Essay or multiple choice? What college student, past or present, doesn’t have an opinion as to which they prefer? The real question, though, was always which allowed the professor to better assess their students’ performance.
The challenge isn’t all that different in the business world. Open-ended surveys (the post-collegiate equivalent of essay exams) can provide detailed information and feedback about a company’s performance, products and/or services. The drawback to these types of questions (as opposed to multiple choice) is that someone must take extra time to sort, organize and interpret the data, which can be very time consuming and costly.
But now Datanautix – a client of the UCF Business Incubator in Winter Springs – has developed an affordable and reliable means of mining open-ended content for revelations that can quickly transform business decisions.
Datanautix has built an artificial intelligence (AI) engine that can be ’taught” how to interpret open-ended comments in the same way that humans can. This allows the software to take thousands of comments and within minutes give insights into the data that make it simple to understand its essence. This powerful platform even lets you compare and contrast data using attributes such as gender or age. This allows companies to answer questions that previously were virtually impossible, such as “what are the differences between men and women with respect to their health-care experiences?”
The core pieces of the platform leverage leading edge research and technology in the areas of natural language processing and machine learning – these are both areas that are used in tools such as IBM Watson. In addition to the core AI engine, the company has spent significant effort in making the system extremely easy to use and navigate.
Datanautix recently worked with a client to automatically pare down 4,000 pages of open-text information collected from prospective customers to four concise pages of deep insights and a half-page executive summary. At the end of the day, the client better understood how it could increase revenues by more than 50 percent.
“The most valuable insights into your customers come from asking them open-ended questions,” said Sanjay Patel, CEO of Datanautix. “The responses have historically been difficult and expensive to analyze. Datanautix makes it simple to turn those open-ended responses into valuable business insights.”
Datanautix’ goal is to accelerate momentum in the ‘software-as-a-service” space and has recently secured new clients in health care (Florida Hospital), tourism (Orlando Airport), and entertainment/media (NBC Universal). The company plans to offer its services to news media outlets to help streamline its analysis and assist with interpretive coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign.
According to Patel, Datanautix takes conversations (i.e. debate transcripts, etc.) and quantitatively compares and contrasts what one conversational thread is saying as compared to another. It can determine how candidates have shifted over time. The tool also enables the user to ask questions such as, “I wonder if there is a difference between the primary debates content for Hilary Clinton and the post-primary content.” The platform can quantify those differences in ways that were virtually impossible to do until now, providing more insights in an hour than weeks of manual reading ever would.
“If you understand your stakeholders and customers better than your competition, then you win,” explains Patel. “I guarantee reporters have never seen data presented in this manner. This can help them present a new and interesting angle on what the candidates are talking about.”
Indeed, this year’s presidential campaign is a great example of the need for questions answered and analyzed. Who knows? Datanautix may not just answer the question of “essay” vs. “multiple choice”: it may end up making sense of a race that so far has defied analysis by scores of “experts.”