“Natural language generation is in a transformation of something that’s very nice to have to a key requirement of any organization.” – Kevin Fitzgerald, CRO
Over the last couple weeks, I’ve chatted with Marc Zionts and Adam Smith to give you the inside scoop on our mission, vision, and market approach. Now we get to hear from our Chief Revenue Officer, Kevin Fitzgerald. In his role, Fitzgerald leads and develops the sales team at Automated Insights to scale our success in the high-growth industry of business intelligence.
Q: Is the business intelligence industry finally ready to embrace natural language generation technology? If so, why at this moment?
A: The business intelligence industry has done a phenomenal job in relieving many challenges of organizational reporting and analytics. It’s been great for businesses who strive to get value out of their data. Of course, with the success of business intelligence, we have new challenges. There are more sources of data, more data in general, and different interpretations of that data which can differ from team to team and person to person. These new challenges create opportunities for technology like NLG to be introduced. NLG is providing a path to look at these disparate sources of data and creating new, more valuable insights into that data.
Q: What are some of the pain points to why it’s critical for an enterprise to have NLG right now?
A: NLG alleviates access to data in a way that’s digestible to the user. People learn and digest information in different styles. We complement all of these great reports and visualizations with a narrative that allows users to absorb it the way they prefer and bring light to new insights that aren’t easily attainable just by looking at a particular report or graph. Now you take those insights and you give the power back to the user to make changes to their reports, their scope, or their visualization. We provide reporting right there in real time. While they’re making changes to the visualizations, the insights are changing and they’re getting that live. They’re able to access information faster than they’ve ever been able to before.
Q: How do we stand out against our competitors?
A: The great thing about natural language generation is that it’s a market with huge potential moving forward. We’re seeing more competitors in our space and, for the most part, there’s plenty of business for all the competitors out there. Everyone’s looking for their own niche to apply their solutions. There’s no doubt about where we’re aiming our valuable technology. We’re going deep within business intelligence to build a product functionality that’s highly integrated and complementary to our business intelligence partners.
Q: In what ways does NLG make sales organizations more efficient?
A: Within enterprises today, sales leaders are looking for ways to measure the productivity of their teams. Until recently, the sole solution has been through using detailed reports and visualizations. With NLG, they now have insights in a format with natural language that allows them to get the data they want and interpret accurately, interpret what’s actually reflected. Everyone, every leader I’ve ever seen, brings their own bias to their reporting. They’re looking for things they’ve already predicted in some way, shape, or form. It’s very easy to tell a story with numbers or reports. With natural language generation, you’re opening up a whole world of what the data is actually telling you, so you’re not coming up with a predisposed bias to what the reports are saying. You’re able to glean new insights and new ways of looking at it. From a sales leadership perspective, you’re seeing things in a different light. You’re seeing things you haven’t before across an organization, “How is part of my organization affected by this other part?” The sales data itself is so valuable across the organization. There are product teams benefitting immensely from having detailed information about what’s going on within sales.
Q: How do you see the next few years unfolding, what market trends do you identify as critical?
A: I’m excited about being in the natural language generation space. We’re in our infancy of potential and it’s not because the technology is lagging. The technology is here, it’s already proven. We’re just in the early stages of adoption and the good news is that we’re seeing large organizations embrace NLG. They’re in the early stages of rolling this out across the organization and the ones that are doing it are already seeking the next visualization that they can apply natural language generation. As more customers adopt it, more enterprises will be interested in what their competitors are doing and what market leaders, including markets outside their own, are doing. So, NLG will continue to be an enabling technology for companies to get what they want out of their futures.