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A Natural Language Processing (NLP) Approach to Data Exploration

What if you could directly ask questions of your data and the software could respond with a selection, filter, or new visualization? In this DSC webinar, the Tableau Research team explains natural language queries and how they are (already) helping you visualize your data. This presentation includes an introduction to natural language processing (NLP), examples of how NLP is already used in Tableau's geocoding and map search, and a demonstration of some research prototypes that you might see in the not too distant future. Come participate in the discussion and tell us what things you would say to or ask your visualization!

About the speakers


Melanie Tory

Senior Research Scientist, Tableau

Melanie is a senior research scientist focusing on interactive visual data analysis. Her research explores techniques and tools to help people analyze data more effectively. Before joining Tableau, Melanie was an associate professor in visualization at the University of Victoria. She earned her Ph.D. in computer science from Simon Fraser University and her B.Sc. from the University of British Columbia. Melanie is an active member of the visualization research community. She is associate editor of IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications and has served as papers co-chair for the IEEE Information Visualization and ACM Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces conferences.


Vidya Setlur

Director of Research, Tableau

Vidya is a research scientist at Tableau and works in the Palo Alto office. Previously, she worked as a principal research scientist at the Nokia Research Center for seven years. She earned her doctorate in computer graphics in 2005 at Northwestern University. Her research interests lie at the intersection of natural language processing (NLP) and computer graphics, in the area of content retargeting and iconography.

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