New Forrester report: ‘Speech analytics has found its voice with AI’

Some of us remember a time when devices were not able to respond to what you said verbally, although that now seems a long time ago.

New Forrester report: ‘Speech analytics has found its voice with AI’Behind all these suddenly loquacious machines, of course, are smart analytics that translate speech into text, text into intent and intent into appropriate responses.

To sort out these new tools, Forrester has released its first evaluation, “The Forrester New Wave: AI-Fueled Speech Analytics Solutions, Q2 2018” (fee required). The research firm noted that it has issued two previous reports on the topic, although this is the first New Wave vendor evaluation. (The company’s New Wave reports evaluate emerging tech, compared to the traditional tech covered in its traditional Wave reports.)

Eleven vendors were identified, summarized and categorized, with descriptions of their AI-powered machine learning and real-time capabilities included. “The best solutions”, the report said, “not only make it easier to extract more accurate insights and drive instant action” through AI, but they also extend those capabilities by integrations with other systems.

Forrester gives full credit for the explosion of this category to AI, noting that it “has stirred up the once-quiet backwater of speech analytics” by improving speech-to-text accuracy, intent extraction and measurement of tone and sentiment.

Each of the selected vendors was assessed by such criteria as the qualities of their transcription, intent extraction, quality management, sentiment analysis, real-time analytics and insight generation.

NICE and CallMiner were the only two vendors to place in the top category of Leaders, while Verint, Clarabridge and Invoca followed up as Strong Performers. In the third level of Contenders were Tethr, Cogito, Genesys and Mattersight, while OpenText and Aspect were in the bottom rung of Challengers.

Vendor differentiation points to some of the capabilities that may become commonplace.

CallMiner, for instance, is rated by Forrester as having “the most advanced, enterprise-ready speech analytics functionality”, and it is reaching beyond the contact center with use cases involving product design and sales operations.

NICE’s sentiment analysis model is designed to predict Net Promoter Scores, with predictive analytics in the works for many other features.

Clarabridge is one of the vendors that is employing deep learning — a form of AI that uses neural nets to generate better models and insights — for emotion detection, and Cogito is using deep learning models to extract insights from speech. Verint provides a coaching suite for agents and others, Invoca has “state-of-the-art call classification”, and Mattersight can analyze customer and agent personality and communication styles for routing and other purposes.

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