Overview

Providing proper help to engineering and design teams is an ongoing struggle. With the added complexity of newer software systems the amount of help required grows exponentially. Coupled with engineering calculations, variables required for specific designs and the amount of help documents we require is mind blowing.

Challenge

The idea was simple: How could we automate the search for help?

As everyone knows, reading Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) pages and endless forums is exhausting. Whether your searching for help on a complex software issue or looking to fix an old Harley, browsing page after page will wear you down.

Solution

We started by looking at some open source packages that could assist us in scraping our existing HTML FAQ pages and compiling them into a JSON file or full database table where we could query the results. This was possible of course but the queries were tough as there was no natural language framework to help sort the questions to answers but rather the question had to be extremely specific to get an answer back.

Fortunately, the Automationforce team sends endless hours perusing all of our partner sites and came across Microsoft Azure’s QnA maker and their bot service. We began to experiment.

Results

The result is shown in the video below.

We combined Microsoft Azure’s QnA maker with their bot service and were able to turn 3 large FAQ pages into a chatbot that can answer substation related questions. This only took two hours but we could imagine turning all of your engineering knowledge into this type of tool for your users and new employees. simply awesome.