A Natural Approach To NLG

October 3, 2019

 

Wading Through Data

We all need quick access to valuable information; this is particularly true for investors and financial professionals, whom’s fields happen to be filled with an abundance of data. However, slogging through reams of complex spreadsheets and impenetrable industry reports wastes time. Not only this, but it forces the individual or organization to either make decisions painfully slowly, or without having had access to all of the information that’s available to them. Automated reporting heralds the end of this dilemma. It promises that not only will we be able to be much better informed, but that our research process can take mere seconds, rather than days. 

 

Necessary Narratives

Automated journalists, akin to their real life counterparts, are involved in the transformation of raw information into comprehensible narratives. We are on a fundamental level, a storytelling species. And the best stories are not those which simply relay a set of facts. To be perceived as a story, the knowledge we receive comes in memorable and emotive formats, and are able to give the listener a better sense of their context within the world outside themselves. This speaks to financial reporting and analysis, a field faced with a problem known to all storytellers: extracting the important elements from a vast array of potential inputs.

Building Blocks

So how does one automate the writing of a valuable story? All stories have three fundamental requirements: their participants, the events that take place, and the location of the events, which itself comes under two categories: place and time. If we wish to tell numerous worthwhile narratives from separate perspectives, from the same data, we need to be very particular in how we gather and structure our information. 

The building blocks of ‘facts’ must be stored independently from the stories themselves, so narratives can be made modularly as required. Furthermore, knowing what matters most to the eventual reader, and what events actually count as being ‘newsworthy’ forms another important and complex stage. Finally comes  ‘nesting’ information together in such a way as to tell broader, more insightful narratives, which is where the work becomes truly worthwhile. 

A Modern Solution

By automatically summarizing and collating content from around the web, Agrud’s platform does more than decipher the unwieldy mass of technical financial databases. Stories can be generated from Twitter-storms, viral or trending content, or changes in review ratings: there is no stone too small to upturn when the causes and effects of global market behavior are to be found everywhere. It is the user which determines what ‘participants’ or events are worthy of interest. If you are particularly interested in Apple, for example, we can craft a bespoke platform that condenses 20,000 data points into easily consumable chunks of narrative. 

In a world of ever-expanding data horizons, it can take a tool as powerful as Agrud’s Stella to make sense of the changing environment. We see more and more automated reporting being used both in journalistic institutions and financial businesses themselves. When our methods for gathering and acting upon information have greater efficiency and effectiveness, it makes us better equipped for operating in the world around us. Whilst the world gets more digital it does not get any less preoccupied with narratives, and we’re lucky that technologies such as Stella are here to help bridge that gap.

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