GPT-3-based chat data prep tool can transform data with plain-English inputs

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Massachusetts-headquartered Akkio offers a no-code platform it says can help enterprises build and deploy artificial intelligence (AI) in minutes. The company has now enhanced its product with a new capability: chat data prep. The feature enables users to prepare and transform large volumes of data by simply typing in what they want in plain conversational language.

Data preparation and transformation is one of the first steps in the AI development process. Companies may handle the task either in spreadsheets, where teams have to enter traditional formulas to perform basic transformations like correcting date formats, or via SQL queries in a data platform. 

Because both these options can be tedious and time-consuming, with some teams spending as much as 80% of their time on preparing the data and just 20% on modeling and generating insights, a growing ecosystem of data prep tools has emerged. Chat data prep provides a new wrinkle.

How can chat data prep help?

With chat data prep, users can transform any table — combining columns, summarizing records, translating languages, converting formats and performing complex calculations — using plain English. That means no need for complex formulas, SQL or even coding.

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“The ability to easily transform data with plain language means a 10-times reduction in the time it takes to prepare your data for analysis,” Jonathon Reilly, cofounder of Akkio, said. 

“Just ask for what you want, confirm the preview, and apply the transform in a single click. You can even use Akkio to fix messy date fields, for example by writing, ‘reformat the date to MM/DD/YYYY,’ or do time-based math operations like ‘calculate the days from the date to today,’” he added.

The solution has been built on top of GPT-3 and includes prompt engineering, context awareness and user-in-the-loop feedback. So, in essence, AI prepares the data for AI development and deployment. According to Reilly, it can cut days’ worth of time currently spent on this task to minutes.

Availability

Currently, chat data prep is available for a limited time to try for free as part of the Akkio platform. The launch of this solution makes perfect sense for Akkio, whose product already allows enterprises to classify and sequence data, train predictive ML models and forecast business outcomes with minimal coding. Multiple enterprises have adopted the company’s offering, using it for applications like lead scoring, churn reduction, revenue forecasting and ad spend optimization, as well as for integrating ML-driven features into custom-built products.

The no-code AI development space has been growing, particularly in light of the pandemic and the shortage of data science talent. Other players operating in the same segment are Google AutoML, Obviously AI and Fritz AI. Gartner predicts that 65% of app development will be low-code/no-code by 2024.

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Shubham Sharma