Does Your Business Need Artificial Intelligence? | by Muhammed Khan | Nov, 2020

Photo by Amanda Dalbjörn on Unsplash

There is enough hype about AI today. Businesses across the globe continue to adopt AI to have a competitive advantage, reduce costs, and improve customer experience. But does your business really need an AI solution?

AI for Business

Artificial Intelligence is an algorithm that allows virtual machines to learn from experience automatically by recognizing patterns in the data, and adapt new information to solve particular problems.

AI Business Applications

Businesses apply AI for the following tasks:

  • Cyber Security — AI compares millions of transactions and distinguishing the difference between legitimate and fraudulent transactions
  • Data Security — The algorithm identifies patterns in data access, reporting anomalies, and predicting security breaches
  • E-commerce — AI analyzes the buyer purchase history and determining one’s preferences
  • Customer Support — AI-powered chatbots that can help users solve simple tasks and answer simple queries
  • Inventory Management — Smart algorithms analyze users purchases and finding out about the most popular products
  • CRM — By analyzing leads activity, AI prioritizes them and predicts the amount of profit each client might bright.
  • Financial Predictions — AI machines analyze patterns in buyers’ behavior to predict income and cash-flow.

How can AI help your Business?

High-Quality Data Collection — Artificial intelligence requires a large amount of high-quality data collected in the right way. Moreover, gathering high-quality data is an essential struggle for all AI specialists and data scientists. In this case, we talk not about the data accessible on the internet, but rather about data your company collects.

But, there is no particular answer to how much information your AI solution will need since. It depends on the complexity of your business problem and the complexity of the AI algorithm you are going to build.

Thus, if you decided to hire data scientists to build an AI algorithm, you need to make the following preparations:

  • Check out errors in the data. While AI algorithms can find insights from big data, they could not generalize the data format. For instance, if you did several misspells in a client’s name and still conclude that this is the one person, the AI algorithm doesn’t. In this case, AI machines will classify spelling variations as different persons, which impacts negatively on predictions.
  • Keep the data up to date. If you want your AI algorithm to make precise predictions and get really valuable insight, you should keep your data updates. It means that before using data for AI training, you need to delete all old and irrelevant information. Also, be sure that your data has no gaps, including missing outliers and values.
  • Use the unified format for data storing. To enable AI algorithms to learn from your data, you need to keep all the inputs in one format. If your business keeps data in different formats, like PDFs, Word docs, or physical documents, you need to convert it in the form of a searchable database.

Particular Business Problem to SolveIf you have maintained the way your business collects and stores data, the next step is to figure out what you want from an AI algorithm. It means that you need to define what business problem you want AI algorithms to solve. To give you a clue about the area you can improve with AI, we listed the three most common AI usages.

  • Bring value to existing products. An example is how Netflix leverages AI and Machine Learning for their recommender system. Machine Learning algorithms analyze the watching history of other users with similar tastes to recommend you the most exciting content. With such an approach, the company increased the number of paying users because users received a more engaging experience.
  • Make data-driven business decisions. You can apply AI to receive insights on how to control rent prices, optimize resource planning and demand forecasting, and even predict when a piece of equipment might break.
  • Automate business processes. Artificial Intelligent Algorithms are perfect for routine task automation because they analyze all available data for one specific task, and they are good at it. If you want to find out what processes you can automate with AI, think about your business processes that are rich in data. Also, consider processes when your employees have to search through and analyze significant amounts of data.

Culture of Innovations The culture of your company also defines whether you are ready to implement AI or not. For example, industry leaders such as Facebook, Netflix, Spotify, and others that leverage AI, have a track record of innovations. Thus, you need to value your data as a driver of changes.

  • AI-friendly corporate strategy. Some businesses want to implement AI just for AIs’ sake without having a well-though corporate strategy. In this case, enterprises receive long, drawn-out projects that never bring actual value. To avoid this, you need to be sure that your business strategy is flexible to make AI a central element.
  • Measurable results. Before implementing AI technology, you should think about the way you will evaluate the efficiency and results of AI algorithms. In this way, setting metrics will demonstrate the technology’s return on investment.
  • The margin for error. It would be best if you considered that sometimes Artificial Intelligence does not work in the way it should. Thus, you should rely on AI algorithms from the very implementation and be okay with spending extra budget on data scientists who will maintain the algorithm during the post-launch period.

Key takeaways

AI is a great tool that might bring many benefits to the business. However, it is not a “one size fits all” solution.

Before considering AI for small business, you should consider the following:

  • If your business produces very little data, AI is not your tech solution of choice. To learn, work properly, and give you valuable insights, AI needs a vast amount of data.
  • Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning is not magic, but math. Thus, do not consider those technologies as silver bullets to make your business earn more.
  • If you have a small company that does not produce big data, you should not think that an AI algorithm will help you to earn more.
  • To adopt AI to your business, you need to have structured data, clearly defines business problems, and flexible corporate strategy.

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