How to 10X Your IR Workflow Using Artificial Intelligence

NIRI Houston|November 14, 2017

By Zach Rothberg, Vice President of Investor Relations Services for AlphaSense

With the barrage of new information published daily, internal stakeholders increasingly rely on investor relations officers (IROs) to be the “knowledge center” for their company. This requires IROs to know the inner workings of their own company, while also staying on top of their peers, customers, suppliers and industry and macro trends.

In essence, IROs have more than ever to do, and not enough time to do it. That’s where the power of artificial intelligence (AI) comes in.

AI is used by millions of people every day to help gain new insights, work faster, smarter and achieve the things they never thought possible. But, what is AI exactly?

AI lets computers recognize objects in images, translate human speech, transcribe audio, identify anomalies in data and understand semantic relationships in human language. Simply put, AI systems make observations of the world, make decisions based on those observations, are evaluated based on those decisions and learn from feedback to maximize the chance of success at a given task.

AI at Work

AI might seem mysterious, but it’s something that most people, knowingly or not, are using and interacting with every day.

Here are some real world examples of how these technologies come into play in our everyday lives:

  • Virtual assistants, such as Siri, Alexa and Google Home, incorporate natural language processing, the field of computer science that is concerned with interactions between computer and human (natural) languages. This helps computers and software perform tasks, schedule things on the go, order an Uber, order dinner, etc., all via voice command
  • Security systems use machine learning, which is the ability for computers to learn without being programmed. They take a contextual framework and devise models and algorithms that can learn and form predictions on data to make sure there are no abnormalities in daily patterns
  • Robo-advisors use machine learning to automate their client’s wealth management, helping achieve financial security

AI is meant to make life easier, allowing users to go above and beyond what they would normally be able to do.

Why Does this Matter to IROs?

A recent IDC report found that more information has been produced in the last two years than in all human history. That data is only valuable if researchers are able to make sense of it and turn it into actionable insights. With limited time, IROs need a tool that will help them digest that information and turn it around, quickly.

This is where AI can be an invaluable resource for IROs. AI powered intelligent search platforms understand the context around your keyword topics and produces the most accurate results possible, accounting for the subtleties of human language. IROs can feel certain they’re not missing valuable information.

AI helps intelligent search platforms understand business concepts, allowing those platforms to automatically expand search results to include related synonyms, rather than having to run multiple searches with the exact keywords or phrases. Leveraging AI in search, users are able to instantly find the precise information needed across millions of documents. Further, search results are presented to users in a digestible format so they can quickly act on valuable intelligence.

For example, researching “guidance” using a traditional search engine, results are limited to that exact keyword; not a complete representation of a commonly used concept. IROs would miss out on results from related keywords, such as “outlook,” “forecast,” “anticipate,” “plan,” etc.

To further illustrate the advantages of AI in search engines, imagine researching the risks associated with a decrease in production. This would be a very manual and time consuming process to research this subject, searching solely on exact keywords. Whereas with an intelligent search engine that understands phrases like “lowering product output could adversely impact,” ensures IROs can quickly and accurately find the information they need.

AI allows users of intelligent search engines to further identify the most relevant content in their search results by assigning a relevancy score to each document. AI enables IROs to sort their search results by that score so relevant content appears at the top of the results. And, it will allow users to view search results in context with snippets of exactly where your keyword hits are found within the document. Because all results are displayed on one screen, IROs save hours of time by viewing results side by side, no longer needing to “CTRL+F” their way through reams of individual documents.

AI technology is here to enhance the IR workflow. IROs who embrace AI save hours of time and deliver key insights that help them perform the high value tasks that will ultimately elevate their investor relations program.

 

Zach Rothberg is the Vice President of Investor Relations Services for AlphaSense, the technology company who invented an intelligent search engine built specifically to understand business language and scale the speed and quality of research across organizations.

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