Analytics firm Sisense has brought its business intelligence platform to chat bots, allowing customers to ask natural-language questions about their data while in Slack, Skype, Facebook Messenger or Telegram.
"It lets you use [those interfaces] to literally interact with your data in a 'human-being' method -- not SQL but English," CEO Amir Orad said in a phone interview.
For example, Orad said, a business user could log into Skype and ask, "What is my current revenue number this quarter?" The user could follow up with questions about growth in the last few quarters, and the bot would return a chart and then insights such as "Unlike Q1 and Q2, in the current quarter revenue growth has slowed."
That's "a sentence a human being can read, highlighting one of those quarters behaved differently," Orad said. The Sisense BI Bots can also create alerts.
This follows Sisense's announcement in July that it integrated its platform with the Amazon Echo, allowing users to ask the voice service Alexa natural-language data questions similar to the way they ask for a news briefing or weather forecast. The Echo might be in a boardroom during meetings so participants could ask it data questions during their discussions, Orad said.
"I really liked the concept of having a more voice-assisted approach to asking my data platform [natural-language questions]," said Aaron Hayes, enterprise architect at Premium Retail and a Sisense chat bot beta customer.