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An Introduction to Hands Free BI

January 14, 2014

In the TARGIT Lab we are constantly exploring new fields. Everything is studied and tested, no task is too big or peculiar.

Henceforth, I will be blogging about some of the things we are doing, partly because knowledge deserves to be shared, but also because I would like your response. There is nothing fun about research if you cannot get critique for what you are doing or have others verify your results.

I choose to call the first series of posts “Handsfree BI” for one simple reason: I will soon be in a situation where I cannot use my right hand for a period of time, as I will be going through surgery for pain in my wrist. This puts me in a situation where I will be spending a lot of time on the couch watching TV, as the hand is a quite essential tool for the average Business Intelligence & Analytics nerd. I can with certainty predict that I am going to be bored pretty fast.

I discussed my situation with friends and colleagues, and after the jokes were told and the laughter died out, I started wondering how I could turn this situation to my advantage. The answer came from Dr. Morton: 2014 is the year where TARGIT will be diving into the voice control ocean.

Mobile BI is here to stay, and we have of course already encountered this with powerful apps for iOS and Android for the courageous leader who wishes to constantly stay on track with the company's performance and when he or she is on the move (after all, who wouldn’t?). We do though want to take it a step further!

We want to make it even easier for the user to control his BI solution and receive reports and analyses on-the-fly. Until we solve the problem of long-distance mind control, our best bet is speech recognition. Simply call your TARGIT server and tell it what you need! I bet that I can find several candidates between our current customers (and those yet to be) that would find this feature useful - am I right?

Since my hand will be out of service for some time, this is an obvious possibility to experiment with speech recognition in TARGIT. Today's speech recognition software is so well-functioning that I believe that we can use it for more than just dictating letters - this claim is about to be put on trial. We already have experiences with Dragon Naturally Speaking, so this will be my starting point.

I have made a small list of learning goals for the period:

  1. How can speech recognition be utilized in TARGIT’s domain?
  2. Which technical requirements are there for implementing speech recognition in TARGIT?
  3. How far away from the cake are we with our current technology?

Stay tuned for my progress on this matter!

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