How is artificial intelligence (AI) used for business optimization?

First published on February 2, 2022

Last updated at February 23, 2022

 

5 minute read

John Patrick Hinek

Growth

TLDR

Using AI in your business has the power to generate better predictions based on data, customize the user experience, and automate repeatable tasks.

Outline

  • Intro

  • Empowering better use of data

  • Personalized services

  • Automating business processes

  • Closing

Intro

Integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into a business plan can greatly improve productivity and reduce costs. AI once required a software team, great computational power to run the technology, and an expensive integration process. As AI continues to innovate and develop, more AI-powered SaaS tools have been developed. Using AI in business practices has never been more accessible and affordable. AI has a nearly endless amount of possible use cases, but thrives in a few main areas to support general business needs: empowering better use of data, offer more personalized services, and automating business processes.

Empowering better use of data

Any company with an online presence has access to data that can help them make more informed business decisions. Many companies aren’t utilizing their data productively as collecting, analyzing, and applying such large amounts of data can be a complicated process.

Traditional approaches to data analysis have not been able to keep up with the scale at which data is generated in today’s market. When it comes to data analysis, technology driven by AI and machine learning (ML) have proven to exceed the speed, scale, and detail performed by humans. According to

Forbes

, the combination of AI and data can automate 80% of manual work, 70% of data processing work, and 64% of data collection tasks.

AI thrives in finding patterns within data. For businesses, these AI/ML algorithms can be used to make predictions analyzing different patterns within customer, employee, or market data. These AI-generated predictions can then be used to make more educated business decisions to address challenges and new opportunities. For businesses of any size, an AI-driven strategy will be to the benefit of every sector within the organization.

Personalized services

Companies with better knowledge of their data have a better understanding of what their customers are asking for. While overarching customer trends will appear, every customer will have their own unique way of interacting with a product. Businesses can cater to an individual’s interests by offering a customized experience generated with AI and customer’s data.

Serving your customer a personal experience based on their needs and interests is a great way to keep your customer base engaged with your product. To keep up with market trends, more businesses need to be using AI to make these customized decisions. Businesses successfully using this technology are Amazon, Instagram, and Netflix through their recommendation engines.

These tech giants use recommendation engines by taking users’ past behavior and predicting what new goods or content they are most likely to engage with. ML algorithms measure what users are currently viewing and how strong their engagement with it is. With so many goods and content on heavily trafficked websites, it’s essential to integrate a more personalized user experience.

(Source: Towards AI)

Netflix has a collection of thousands of shows and movies. Without an algorithm pushing recommended content onto users, they would likely be lost looking through all of their options, thus becoming less engaged with the website. Instead, Netflix applies an ML algorithm onto their data to determine what is the best content to serve to an individual customer.

Automating business processes

AI is being used across organizations to improve workflow and make for more efficient operations. Across a product’s life through the supply chain, AI is being used to build, package, and ship. We see this take place on a large scale in manufacturing as robotics are being heavily deployed in the building and operating process. From there, inventory, shipping, and delivery can all be automated to make sure the product is going to get where it needs to go with maximum accuracy and efficiency.

Amazon claims to use AI at every stage of their operating process. When a customer buys a product from Amazon, a bot is sent through the fulfillment center to map the most efficient way to collect that product and deliver it to an employee who is packaging. Depth sensing and object recognition are used in these robots to ensure that the right product is being selected.

(Source: Homemadetools.net)

A fear of AI is that it will replace human powered operating and take away jobs. When put into action, AI’s ability to automate business processes allows employees to focus on more complex tasks which require the human mind. In conversation with

CNN

, senior product manager at Amazon Robotics, Belinda Worley, said “we’ve increased their (fulfillment center associates) efficiency. And it really gives them the ability to work on different tasks. And we’ve actually grown our associate employment throughout the globe”

A company doesn’t have to be on Amazon’s scale to implement AI in automating business processes. Robotic process automation (

RPA

) uses software robotics to automate nearly any repetitive task. RPA has become even more powerful as speech recognition software, ML, and natural language processing (NLP) have all been incorporated into RPA products. RPA can be used across industries in tasks like generating a response to an email to helping take over the employee onboarding process.

Closing

Integrating AI into business and operating processes is essential for staying competitive in today’s market. AI’s ability to empower better data usage, offer personalized services, and automate business processes will make for a more productive and efficient workforce.

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