What the Tech is… Natural Language Processing (NLP)?

Welcome back to another edition of our #WhatTheTech series, where we break down technical terms into definitions you can understand. Today, we break down our first acronym of the series: NLP.

If you missed our two previous posts in the series, read up on cloud computing and workflow automation!

#WhatTheTech is NLP?

NLP stands for “natural language processing” and as the name suggests, it involves the process of language.

But what language, exactly? And who or what is processing it?

NLP is a form of artificial intelligence (AI). It refers to the technology that enables computers to understand human language.

How does NLP work?

Since computers don’t automatically understand human language, NLP acts as a translator — but a translator powered by AI.

More specifically, NLP functions as an application of algorithms that identify and delineate human language data to convert it into a structure that computers can interpret. The algorithms then analyze the data to determine the meaning behind each sentence.

In processing this key data, computers can understand the complex rules of human language, including grammar, tone, and the meaning conveyed by the sentence.

How do businesses use NLP?

Before you started reading this blog, you may have used NLP without knowing it. Did you use spell check on Microsoft Word? Did you tell your Amazon Alexa to play music? Did you ask Siri a question?

NLP enables these tools to understand the language you type or speak so they can effectively assist you in your day-to-day life. Organizations use NLP to digitally transform their business processes in a number of ways.

Automate workflows:

NLP is a key component of workflow automation, which was previously covered in our #WhatTheTech series. Process mapping software uses NLP to identify activities to include in your business’s workflow and optimize its performance. NLP helps the software understand the language your business processes operate in. It also substantially reduces the time it takes to retool your workflow for automation through its ability to quickly generate recommendations.

Speed up documentation:

NLP expedites document processing. Take a contract review process, for example. In a manually driven process, you can expect many rounds of review with a business partner. NLP reduces the steps of this process by pre-populating forms with relevant information, generating the proper template for a specific deal (i.e., new contract versus an account summary), and highlights key changes to the contract for review and approval.

Fill knowledge gaps:

The digital transformation of workflows involves two parties — automation experts and process experts. Automation experts are typically your organization’s IT professionals and process experts are the cross-department professionals that work on a line of business (LoB) functions like sales, marketing, HR, and finance. Many times, IT lacks a detailed understanding of your company’s day-to-day business processes, while LoB workers don’t have the automation expertise to improve manual, paper-based processes.

NLP bridges the knowledge gap between these two groups by giving LoB workers the ability to add automation to a workflow through process mapping software and in turn, establish a blueprint for your IT department to bring the automated workflow to life.

What does NLP have to do with Nintex?

NLP is a key tool for complete process management — the combination of process automation with Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and machine learning (ML).

Harnessing the power of Natural Language Processing ensures your workflow is automated and built to meet your organization’s unique business processes, which is at the core of the Nintex Process Platform as a whole. At a time when efficient and effective processes are more crucial than ever in a remote work environment, keeping your employees on the same page can help your organization move forward no matter what the future holds.

 

 

To learn more about how NLP factors into the automation of your business processes, schedule a demo today.

 

 

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