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1. WO2020107108 - A METHOD AND SYSTEM OF WORKFLOW MANAGEMENT

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

[ EN ]

A METHOD AND SYSTEM OF WORKFLOW MANAGEMENT

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to methods of workflow management.

BACKGROUND

Organizations, including corporations and government agencies, often employ general email boxes or voice mail boxes to receive communications from clients/residents. These general mail boxes can receive a large volume of communications. These communications are often in the form of“unstructured data” with no consistent formatting. An employee must review each communication, interpret the communication and then decide how to take action. This activity takes time, resources, and often results in misunderstanding of the issue. The activity often results in mistakes requiring even more time for resolution. This process delays the response time, and causes loss of client satisfaction and employee productivity.

It is essential to have a workflow in place to ensure that these communications are routed to the appropriate team, and the correct action is taken. After action is taken, it is equally important to make sure that the information is captured for reporting purposes, and the action taken is reported back to the client/resident.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a method and system for workflow management. In one aspect of the invention, there is provided a computer implemented method of workflow management, said method comprising: receiving unstructured natural language data;

analyzing said unstructured data for concepts and ties, wherein said ties are relationships between said concepts; comparing said concepts and ties identified in part b. to one or more database(s)/corpora of workflow definitions and ties between workflow definitions; selecting a workflow form associated with said workflow definitions based on said comparison;

instantiating and automatically populating said workflow form based on said concepts and ties identified in part b. and thereby initiating workflow.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

Figure 1 provides an illustration of an embodiment of the system of the present invention.

l

Figure 2 provides a high level structure of exemplary databases

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present invention provides a system and method of workflow management. In certain embodiments, the method of the present invention reviews the content of a customer email for major concepts and automatically triggers workflow(s) associated with the identified major concepts. The methods of the present invention allow for workflow to be triggered without direct human interaction. Accordingly, the methods of the present invention can decrease the response time to each email. In addition, the methods of the present invention may also reduce error rates by removing the subjective analysis of the email by a human. Moreover, the methods of the present invention can track the communications received for recording keeping and/or reporting purposes. In certain embodiments, the methods of the present invention, automatically generates a report of the communications received. In specific embodiments, the reports include a listing of the major concepts of the

communications and the resulting resolutions. In certain embodiments, the methods of the present invention send an alert to the customer indicating that their email has been received and/or action has been initiated in response to the email.

The methods of the present invention can be used for a variety of organizations including but not limited to companies, government organizations, NGOs, educational institutions, charities and medical institutions.

The method of the present invention comprises the following steps: receiving unstructured natural language data; analyzing the unstructured data for concepts and ties; comparing results of the analysis to one or more database(s)/corpora of workflow definitions and ties between workflow definitions; selecting a workflow form associated with the workflow definitions based on the comparison. The method optionally further comprises instantiating and automatically populating the workflow form based on the concepts and ties identified in part b. and thereby initiating workflow.

Receiving unstructured natural language data.

As used herein, unstructured data, includes information that either does not have a predefined data model or is not organized in a pre-defined manner. Accordingly, data having a structure may be characterized as unstructured if its structure is not helpful for the processing task at hand or is structured in a format different to a pre-defined model or manner. The unstructured data is in a natural language but may include numbers and standard keyboard symbols.

The methods of the present invention may be used for any natural language including but not limited to Indo-European Languages including but not limited to Germanic languages such as English, German, Dutch, Danish, Swedish Icelandic and Norwegian, Latin languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian, Altaic languages such as Japanese and Korean and Arabic languages.

In certain embodiments, the natural language data is English. In certain embodiments, the methods comprise determining the language of the natural language data received.

Optionally, the methods comprise translating to another natural language prior to analysis for concepts and ties. Optionally, the methods of the present invention, send an alert to a human operator or forward the received natural language data to the human operator if the natural language data is not recognized or is not in an acceptable format.

The data may be in the form of written communications including but not limited to emails, website-based input, text messages, instant messages or verbal communications including but not limited to voice communications recorded and converted to the digital representation. For verbal communications, in certain embodiments, the method further comprises transcribing the verbal communication prior to analyzing the content of the unstructured data.

Analyzing said unstructured data for concepts and ties, wherein said ties are relationships between said concepts.

Natural language processing is utilized to analyze the unstructured data for concepts and ties. In certain embodiments, machine learning is also used. In certain embodiments, a two step heuristical and lexical analysis is performed to identify concepts and ties. As used herein, concepts refer to the topics, themes or ideas set forth in the unstructured data. A worker skilled in the work would readily appreciate that identified concepts may be dependent on context. For example, apple may refer to a fruit or a computer company depending on context. Accordingly, in certain embodiments, the identification of concepts (i.e. conceptualization) is context sensitive.

As used herein, ties refer to the unique relationship between concepts. In certain embodiments, the relationship is not directional. In alternative embodiments, the relationship between two concepts is strongly directional and not reciprocal. An illustrative example of a tie which is directional is as follows: John loves Mary, but Mary hates John. Strong

relationship of the unique feeling between Concepts (concept of Person: John, Mary) but different unique unidirectional Ties (ties of relationship feeling: love, hate)

Comparing the identified concepts and ties to one or more database(s)/corpora of workflow definitions and ties between workflow definitions and selecting a workflow form associated with said workflow definitions based on said comparison.

Customer/client communications may relate to a single topic or multiple topics. Accordingly, the method of the present invention allows for the selection of one or more workflow forms.

In other embodiments where multiple workflow form may be selected, a single form listing the most important concept is selected. In other embodiments where multiple workflow forms may be selected or where there are no appropriate workflow forms are available, the customer/client communication is forwarded to a human operator for review.

In certain embodiments, the comparing step comprises matching the pairs {concepts: ties} in the workflow definitions and a discovered {concepts: ties} in the processed content. In such embodiments, discovered matches are strength ranked based on the occurrences and the highest-ranking matches are used to select appropriate workflow.

In certain embodiments, the selected workflow form(s) is for populated manually. In other embodiments of the present invention, the method further comprises instantiating and automatically populating, either partially or fully, the workflow form based on said concepts and ties identified in part b. and thereby initiating workflow. The workflow forms may be in a variety of formats including but not limited to XML.

In certain embodiments, after the workflow is selected and form populated, it follows the workflow flow definition being directed to the proper recipient. Optionally, the original content of the unstructured data is also embedded in the form or attached for the further verification.

In a specific embodiment of the present invention, submitted content is preprocessed by a context processor and passed to a context extraction service which applies the rules of extraction by performing two steps analysis, heuristical and lexical. The result of this analysis is a set of the discovered concepts and their relationships called ties. The result set of this discovery/extraction phase is encoded. The encoded values are than compared to the context processor database for matching against the corpora of the workflow definitions and their ties. When potential match is found with the acceptable and reasonable, preconfigured and agreed confidence level, the context extraction service invokes passes to it the results of the matching phase to the passport which is responsible for invoking and executing designated workflow, filing proper form fields using discovered context and concepts. The cycle repeats itself for next submission.

The following are provided as a non-limiting illustrative example. An insurance company receives emails to a general email account or through a website portal from their clients/prospective clients relating to a variety of issues including but not limited to cancellations of policy; billing issue; issues with their insurance agent; requests for an insurance review; purchase additional protection and claim submission. Each one of the above issues has a different group that gets involved, and each issue has a different resolution workflow. For example, if the insurance company’s generic email account receives an email containing message about a client wanting to terminate insurance policy issued on his property. The system of the present invention processes the content and metadata of this email and identifies the main concepts as: policy; property; policy number and terminate. The system of the present invention ties the concepts such that it is determined that the email relates to desire to terminate policy on property.

The system of the present invention then triggers the cancellation policy workflow and populates the cancellation policy workflow form with the appropriate wording based on discovered concepts and metadata (including for example, customer information, policy information). The completed form is then automatically forwarded to the cancellation department.