Machine Learning, a subset of Artificial Intelligence, may sound like technology from the future, but it is already in every day use, and not only among innovation leaders.
Thanks to digitalization of business processes, organizations command ever greater amounts of data, which, with the help of machine learning, can be used to automate work.
What is it?
"Machine learning"(ML) as a term, was first coined by Arthur Samuel, a pioneer in artificial intelligence and machine learning, in 1959. It basically means the ability for machines to learn and improve actions and results, without explicit programming.
It has taken more than 50 years for the technology to catch up with the concept, but artificial intelligence (AI) and ML have now become within reach of businesses - even the smallest ones.
How can my company benefit from it?
Utilising machine learning can quite a positive thing for businesses. Machine learning technologies are starting to be integrated into every industry due to a rapid drop in price as competitors have entered the market and open source frameworks have become more available. The ROI is high because these solutions save you time on mundane tasks and turn data into insight. Integrating AI into business processes can help ensure more timely and more accurate decision-making.
Here are 4 ways machine learning can benefit businesses of all sizes:
Marketing in a digital age requires an understanding of data, analytics, and automation.
Machine learning technology helps provide actionable insights and improve marketing decisions. By analyzing large volumes of data, ML will allow you to make fast and strategic decisions. This makes it possible to constantly analyze what is happening, for example, in the company’s sales or transaction system, and also to regularly monitor customer activity.
Any business with a digital presence, including a website, social media, or eCommerce store, probably has more data than they realize. Properly compiled and analyzed using AI and ML, that data can deliver results which identify future strategies with automated insights.
One of the best perks of ML is automating repetitive tasks and increasing productivity. Every hour saved is a big win when you have a small team. Tedious tasks such as creating appointment reminders, responding to email, sending billing notices, generating leads, and engaging on social media are some of the many tasks you can automate.
Chatbots are another great application of affordable ML solutions that provide better customer service and adaptive responses.
Overall, it can lead to reduction in staff costs, as it automates the more repetitive, often time-consuming activities, freeing up the teams that had been doing them to take up more profitable tasks without having to hire more staff.
Because machine learning tracks patterns in data, algorithms are great at identifying suspicious account behaviour and detecting fraud. These tools can be used in financial monitoring and network security as one example.
ML can be used to identify suspicious activities much faster than an employee. An ML-enabled security system can detect attacks and react when there is a breach of automated processes in the network and on premises.
Almost everyone interacts with ML daily through personalized suggestions on Netflix or iTunes. These kinds of predictions can also help to personalize ad campaigns and suggest next purchases for customers (e.g. “you might also like…”). By identifying patterns in user behaviour, ML allows you to determine which individual advertisements are most likely to be relevant to specific users. With ML, businesses can anticipate those needs using the large amount of data they have already collected about their customers and predict actions for your company to take that will make customers happier.
These are just some of the benefits, and there are many more and even more pertinent use cases per industry.
While ML will minimize data entry and other tasks, artificial intelligence can not replace human intuition, insight, nor relationships. Not at this time anyway.
Whatever industry you are in, machine learning can automate the menial and allow you to focus on the meaningful.