Tableau Software has announced the introduction of Ask Data, which uses the power of natural language processing to enable people to ask data questions and instantly get a visual response.
This means that anyone, regardless of their technical know-how, can engage with data and produce analytical insights they can share with others within a business. For example, a user could ask a question such as “What were my sales this month?” and Ask Data will produce a visualisation of the response, with the option to drill down or alter the question to see further analysis. The users don’t require a deep understanding of the data structure or any programming skills, as the software uses finely tuned algorithms that are driven by an understanding of the person’s intent, not keywords, which helps produce more relevant results.
Expedia Group has tested Ask Data, and technical account manager Scott Webber had this to say: “Now more than ever we need to connect our teams with self-service analytics that enable faster business insights. We look forward to how this and other natural language models could support a wide spectrum of our analytics scenarios. For example, sales managers could analyse performance by region around the globe simply by asking questions. Ask Data also supports our augmented analytics strategy, allowing non-technical users to automate data analysis and insights.”
Tableau’s chief product officer, Francois Ajenstat, added: “With Ask Data, we’re helping make analytics ubiquitous by enabling anyone, regardless of expertise, to analyse data. Our unique, conversational approach to natural language allows people to ask questions how they naturally think. Ask Data provides a more intuitive and natural way to interact with data, lowering the barrier to entry for analytics and allowing people to ask questions in plain language and get highly relevant insights.”