus helping them address the gaps present in education early on. Third Space Learning employs AI to find positive teaching and learning patterns. The company’s goal is to create a platform that helps online tutors become better at teaching.

The social network Brainly that helps millions of students collaborate is now exploring the power of AI on its platform. Brainly has been using AI and Machine Learning algorithms to curate content, automate the filtering of low quality or spam content and  personalize its platform’s networking features.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) help students “feel” the content rather than simply learn it. By being able to watch the wrecks of the Titanic or the Harappan civilization or the planets in space through multi-dimensional lenses, students feel more involved and learn better. Benefits of AR and VR include enhanced engagement and improved retention.

Natural Language Generation, a subset of AI, has changed the way student performance reports are presented. Subject-wise grades in a tabular format can be now complemented by intelligent narratives, which explain the student’s performance in a comprehensible manner, point out areas that need improvement and also provide subject recommendations based on the student’s academic profile and personality type. Companies like vPhrase are making this possible with their patent pending platform PHRAZOR.

The fast pace at which AI is gaining traction in education sure heralds a promising future.

vPhrase emerges as the winner at the Temenos Innovation Jam in Hong Kong

Temenos, the leading provider of banking software, has been guiding over 2000 financial institutions in 145 countries towards their digital future, for more than two decades. The regional Innovation Jams conducted by Temenos annually are aimed to identify the best FinTech firms that would provide the most business value to their banking clients.

vPhrase emerged as the winner of the Temenos Hong Kong Innovation Jam and will now compete with winners of Innovation Jams held in Miami, Luxembourg, Dublin, Geneva, Abu Dhabi, London and Amsterdam, for a place in the global final to be held at The Temenos Community Forum (TCF) in Dublin in May 2018.

The Innovation Jam in Hong Kong started off with a discussion on accelerating innovation in financial services. It witnessed some of the finest FinTechs from across APAC showcasing their solutions to industry experts and leaders of top financial institutions. vPhrase’s Artificial Intelligence based platform PHRAZOR was received well by the audience and the company garnered 36% votes, followed by Innovation Navigator (19%), Exate Technology (15%), Mindbridge AI (10%), Wealth Initiative (8%), Verrency (5%), Know Your Customer (4%) and Signatys (4%).

PHRAZOR generates comprehensible narratives along with statistical summary, given structured data as input. It makes data analysis and interpretation easier, helping one make well-informed decisions faster. During PHRAZOR’s demonstration in Hong Kong, a challenge was put up wherein the audience stood a chance to win free beer if they could decipher Apple’s quarterly earnings report within one minute. Nobody could. PHRAZOR stepped in and not only correctly analyzed the complete report, but also presented the result in a way the audience could quickly grasp – all this in less than five seconds. The nifty business intelligence platform left the audience impressed and the common sentiment echoed was that it is an innovative solution that solves a problem almost every industry leader faces.

On winning the public vote at the Hong Kong Innovation Jam, vPhrase Founder and CEO Neerav Parekh, said: “It is heartening to be voted the best product by an audience which consists of senior leaders from leading enterprises. Professionals have to look at a lot of reports daily and a product like PHRAZOR, which helps enterprises make their reports easier to understand by communicating the key insights in a few bullet points, feels like a god-sent for them. We already have the largest enterprises in India using PHRAZOR and are now looking at expanding into other countries in Asia. Participating in this event and then winning it has definitely helped us build awareness for our brand in Hong Kong and beyond.”

Congratulations to the vPhrase team!

Can software write content for you?

We are living in an era characterized by digital marketing, where having a strong online presence is vital for success. As much as you invest in building your product, improving your services and carving a niche for yourself, it is also absolutely essential to maintain an up-to-date website or blog that gives a voice to your firm and speaks of all that it has to offer. A study by Google claimed that 97% of consumers use the web to search for local businesses.

The aim is to provide information to site visitors and rank higher in search engine results (think SEO) to drive more traffic to your page. Such a 24*7 virtual showroom allows potential customers to check out your business from the comfort of their homes, while boosting marketing, selling and brand-building.

The importance of a strong online presence cannot be underestimated. But with other aspects of the business to look into, it is seen as a difficult and time-consuming task, which leads one to think if content generation for websites and blogs can be automated.

There is a plethora of tools out there that use keywords and RSS feeds to search the web for articles relevant to your domain and industry, make slight modifications if necessary, and republish them on your site. While such keyword-based automation tools may help improve your visibility on search engines and save time with their “set it and forget it” principle, the output will lack a fresh voice, originality and a personal touch. Keeping these tools aside, how about having an Artificial Intelligence (AI) backed platform that allows you to have the best of both the worlds?

We’re talking about a platform like PHRAZOR by vPhrase that takes key parameters in structured format as input and generates content in the form of crisp narratives exclusively for you within a few seconds. ‘How come it is authentic and quick at the same time?’ you may ask. The answer lies in the fact that such a language generation platform can be easily configured with the domain knowledge and expertise of your best employees. It studies and understands your business and then produces output in the voice and tone of your organization.

The Indian business news and online trading website, makes use of PHRAZOR to power live market commentary on their website. Based on live stock market feed, prices of top stocks, their index movement, market indices and indicators are fed into the platform, which understands the same and generates comprehensible content, coupled with statistical summary, to be published on the website. Tata Consultancy Services also avails the services provided by PHRAZOR to generate valuable website content at a high speed for its clients across multiple business domains.

Apart from textual content, audio and video can also be auto-generated, saving a great deal of time and other resources. In an age where companies are looking for global market domination and solving business problems smartly, where the usage of social media is skyrocketing, where businesses are having a virtual version of themselves available online, it is only wise to let AI assist you in making headway towards your goals.

The media and entertainment industry goes gaga over AI

The Indian media and entertainment industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 13.9% to reach 37.55 billion USD by 2021, outshining the global average of 4.2%. Its success can be largely attributed to the increase in digitization and internet usage over the last decade. Although it has been raking in more moolah, it continues to face the same problems- namely, limited scope for new opportunities, accurate audience measurement, tracking ROI and attribution, managing increasing business costs, finding an effective and sustainable business model, analyzing performance and staying ahead of the competition, among others.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here to address these issues, while sticking to the major goals of the industry – providing timely and quality content and seeing to it that it is received well, cutting down costs and maximizing profits. Here’s how:-

For the uninitiated, Virtual Reality (VR) is the use of computer technology to create a simulated environment, whereas Augmented Reality (AR) is the use of computer technology to enhance the real environment by overlaying a new environment on top of it. Although AR and VR have a lot of potential in the gaming and entertainment industry, and also for educational and military purposes, their use is currently restricted due to high associated costs. AI is bringing a renewed energy to this space by helping with better content authoring and correlation, contextualization, improving the quality of data and accuracy of images.

AI aids in production of content in all forms – textual, audio and video. The Indian business news and online trading website, makes use of vPhrase’s data analytics solution, PHRAZOR to power live market commentary on their website and also to generate quarterly earnings analysis reports for various companies. The platform automatically produces crisp, accurate and comprehensible content within seconds, after being fed with structured data and statistics. Another example is the video of Obama delivering a speech he never gave. Such automation of content generation using AI saves a great deal of time and other resources. The 20th Century Fox recently used AI to create a horror movie trailer within 24 hours, which would have taken atleast 30 days for a manual edit.

We aren’t entirely new to the movie recommendations provided by Netflix. The system is based on AI that learns about our personal preferences over time and gives suggestions depending on the movie choices we’ve made in the past. It helps acquire audiences for new shows.

Periodic performance reports help media houses track their growth and analyze where they stand among their peers. These reports mostly contain tables, pie-charts, graphs and numbers – all of which are difficult and time-consuming to comprehend. Enter AI, specifically Natural Language Generation (NLG), and we have complementary, automated narratives that explain performance in an intelligible manner, thus providing better insights and aiding faster decision making. For instance, Viacom18 and Sony Entertainment Television have partnered with vPhrase to generate smarter reports on programs and channel performance based on the rating data provided by BARC. Here’s a snapshot:-

AI has revolutionized the healthcare, finance and banking sectors. With it now fuelling changes in how audiences consume entertainment, the media industry is growing more advanced.

AI to revolutionize the banking sector

Leading banks like JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and CitiBank have been in the limelight recently for adopting artificial intelligence (AI) technology to help them gain a competitive edge and generate more revenue. Keeping up with the ever-growing data and increasing customer expectations, cutting down costs and boosting work-force productivity are major challenges banks face – AI is here to help them address these issues.

Massive volume of data generated at high speed requires quick analysis and decision making, so that current market opportunities can be tapped to maximize profit. With the paucity of time and limited intellectual capabilities of humans, deriving accurate, unbiased, error-free and actionable insights on the fly doesn’t seem feasible. Not anymore. Having an AI-powered solution in place automates data analysis, while cutting down time and cost by a humungous amount. It finds application in loan processing, market data analysis, client portfolio analysis and insurance policy payout processing among others.

Banks spend almost 40 percent of their time on documentation- there are executive summaries, investment portfolios, loan agreements, etc. By automating data analysis and writing of reports using a natural language generation platform like PHRAZOR, banks can use this time constructively towards higher value activities. Well-researched, lucid, personalized narratives can be generated for clients, as well as everyone along the hierarchy within a matter of seconds. For instance, HDFC Bank partnered with vPhrase to automate the generation of branch manager performance reports. It helps in improving organizational productivity and striking a chord with your clients – the success formulas for an ambitious firm.

Natural language processing (NLP) bots play a major role in enhancing customer service. For instance, The Royal Bank of Scotland’s Luvo can answer frequently asked banking related questions and perform simple tasks like money transfers. Erica – the intelligent personal assistant deployed by the Bank of America, leverages predictive analysis and cognitive messaging to give financial guidance to its approximately 45 million customers. HDFC Bank has tied up with to facilitate chat-bot banking.

Sentiment analysis is another popular application of NLP. It can be applied to news articles and reports, social media and web content to understand the client’s sentiments about the firm and the investor’s views about the market.

AI software, armed with knowledge of the ongoing laws and latest banking regulations, serves as a good consultant. It is updated with the latest information, such that it doesn’t miss any rule and steers clear of any legal hassles involved in this space.

NLP in conjunction with machine learning techniques can be used by financial firms to detect possible illegal insider trading, by mining through e-mails, message boards and regulatory filings. Lloyds Banking Group has been using this method to identify fraudulent phone calls. Also, patterns can be detected in e-mails, transcripts of conference calls or annual securities filings to predict or detect fraud early.

In the case of Deutsche Bank, quantitative investing models and stock price prediction have seen significant improvement with the integration of an AI-enabled solution. Coming to stock trading, the US cash equities trading desk at Goldman Sachs’s New York headquarters went from employing 600 equity traders in the year 2000 to just 2 recently – the reason being that automated trading programs have taken over most of the work. Reports claim that more than 70% of the trading today is actually carried out by automated AI systems.

Finie, a voice-powered, AI-based intelligent personal assistant, can be integrated within a bank’s mobile app. It allows individuals to interact with their banking accounts using voice input. Rather than resorting to standard, template based questions, one can ask questions like, ‘Do I have enough money for the opera today?’ or ‘Did I spend more on shopping this month than the last one?’ Finie learns better over time about your financial management, offers personalized advice and also completes banking tasks. Mobile banking apps like Moven and Simple let users track their spending and increase their savings with a card linked to their smartphone app.

More power to AI as it goes on to become the most defining technology for the banking industry!

Business problems that AI can solve

PwC recently conducted a worldwide survey and concluded that a majority of top executives agree that artificial intelligence (AI) will have a huge impact on every aspect of business and offer unprecedented growth opportunities in nearly every sector. It is estimated that AI will cause global GDP gains to hit the $15.7 trillion mark by 2030.

The advent of social media, mobile computing and IOT technology has led to massive amount of data in a variety of formats being generated every second. Businesses need to exploit this data to boost revenue and have an edge on their competitors. However, here’s the catch – The rate at which this data is produced is significantly higher than the rate at which it can be analyzed. Secondly, there is a huge gap between the demand and availability of analysts, which causes the business expenditure go on the higher side. Thirdly, the insights generated from the data would be subject to human bias and error.

Does this mean going easy on those meticulously chalked out business objectives and ambitious plans? Certainly not! A single big data analytics platform that seamlessly integrates into your existing architecture can help you tackle all these problems. Fed with the domain knowledge and technical expertise of your best analysts, it can derive accurate and actionable insights from data on the fly, thus helping you tap current market opportunities to maximize profit. Automation of data analysis leaves ample time towards activities that involve strategic planning and decision making. With its AI-based business intelligence solution PHRAZOR, vPhrase is helping firms automate data analysis and generate insights from data within seconds.

There is more to AI apart from data analysis. Natural Language Generation (NLG), a subset of AI is not only helping organizations robotize the tedious task of documentation but also generate narratives in conversational language that the client would understand. As clients feel valued and more involved with the firm, their satisfaction increases – which in turn is good for the business. By automating report generation, organizational productivity goes up by several notches. PHRAZOR, that serves both as a predictive analytics and natural language generation tool, is being used by Kotak Wealth, MasterTrust and Motilal Oswal for client investment portfolio analysis and reporting. It also provides recommendations and options for direct execution.

In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, the principal of Deloitte Consulting LLP stated that deploying NLG across the organization for business unit reporting led to a significant increase in efficiency of the firm. The process that required eight analysts earlier needed only one after the adoption of an NLG solution, allowing them to redeploy seven analysts to higher-value activities.

AI is being embraced by firms that dare to be tougher in face of growing challenges and aim to do intelligent business.

Watch this space for more!

Difference between NLU and NLG explained

“Hey Siri, how many days is it until Halloween?”

“10 days to go.”


“Can you wake me up at 6 tomorrow?”

“Sure. Alarm set for 6:00 am”


“Are there any popular eateries around this place?”

“Yes, there you go”

*presents a list of places sorted in the order of importance*


We commonly have such kind of conversations with our intelligent personal assistants, which are adept at understanding the context of the query and presenting results in spoken language, sometimes also providing useful links, maps for directions, etc. Such systems are based on Natural Language Processing (NLP) – a combination of computer science, artificial intelligence and computational linguistics – aimed to help humans and machines communicate in natural language, just like a human to human conversation. An effective NLP system is able to comprehend the question and its meaning, dissect it, determine appropriate action, and respond back in a language the user will understand. Alan Turing stated that if a machine can have a conversation with a person and trick him into believing that he is actually speaking to a human, then such a machine is artificially intelligent. This test eventually came to be known as the Turing test and passing it has been one of the most sought after goals in computer science. It is what NLP systems aim to achieve.

Apart from personal assistants like Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant, some other applications of NLP include social media sentiment analysis, summarizing information and e-mail spam filtering. NLP is a vast subject that comprises of speech recognition, speech synthesis, Natural Language Generation (NLG) and Natural Language Understanding (NLU). While speech recognition software transcribes spoken language, speech synthesis software focuses on text to speech conversion.

NLU attempts to understand the meaning behind written text. After having the speech recognition software convert speech into text, NLU software comes into the picture to decipher its meaning. It is quite possible that the same text has various meanings, or different words have the same meaning, or that the meaning changes with the context. Knowing the rules and structure of the language, understanding the text without ambiguity are some of the challenges faced by NLU systems. Popular applications include sentiment detection and profanity filtering among others. Google acquired provides tools for speech recognition and NLU.

NLG does exactly the opposite. Given the data, it analyzes it and generates narratives in conversational language. It goes way beyond template based systems, having been configured with the domain knowledge and experience of a human expert to produce well-researched, accurate output within seconds. Narratives can be generated for people across all hierarchical levels in an organization, in multiple languages. Firms like vPhrase are leading this space with their NLG platform PHRAZOR. Data analysis, automated report writing, etc. are applications of NLG.

Most real-world applications are based on one or a combination of NLP technologies. For instance, if we were to consider a personal assistant like Siri, the software architecture can be as depicted below:


NLP is increasingly becoming an important area of interest and major tech giants like Google, Apple and IBM are investing heavily to make their systems more human-like. According to a study by Tractica, the global NLP market is expected to reach $22.3 billion by 2025. These systems are already trending and it is only a matter of time before they redefine the way we interact with technology on a daily basis.