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Conversational interfaces for unconventional access to business relational data structures

Conversational interfaces for unconventional access to business relational data structures Current possibilities of accessing business data by regular users usually involve complicated user interfaces or require technical expertise. This results in situations when business owners are separated from their data. The aim of this research is to apply an innovative approach leveraging conversational interfaces to tackle this problem.Design/methodology/approachThe authors examine the current possibilities of accessing business data by business, users with an emphasis on conversational interfaces employing a chatbot as an alternative to traditional approaches. The authors propose a new concept relying on a guided conversation, and through experiments with a real chatbot and database, the authors demonstrate the benefits of the proposed approach.FindingsThe authors found out that the key to the success of our approach is a decomposition of complex database queries and their incremental construction in conversations. This also enables natural discovery of the domain model through constantly provided feedback. Based on the experiments with a real chatbot, the authors demonstrate that defining conversation flows and maintaining the conversation context is a crucial aspect contributing to the overall accuracy, together with keeping the conversation within the defined limits in its certain parts.Originality/valueThe authors present a novel approach using natural language interfaces for accessing data by business users. In contrast to existing approaches, the authors emphasize incremental construction of queries, predefined conversation flows and constraining the conversations, when necessary. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Data Technologies and Applications Emerald Publishing

Conversational interfaces for unconventional access to business relational data structures

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References (38)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2514-9288
DOI
10.1108/dta-03-2021-0062
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Current possibilities of accessing business data by regular users usually involve complicated user interfaces or require technical expertise. This results in situations when business owners are separated from their data. The aim of this research is to apply an innovative approach leveraging conversational interfaces to tackle this problem.Design/methodology/approachThe authors examine the current possibilities of accessing business data by business, users with an emphasis on conversational interfaces employing a chatbot as an alternative to traditional approaches. The authors propose a new concept relying on a guided conversation, and through experiments with a real chatbot and database, the authors demonstrate the benefits of the proposed approach.FindingsThe authors found out that the key to the success of our approach is a decomposition of complex database queries and their incremental construction in conversations. This also enables natural discovery of the domain model through constantly provided feedback. Based on the experiments with a real chatbot, the authors demonstrate that defining conversation flows and maintaining the conversation context is a crucial aspect contributing to the overall accuracy, together with keeping the conversation within the defined limits in its certain parts.Originality/valueThe authors present a novel approach using natural language interfaces for accessing data by business users. In contrast to existing approaches, the authors emphasize incremental construction of queries, predefined conversation flows and constraining the conversations, when necessary.

Journal

Data Technologies and ApplicationsEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 18, 2022

Keywords: Relational database; User experience; Chatbot; Database query; Natural language interface

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