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3 Key Questions You Should Ask About Conversational Analytics

Originally posted on Medium

The fine folks at Azumo hosted a bot maker meet-up at Galvanize San Francisco, led by Azumo’s CEO Andrew Burgert on September 15th 2016. They invited conversational analytics providers to a panel to discuss the state of analytics for this emergent industry.

Here are three key takeaways from the evening on questions that brands and bot markers need to be asking their analytics providers:

Can I maintain the data privacy and security standards of my company and industry while using this vendor?

As bots become more pervasive in the enterprise and start to tackle protected information such as health, legal and financial matters, communications with your bot will require the same level scrutiny and care as the remainder of communications and records.

Since most chat analytics vendors maintain full transcripts of your customer conversations you need a vendor that allows you the ability to deploy the analytics solution behind your firewall or VPC so that you can meet your obligations under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX); Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS); Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act(COPPA); Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA); The_Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act_ (HITECH) or the European Union Data Protection Directive; Safe Harbor Act or any of the host of other industry-specific compliance requirements.

Am I able to have full unrestricted access to my data? Including full export?

In the bad old days of enterprise software, vendors would store customer data in proprietary formats. The logic was that by making the data inaccessible they are able to create customer lock-in by holding the data hostage.

The best services these days are ones that allows customers to fully export their data. This is good practice not just from a philosophical point of view. This will also allow you the bot maker to leverage any additional technical or business intelligence tools that you already have and more importantly allow you to tie conversational metrics to other business reporting that you have already invested in.

Finally, how does the conversational UI analytics provider fit into the ecosystem of tools such as your AI or NLP Providers?

Chatbots represent an involved dance between product design, natural language processing (NLP), artificial intelligence (AI), and cross-platform distribution to get the user experience right. Each of these is a complex domain with significant advances being made on regular basis.

Your analytics company should be focused on understanding and integrating with the ecosystem of Platform, NLP and AI providers. A clear analytics focus allows the creation of a best-in-class solution. In addition, this allows you to leverage the best provides in each domain rather than being forced into mediocre solutions in each of these domains provided by an unfocused vendor.

The chatbot market is heating up as everyone races to find bot native experiences to build the “killer bot” (no pun intended) the ability to find and adopt the best in class tools will be the key differentiator between the leaders and laggards in this space.