Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Un-documented Beta OAC 18.3.3 Feature : Configuring Synonyms for ASK Interface

The ASK interface in with OAC is a very simple and direct way to gain insight about your data in seconds. Just type (or pronounce) phrasal questions, OAC will interpret your question, match it with most likely measures and attributes exist in any indexed dataset you have access to, and return visualizations that best meet your question. Simple and efficient, this works both in the web based OAC UI and via the mobile interface in Day by Day Application.

OAC 18.3.3 (Sept 2018) introduced several enhancements to ASK, like better interpretation of questions constructs, understanding of Top/Bottom question syntaxes, etc. But one feature only made it as Beta in 18.3.3 because a robust finalized UI was still lacking : configuring Synonyms for column name indexes. This feature did not make it into documentation, but is already operational in 18.3.3 pods.

The configuration of synonyms using the beta feature is simple and quick, but quite manual and fragile. File syntax and dataset names are to be strictly respected. This short video briefly describes it.


The feature will be greatly enhanced in upcoming releases of OAC both for the experience, the UI and the capability. The current status of it may not migrate automatically when the feature is fully released. 
But in the meantime it can help address some immediate needs today. Like for example rudimentary translation of system defined column names in different languages so users get to ask simple questions in their native tongue, and get answers from a single source in ASK.

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