I'm helping a friend who needs assistance in automating part of his job, but not sure how to start.

He's working in a bidding department inside a construction company, and preparing the bidding documents takes a lot of his time.

The part which needs automating is parsing the received requirements for a project and transforming them into SKUs for which he has a price. These requirements are not in a predefined format, are usually in excel files, and many times are not in same phrase format(i.e. "Need 10 product 1"/"10*product 1") and sometimes have different names for the same SKU.

I was looking at key feature extraction as part of text analytics, but I'm not sure it's the right way to proceed, and I think there should be an app which does this type of parsing.

Any ideas on or how to proceed?

If I posted in the wrong category, let me know and I'll mote the question to a more appropriate category.

Thanks, George

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