At the Intersection: AI, Insights & Data
vPhrase: Neerav Parekh
Once, a teenager had to earn from writing CDs — to pay back for the CD writer he had bought. An interest in seeing opportunities had kindled then, which never left him. This teenager is now a proud founder of vPhrase that integrates AI, Insights and Data.
Make the most of data
Usually, reports only speak of what has happened. But, what does it actually say? This, requires reasoning, interpretation and analysis; thus needing expertise, time and effort. In place of a human expert, vPhrase uses Artificial Intelligence(AI) to make the most of (available)data.
Their AI enabled solution, better known as Natural Language Generation(NLG), to quote Neerav, writes ‘Dynamic commentary in existing client reports.’ And this written analysis is what makes all the difference.
Shuffling through the data pile, the system picks up what’s best, relevant and useful! Judging the mediums for their strengths, the software makes its choices among charts, tables, contents or others. Constant choosing creates automated reports that ease decision-making; also growing in its repository of words and concepts.
Also, this makes customising easy. Everytime a user logs in, they get personalised information. vPhrase requests for profile information — in industry affiliations, requirements, available data etc: this comes handy when generating response.
From good reports to a great library
What once started as commentary on reports; is now a chatbot with instant answers for feeded questions. But roots remain: or as the founder puts it, ‘At the base of it the analysis is the same.’ Same stays the math behind it, same remains the calculated insights — the only change is in the way it is presented. Interest decides the nature of client reports — be it basic, in-depth or highly comprehensive.
And vPhrase grows with its growing users, in what it can offer; just like its AI that learns with every use.
Over the years, the ‘Horizontal technology of vPhrase has made it a preferred choice,’ mentions Neerav when questioned about the target customers. vPhrase can work across departments and industries trying to rephrase the different data-sets. Further questioning probes him to recount his initial experiences. In healthcare, he points out the consumer-related use case on the medical jargons and its figures that would leave the patients puzzled. Creating insights that could inform in patient-friendly phrases was one of the places vPhrase met its use. While some clients approached for sales growth, others seeked clarity on comparative revenue from different divisions.
Building the brain
Understanding the requirements has always been a priority at vPhrase. Back in the product-building days, the founder would take suggestions from prospective customers. Someone had once suggested for insights, added to their existing dashboard rather than a separate report. Remembering this, he describes how vPhrase later came up with dashboard plug-ins.
Regardless of the milestones, Neerav shares the challenging part of the journey — building a knowledge base. To put it simply, the brain of the tool was the hardest part(pun intended)! Just like training a kid, to build a bot which understands different data sets, knows the industry jargons and communicates what is required in that very language; was both thrilling and trying. And then there was — the art of data storytelling.
Art of Data storytelling
For someone full of examples, Neerav goes on to explain for me how managers are storytellers, how vPhrase depicts data: and what connects the two.
There are different ways to consume information — as reports, chatbots, automated videos etc, he notes.
The same way, there are different ways to deliver information too; and in this scenario data. Let’s go back to the example of medical reports for this one. Different people, be it the patient’s family, doctors, or nurses — would take interest in different aspects of the same report. Just numbers or jargons would fail in such situations. This is where vPhrase plays the role of a manager — when it combines the data with insights to write a storyline. In meetings when managers present their reports, they essentially weave a story around the data. vPhrase automates this process!
And stories are always easy to understand, and easier to remember.
A founder in-making
As a founder, this was Neerav Parekh’s third venture. vPhrase taught him how making a product was different from building a business around it. What was common across, was the ambiguity, the challenge, the high of building something, and the risk. Talking of what comes naturally he adds, ‘There are highs and lows to a curve…what I hate is a flat curve.’
Ofcourse running around for funds defined stress, in early days. ‘I’ left hanging for too-long, ‘will need to think through that…’ returned Neerav; I had asked about the anxious moments. While he believes no two companies have the same situation, ‘Experience does work as a reference point.’ Entrepreneurship, he feels, is a humbling journey.
Advice for the Wise
To be an entrepreneur is to value the highs enough: to be prepared for the lows too. Just like in other professions, not everyone is cut out to be one. Neerav feels romanticising the idea of entrepreneurship has tainted the complete picture. Failures don’t feature much. ‘Be prepared…Everything that you think can go wrong will definitely go wrong; plus a few more things would go wrong,’ he cautions the aspiring founders.
As for the ecosystem, the founder feels the need to write about the challenges, the darker shades of entrepreneurship. When asked to compare the current trends with the past, he affirms, ‘Seed and angel investment has gotten much more settled and deeply rooted.’
And for vPhrase, he aspires for the European markets. vPhrase’s self-service product PHRAZOR is now launched with a website of its own — to encourage its use. ‘Pandemic is helping us in a way that the requirement for our product has only increased,’ assures Neerav.
Based on our interviews: By Shrishti Abrol
About the Startup:
vPhrase equips enterprises with easy-to-understand, personalized insights, in natural language, to take well-informed business decisions. The AI technology automates the analysis of complex datasets, generates key bullet points and provides ready-to-use reports.