Natural language processing (NLP) may be a term you’re currently unfamiliar with, but you’ve definitely used it before. Take Google or Bing search engines. Each utilizes natural language processing in order to provide you with relevant information.


Therefore, NLP creates the ability to understand, or process, your common everyday language so that it can generate the correct response. Search engines have to be able to understand what you’re typing so they can give you the response you’re looking for in the proper context.


So, now that you have a basic understanding of what natural language processing is, let’s dive into why its evolution can impact business performance and workforce optimization.


Natural Language Processing is Propelling Next-Gen Business Intelligence to New Heights

Natural language processing is not new, but business-serving natural language processing is still relatively untapped.


Advanced analytics that use higher-level NLP take raw language input and use a linguistic schema & rule setting to transform text into visuals that deliver answers in seconds. For this blog, we won’t get any more technical than that. This is just an overview.


The greatest value business-serving NLP offers is through workforce optimization, and the main benefit is that users can type in common everyday natural language in order to gain business insight in seconds.


Insights can include but are not limited to:

  • How many employees were absent on [X date] at [X location]
  • How much turnover was there between [X date] and [Y date] at [X location] for [X job title]
  • How many [X widgets] were produced by [X line] during [X shift] on [X date] and how that compared to [X date range]
  • Which locations had the highest overtime over [X date range]


With NLP, you can get insights quickly by asking the following questions:

  • Show me total employees absent on March 2, 2020 at Location 5
  • Show me total turnover between May 1, 2019 and September 1, 2020 at Location by job title
  • Show me actual units produced by line and shift on January 15, 2020 compared to December 7, 2019
  • Show me the top ten locations with overtime for January 2020


Best of all, these insights are delivered in seconds. While the benefits of incorporating this technology into your workforce optimization strategy are endless, here are the top 8:


8 Benefits to Using Next-Gen Business Intelligence with Natural Language Processing

  • Increase decision velocity
  • Cuts out the need for report building
  • Cuts out the need for data massaging
  • Eliminates the chance for human error
  • Frees people to query their data instead of pulling it together (no more pivot tables!)
  • Visualizes answers to complex questions in graph, matrix, or map form
  • Assists C-suites, directors and managers in seconds rather than weeks
  • Gives time back to the entire organization


Here we see the value natural language processing:


Businesses can become more efficient, more strategic and more accurate in their decision making when natural language processing is included in their workforce optimization strategy.


Combining Natural Language Processing with Workforce Optimization

When we first created workforce analytics, we knew we would transform the way businesses operate so they could become more profitable, productive, efficient and even better to their people.


But, after a couple of years helping manufacturers, distributors and other operationally intensive verticals, we realized we had the opportunity to change how businesses and people work.


We wanted to make analytics even more approachable and accessible to a broader set of users.


From the C-suite to directors to managers, we wanted to increase their decision velocity while promoting strategic thinking in as simple of a way as possible. Natural language processing tools like Google and Bing search engines kept coming to mind.


Search engines help speed up and improve the quality of the decisions that we make; they allow us ask questions and receive answers in seconds; they give us the ability to think more strategically. And all of this is possible because of natural language processing. So why is this functionality limited to our personal lives? Good question.


Being a company that constantly pushes to find new ways to deliver value, we set out to help our employers answer critical questions about their workforce faster than ever.


Combining our data platform and workforce methodology with natural language processing proved to be the most valuable and logical course of action.


All of which is packaged in Ask


Ask Becomes Workforce Analytics’ Go-To Feature

Ask enables you (the business owner, director or manager) to realize the value of interrogating your data.


How is this possible?


As mentioned, Ask is powered by our data platform which is uniquely created and prepared to respond to your questions about productivity, efficiency and your people.


Once our workforce analytics methodology is implemented, you can leverage Ask to tackle the business challenges you face and uncover new areas of the business that could use improvement.


While that might sound complicated in theory, it is actually quite simple in practice for you, the end user.


Check out how easy it is for you to get insights:


video 8 gif

These days, employees expect their business applications to look, feel and act more like their consumer applications. In other words, employees expect the same type of user experience and the same type of usability both at work and at home…no matter the application.


With Ask, you get top-notch user experience, usability similar to search engines we all use and the power to apply it to decisions about your business’ most important resource: your workforce.


Here are a few more gifs that illustrate the kind of insights you can receive and just how easy it is to use:




Where does Ask help the most? Glad you asked.


One of the most common frustrations both business owners and employees experience is feeling like the distance between question and answer is unconquerable. The distance is so large that no one feels like taking action. This is where Ask does its best work.


Now instead of being forced to look in the rearview mirror, businesses can proactively address business challenges. Not only that, businesses can uncover where performance is good and bad, and make adjustments to impact the outcome. This is what workforce analytics is all about…helping people and businesses proactively solve their unique business challenges - one question and answer - at a time.


Ask simply makes it easier than ever.


Ready to think Call (844) 439-1400 or email today.

Topics: Data Platform

Originally published March 11, 2020.

Written by Jana Fuelberth

Spend about 15 minutes with me and you’ll learn that ‘nerd’ is a term of endearment for me. That’s why I love how much ‘nerding out’ goes on at My biggest passion is helping people and organizations unlock potential they never expected. Outside of the office? You’ll probably find me doing something active or for my beloved, Butler Bulldogs.