Interactive Data Analysis with Next-step Natural Language Query Recommendation

Xingbo Wang, Furui Cheng, Yong Wang, Ke Xu, Jiang Long, Hong Lu, Huamin Qu

Natural language interfaces (NLIs) provide users with a convenient way to interactively analyze data through natural language queries. Nevertheless, interactive data analysis is a demanding process, especially for novice data analysts. When exploring large and complex datasets from different domains, data analysts do not necessarily have sufficient knowledge about data and application domains. It makes them unable to efficiently elicit a series of queries and extensively derive desirable data insights. In this paper, we develop an NLI with a step-wise query recommendation module to assist users in choosing appropriate next-step exploration actions. The system adopts a data-driven approach to generate step-wise semantically relevant and context-aware query suggestions for application domains of users' interest based on their query logs. Also, the system helps users organize query histories and results into a dashboard to communicate the discovered data insights. With a comparative user study, we show that our system can facilitate a more effective and systematic data analysis process than a baseline without the recommendation module.

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