AnswerWorks Answers and Analytics

Steve Wexler
WexTech Systems, Inc.
http://www.wextech.com

914-741-9700 ext 809

AnswerWorks Answers™ (for the desktop and the Web)

AnswerWorks Answers is a cross-lingual question- answering engine that allows companies to add an easy-to-use natural-language interface to Help systems and Web-based knowledge repositories. AnswerWorks lets users get answers to questions phrased in everyday language. Users simply type in questions, and AnswerWorks retrieves the most pertinent topics. The result is increased customer satisfaction and decreased support costs.

AnswerWorks Analytics™

AnswerWorks Analytics allows companies to identify, aggregate, and analyze the most important issues facing their users. Using this unique e-analytics tool, companies can easily identify any content gaps within knowledge repositories, as well as increase customer intimacy through analysis and reporting of user activity.

Using the unique normalization technology, you can group similar but not identical questions together to show problem trends. For example, using the question-normalizing technology, you will be able to determine that the following questions are not three separate questions but are in fact the same question asked three different ways.

  • Why does my computer hang when I shut down?
  • Why does Windows freeze when I turn it off?
  • Why doesn’t Windows shut down properly?

AnswerWorks Analytics is also being used by clients to easily identify—and rectify—content gaps in product documentation and Web-based knowledge repositories.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Single-Search. The ability to provide a single, intuitive, natural language interface that accesses multiple local content sources, as well as Web content sources. This means the user doesn’t have to go to the Help system for one type of information and a Web site for additional information.

Stochastic and Linguistic analysis. AnswerWorks’ stochastic analysis improves upon the best TREC information retrieval algorithm (the Okapi formula, developed originally by Robertson & Sparck-Jones,) by adding the following linguistic elements:

  • Morphological rooting
  • Part of speech assignment and syntactic analysis
  • Recognition of phrase, sentence, and paragraph boundaries
  • Normalization of word order (e.g. passive vs. active)
  • Filtering of noise words and noise expressions (“Can you give me more information about”)
  • Usage of document format information (titles, headings, bold, and so on)

This combination produces stellar results, which in turn produces more productive users.

Multi-lingual support. AnswerWorks currently includes English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, and Japanese.

Cross-lingual support. This allows a non-English speaker to access English content by asking a question in his/her own language. Very often a non-English speaker can read English well enough to understand a solution but does not speak or write English well enough to phrase a question in English.

Integration with any and all Help viewers. AnswerWorks for the desktop works with Windows Help, HTML Help, Microsoft PC Help, and Mozilla-based Help viewers. Plus, AnswerWorks for the Web can be accessed from any browser.

See http://www.freeanswers.com as a platform to both provide a useful service and to demonstrate AnswerWorks’ features and capabilities.

Their next update is planned for late August.

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