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January 16, 2023
21 min

What Is Natural Language Processing? Application of NLP in Business in 2024

January 16, 2023
21 min
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Natural language processing - is a subfield of artificial intelligence focused on the interaction between computers and humans through natural languages. In business, NLP can automate time-consuming tasks, improve customer service by anticipating questions before they are asked, and gain insights from large data sets with minimal human input.

Chatbots, sentiment analysis, and text classification are all examples of how NLP can be used in business. A report by Statista shows that the applications of the NLP market will increase to 43.9 billion dollars by 2025. 

Revenues from the natural language processing (NLP) market worldwide from 2017 to 2025 (in million U.S. dollars)

Revenues from the natural language processing (NLP) market worldwide from 2017 to 2025 (in million U.S. dollars)

Using NLP in business can save time and money by automating repetitive tasks, improving customer satisfaction with quick and accurate responses, and providing valuable insights from large amounts of data.

In this article, DATAFOREST will provide a comprehensive overview of natural language processing in the business, from the definition to specific tasks that the technology can handle.

Keep reading!

Understanding Natural Language Processing

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a branch of computer science that seeks to give computers the ability to understand and process human language.

By developing algorithms and techniques that enable computers to understand and generate human language, researchers have opened up new possibilities for more natural interactions between humans and machines.

NLP systems employ a variety of techniques, ranging from rule-based to complex machine-learning algorithms.

Thanks to these advancements, computers are increasingly able to analyze and understand natural language data. This has enabled the development of more sophisticated applications of NLP technology. 

Using NLP technology, chatbots and virtual assistants can understand and respond to human queries in a way that feels more like a conversation than issuing rigid commands.

Natural language processing can help companies unlock value from large amounts of unstructured data by making it possible for computers to understand the meaning behind human communication.

With customer feedback, social media posts, and other sources of natural language data, businesses can gain a deeper understanding of their customer's needs and preferences—information critical to everything from product development to marketing strategies.

NLP is already being used in many industries, and as the field continues to advance, we can expect that it will be applied in a wide range of contexts—from healthcare to finance and e-commerce.

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How Does Natural Language Processing Work?

NLP is a fascinating field of computer science that aims to teach computers to understand, interpret, and generate human language as we do. NLP results from decades of research involving techniques drawn from computer science, linguistics, and artificial intelligence.

One of the main goals of NLP is to help computers parse and understand human language. To do this, it uses various techniques that analyze syntax and semantics, involving machine learning at every level.

Syntax analysis breaks sentences and phrases down into their grammatical components, such as nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. This helps computers identify the relationships between different text parts—and understand their overall structure. Semantic analysis focuses on the relationships between words and phrases in a sentence or text and their context.

Machine learning is one of the most essential parts of natural language processing. It involves training computer algorithms to learn from large amounts of data and make decisions based on that information. NLP uses machine learning to train algorithms that recognize patterns in human language and generate natural-language responses.

Natural Language Processing in Marketing

Exploring Natural Language Processing Methods and Techniques

As mentioned above, NLP techniques can be broadly classified into two categories: syntax and semantic. Syntax techniques involve analyzing the grammatical structure of sentences, while semantic techniques focus on understanding the meaning of words. Let's go into more detail on the natural language processing techniques for businesses to adopt.

Syntax Analysis Techniques

Syntax techniques are an essential part of Natural Language Processing, which involves analyzing the grammatical structure of sentences to extract dictionary-like or precise semantics from the text. Syntactic analysis, also known as parsing in NLP (natural language processing), compares the text to standard grammar rules to determine its meaning.

Let's take a look at some of the different syntax analysis techniques used in NLP:

  • Parser Concept: This is one technique used to parse natural language. The software receives input data and changes it into a structured representation, verifying that the syntax conforms with formal grammar before doing so. The Parser Concept creates a data structure that can be a parse tree or an abstract syntax tree.
  • Word Segmentation: This technique identifies the boundaries between words in a given text, where one-word ends and another begins. Often, this is done by marking the end of sentence punctuation with an additional space. It takes a string of text and analyzes it, creating an electronic version of the document that computers can read.
  • Sentence Breaking: If a text uses sentence boundaries, an NLP algorithm can analyze it using the technique of sentence breaking. For instance, consider 'The car honked. I woke up.'—the periods delineate separate sentences from each other throughout the document.
  • Morphological Segmentation: This technique breaks words into their minor parts, called morphemes. For instance, the word "untestable" would be broken down by this algorithm as "un," "test," and "-able." This is a valuable technique for speech recognition and machine translation.
  • Stemming: The stemming technique in NLP can divide words with inflection to their root forms; for instance, "barked" becomes "bark." This is useful for analyzing the text for all instances of a word, along with its conjunctions.

The syntax is a crucial component of natural language processing and can be used to carry out many different tasks, such as machine translation or speech recognition.

Natural Language Processing in Marketing

Semantic Analysis Techniques

Semantics includes the use of and meaning behind a word. NLP marketing applies algorithms to understand the structure and meaning of sentences. You can find all Natural Language Processing Semantic techniques in the research paper here. 

There are several semantic techniques used in NLP, including:

  • Word Sense Disambiguation: In this technique, the context of a word's use is examined to determine its meaning. For example, consider the sentence, 'The pig is sleeping in the pen.' In this context, 'pen' denotes an enclosure rather than something used for writing. An algorithm developed using this approach can recognize two meanings for the same word.
  • Named Entity Recognition: This technique allows words to be grouped into categories—people, organizations, and locations—by algorithms. This can allow news articles to be analyzed by computers so they recognize mentions of specific products or companies; this is also helpful in differentiating between entities that may appear visually similar.

Entity Recognition

The online marketplace for cars wanted to improve search for users by adding full-text and voice search, as well as advanced search with specific options. We built a system application using Machine Learning and NLP methods to process text queries, and the Google Cloud Speech API to process audio queries. This helped greatly improve the user experience by providing a more intuitive and efficient search option for them.
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  • Natural Language Generation: This automated process uses the database to assign meaning to words and creates new text. Business intelligence platforms can generate summaries of findings using this technique, mapping specific phrases and words back to features in data. You can use this technique to write reports automatically.

Semantic techniques are crucial to NLP and can be used in many practical applications, such as chatbot development and sentiment analysis.

Suppose you want to understand your business's current potential using Sentiment analysis, text classification, or text extraction. In that case, data science experts from DATAFOREST can help you get the most from your data. This is done by extracting important topics, parsing PDF docs, recognizing client intent, and more.

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The Benefits and Statistics of Natural Language Processing

Natural Language Processing (NLP) has become increasingly important in marketing and customer service, offering a range of benefits for businesses across various industries. Some of the critical benefits of NLP include:

  • Improved Customer Experience: NLP-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can provide customers with quick and accurate responses to their queries, leading to a better customer experience. According to a study by IBM, businesses that use NLP-powered chatbots can achieve up to 90% customer satisfaction rates.
  • Enhanced Marketing: NLP can analyze customer feedback and reviews to identify trends and sentiment, helping businesses to improve their marketing strategies and products. For example, NLP can identify common customer complaints and pain points, allowing businesses to address these issues and improve customer satisfaction.
  • Efficient Data Analysis: NLP can help businesses to analyze large volumes of unstructured data, such as social media posts, customer reviews, and emails, to extract valuable insights and make informed decisions.
  • Increased Productivity: NLP can automate repetitive tasks like data entry and customer support, freeing employees to focus on more complex tasks. This can improve productivity and reduce costs for businesses. For example, a study by Chatbot Magazine found that businesses can reduce customer service costs by up to 30% by implementing NLP-powered chatbots.
  • Improves Conversion Rate: Conversion optimization is a crucial marketing campaign component. Tools and technologies are just a part of the story regarding conversion rate optimization. Tuning the conversion funnel is more than just about implementing more tools and implementing them mindlessly. It's all about using customer insights and data analytics to improve the website's flow, thereby increasing the conversion rate.

Better Risk Management: NLP can analyze and identify potential risks in real-time, helping businesses to mitigate them before they become significant issues. For example, NLP can monitor social media and news feeds for mentions of a company or brand, allowing businesses to respond quickly to negative publicity or crises. 

Natural Language Processing in Marketing

12 Practical Applications of Natural Language Processing Examples

Natural Language Processing has numerous practical applications that transform how we interact with technology. Here are some examples:

  1. Speech Recognition and Synthesis: NLP is used in speech recognition technology to convert spoken language into a machine-readable format. Virtual assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant rely on NLP to understand and respond to user queries. IBM's Watson Natural Language Understanding is an excellent example of a tool that can quickly extract sentiments.
  2. Part of Speech Tagging: NLP algorithms use part of speech tagging to categorize each token within a text as a noun, adjective, pronoun, preposition, conjunction, or interjection. This helps identify relationships between words and understand the meaning of sentences.
  3. Word Sense Disambiguation: This task involves identifying the correct meaning of a word in a given context. NLP algorithms use unstructured data to differentiate between homonyms, such as the word "bark" in the sentences "The dog was barking at the mailman" and "The barks of trees are used as medicine."
  4. Named Entity Recognition: This technique involves the extraction of entities such as names, places, email addresses, and organizations from within a text. NER is an essential topic in fields like knowledge representation and information retrieval.
  5. Coreference Resolution: This task involves identifying all the expressions that refer to the same entity in a text. For example, in the sentence "Sam gave Cecilia two oranges at school on Monday," coreference resolution would identify "Sam" and "Cecilia" as referring to different people.
  6. Sentiment Analysis: NLP algorithms can recognize subtle nuances in opinions and emotions, allowing for the analysis of sentiments in real time. This is useful for monitoring social media mentions, gauging customer reactions to products or marketing campaigns.
  7. Natural Language Generation: This technique involves training a learning model with text corpora to generate new text. For example, language generation can output a whole new science fiction story with the help of existing science fiction stories for training.
  8. Text Classification and Categorization: NLP algorithms can classify and categorize text based on its content. This is useful for spam filtering, content moderation, and topic modeling tasks.
  9. Question Answering Systems: NLP algorithms can be used to build question-answering systems that can respond to user queries in natural language.
  10. Machine Translation: NLP algorithms can translate text from one language to another, allowing for cross-cultural communication.
  11. Text Summarization: NLP algorithms can summarize long texts into shorter, more digestible formats.

Voice Assistants and Chatbots: NLP algorithms power voice assistants and chatbots, allowing for natural language interactions with technology.

12 Practical Applications of Natural Language Processing Examples

NLP Examples in Marketing: Use Cases and Benefits

NLP can help businesses improve customer engagement and satisfaction by providing personalized experiences and more efficient customer service. It can also help organizations gain insights from customer feedback and social media data to inform marketing strategies. To understand more about NLP marketing use cases, check out this case study by DATAFOREST for data-driven marketing.

Here are just some of the ways that NLP can be helpful to marketers and businesses, along with their benefits:

Insights and Market Analysis

By leveraging NLP, businesses can scrape and analyze vast amounts of data from various sources to gain valuable insights for market analysis. This information can help project managers make informed decisions about their marketing strategies and improve their business operations.

Inventory Management

NLP can also be used for real-time inventory management. By scraping ecommerce platforms for information like total sales, price per item, and stock status, businesses can keep track of their inventory and make more informed decisions about their supply chain management.

Branding

NLP can be used to assess consumer sentiment and understand target audience perceptions of a product or brand.

By collecting and analyzing qualitative data, businesses can better understand their customers to create more effective marketing and communication initiatives.

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Content Strategy

NLP can optimize a company's content strategy by identifying related or alternative keywords, which allows businesses to create better-targeted and more visible content.

Artificial intelligence platforms like Watson Discovery can help businesses find automated answers to common questions and improve the overall customer experience.

Customer Experience

NLP can collect and analyze customer data more efficiently, allowing companies to target ads based on user intent.

Businesses can use support tickets to route issues to the appropriate employee and improve their recommendation systems by analyzing trends in incoming tickets.

Chatbots powered by NLP can also collect crucial details about visitors to improve lead generation and qualification.

Targeted Lead Generation and Qualification

NLP advancements have led to enhanced chatbots that can handle queries and collect valuable customer data. By leveraging NLP-powered chatbots, businesses can improve their lead generation and qualification processes and ensure that potential customers receive immediate attention.

NLP allows businesses to improve their marketing strategies, enhance customer experiences, and gain valuable insights from customer data.

Use qualitative data and relative insight to get the best out of data-driven marketing to create excellent brand positioning. DATAFOREST services can help you improve the overall success of your marketing campaigns by scraping relevant information from any source like YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, etc.

Natural Language Processing in Marketing

Embracing Natural Language Processing for Business Growth

NLP is a powerful tool that can help businesses and organizations automate tasks, gain insights from data, and improve customer engagement and satisfaction. By adopting NLP, businesses can stay competitive and meet the evolving needs of their customers.

If you are looking for data integration services to implement NLP in Marketing, look no further than DATAFOREST data integration services. We can help you connect all the platforms for a seamless data flow in your marketing campaigns. 

We follow the below steps to do so:

  1. Connect all external data sources using the API integration with your external suppliers, delivery services, e-commerce stores, physical stores, etc.
  2. Then comes the ETL process, where we clean the data so that you can get the best available information and derive actionable insights. 
  3. Then with the help of data from your HR, ERP, and CRM systems, the DATAFOREST team integrates the internal data sources using Natural Language Processing.
  4. With proper configuration done by our team, you get real-time information. We have the NLP capability to process terabytes of data within seconds to make quick decisions.

To get the best data-driven marketing for your organization, contact the DATAFOREST team today. Our Natural Language Processing solution will help you optimize the customer base to get user personas and what they are likely to buy next.

Embracing Natural Language Processing for Business Growth

FAQ

What is the NLP definition?

NLP is a branch of artificial intelligence focusing on the interaction between computers and humans using natural language.

How does natural language processing work?

Natural language processing uses algorithms and statistical models to analyze human language, understand its meaning, and generate appropriate responses.

What are some techniques used in natural language processing?

Some techniques used in natural language processing include syntactic analysis, semantic analysis, named entity recognition, sentiment analysis, and machine translation.

What are the practical applications of Natural Language Processing?

NLP techniques can be applied in various fields, such as sentiment analysis, speech recognition, machine translation, text classification, and named entity recognition. These techniques are used to automate tasks, improve customer service, and gain insights from large amounts of text data. Some examples of natural language processing applications include virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa, language translation software, chatbots, sentiment analysis tools, and speech recognition systems.

What is the role of an NLP engineer?

An NLP engineer is responsible for developing and implementing NLP algorithms and techniques to solve problems related to natural language processing.

In what ways can NLP's sentiment analysis help businesses comprehend customer feedback?

NLP's sentiment analysis can help businesses comprehend customer feedback by analyzing large amounts of text data, such as customer reviews and social media posts, and identifying the sentiment behind them. This can help businesses understand how customers feel about their products or services and identify areas for improvement. 

Is NLP useful for fraud detection and compliance monitoring in the financial industry?

NLP is useful for fraud detection and compliance monitoring in the financial industry. NLP techniques can be used to analyze large amounts of financial data, such as transaction records and emails, and identify patterns that may indicate fraudulent activity or non-compliance with regulations. 

How can NLP aid in multilingual translation and localization efforts?

NLP can aid in multilingual and localization efforts by using machine translation and natural language generation techniques to translate text from one language to another automatically. This can help businesses expand into new markets and communicate with customers in their native language. Additionally, NLP can be used to analyze the nuances of different languages and cultures to ensure that translations accurately convey the intended meaning.

How does NLP automate repetitive tasks and processes?

NLP can automate repetitive tasks and processes using natural language understanding and generation techniques to interact with humans more naturally. For example, chatbots can be programmed to answer frequently asked questions and provide customer support, freeing up human agents to handle more complex issues. NLP also can be used to automatically generate reports and summaries from large amounts of text data, reducing the time and effort required for manual analysis.

Can voice recognition and voice-controlled interfaces benefit from NLP?

Yes, voice recognition and voice-controlled interfaces can benefit from NLP. NLP techniques can improve speech recognition systems' accuracy by analyzing the context and meaning behind spoken words. It can generate natural-sounding responses for voice-controlled interfaces, making them more engaging and user-friendly.

What are the fundamental algorithms and techniques utilized in NLP for text classification?

Some key algorithms and techniques utilized in NLP for text classification include:

  • Naive Bayes: a probabilistic algorithm that uses Bayes' theorem to classify text based on the frequency of words and phrases.
  • Support Vector Machines (SVMs): a machine learning algorithm that separates text into different categories based on the most important features for distinguishing between them.
  • Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs): a deep learning algorithm particularly effective for image and text classification tasks.

Can you describe the process of training a natural language processing model?

Training a natural language processing model involves feeding the model with large amounts of data and using algorithms to adjust its parameters until it can accurately predict the correct output for a given input. This process is iterative and requires a lot of computational power and data.

Is it possible for NLP to extract valuable insights from large-scale text corpora and document collections?

Yes, NLP can extract valuable insights from large-scale text corpora and document collections by analyzing patterns and trends in the data. This can help businesses make data-driven decisions and improve their operations.

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