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7 Ways Data Has Transformed Business

October 23, 2019 | All About Data | No Comments

Data in Business

Today’s businesses aren’t new to data. For decades we’ve seen them keep track of their expenses, sales, customer base, etc. But, only until recently has data moved from being a source of bare information to a haven of actionable insights.

What is Data

Credit for popularizing the usage of data and the coinage of the term “Big Data” arguable goes to McKinsey Global Institute’s May 2011 report. The report cites Big Data as “the next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity.”

Businesses today understand data, and they’re quickly exploring creative ways to make the most of what’s at hand. Data has transformed businesses to the extent where ignoring its importance is a regretful strategy.

Let’s take a look at how various businesses are benefitting from the power of data:

Retail

The first evident benefactors of data are the retail industry, online retail in particular. E-commerce sites harness their data’s capabilities to understand customers better and employ a strategy that improves their retail experience, thus increasing their odds of spending more and increasing profits.

For example, retailers can keep track of their product shelf, and differentiate the successful products from their loss-making counterparts. With this knowledge, retailers can plan to replace unsuccessful products with new additions, and zero-in on the types of products that are making the business the most money.

Financial services

Financial institutions can use data for use cases beyond stock market analysis and large ticket trading. Banks are using big data to create credit scores that reflect the card holder’s behavior in the most accurate fashion possible. Fraudulent transactions can be identified by understanding the data-backed trends of similar earlier transactions. Employing data in their operations allows financial services firms to make the business of money efficient and safer than ever.

Education

Educational institutions are using data to identify areas of learning difficulty, research better learning strategies, and adjusting syllabi based on what’s trending in the industry.

Students can be understood in a way that objectively provides a road-map to their success in academia. Courses can be planned by online education aggregators using data on each course’s adoption, and they can zero-in on the successful courses and eliminate or replace sub-par ones..

Healthcare

Hospitals and drug manufacturers are using big data to track patients’ symptoms, find new medicines, and avoid preventable deaths. Most recently, data enthusiasts have been using data to track the spread of pandemics such as the coronavirus. Drug manufacturers are also using data to discover new medicines by guiding scientists to potential organic raw materials and sources.

Agriculture

Data helps traditional industries such as agriculture too! Farmers can use data to monitor crop growth and predict the influence of factors such as weather, pesticides, and the market for selling their crops. Also, online forums exist wherein farmers across the globe can show source data on agricultural activities to improve information reach and insight-based decision making.

Sports

For decisions wherein referees could go wrong, data can stay right. Sports are using data to ensure gameplay stays fair, by understanding the trends and the movements behind fouls and violations. 

Public safety

Governments, more law-enforcement, have started using data to analyze trends in crime. It also has the potential to be used for identifying missing individuals and victims of criminal activities such as human trafficking, drug dealing, etc.

Conclusion

With growing use cases, there is no excuse for businesses not taking advantage of this information revolution. Gone are the days where business leaders had to rely on their gut feelings. By harnessing data’s capabilities, businesses can understand the past, evaluate the present, and hack the future a lot closer to their favor.

Artificial Intelligence Applications

Artificial Intelligence is here to change the way humans interact with their world, and it’s poised to make life easier. Today, numerous applications of Artificial Intelligence for business solutions exist. From voice assistants playing music at our behest to phones unlocking themselves by viewing our faces, AI has shown us that the future is here.

AI is also here to make life simpler for employees and businesses. A lot of business processes are waiting to be automated, and data analytics is offering more insights than ever for decision making and identifying opportunities. AI can manage a company’s workflow and predict trends. 

There are a variety of applications for AI in business. Let’s do a rundown of the eight most popular ones:

Serve your customers better

Every business needs to keep its customers happy and satisfied. They also need to know how to empathize and deal with unhappy ones. A strong customer base is integral to a business’s success, and AI is making it easier to achieve this. 

Applications of Artificial Intelligence for business

Businesses can use conversational AI to provide a personalized platform for customer interaction. Customers love immediate responses, and research exists to back this up. Econsultancy reports that 79% of customers prefer to chat with a customer support rep to solve issues and queries.

Businesses can employ chatbots to make sure customers always have someone to go to instantly if and when there’s a problem. Chatbots can handle simple queries and lead customers to a human support representative if the issue is complex. 

Predict online behavior

Understanding online customer behavior is essential to e-commerce. Factors such as product clicks, bounce rate, purchases, etc. determine the success or failure of products sold by online businesses.

Applications of Artificial Intelligence for business

Data analytics allows online businesses to study the data that they’ve captured. It’s a great way to understand which products are helping the business and also the ones that need to be discontinued. New products can also be launched if certain product categories are proving to be popular.

Machine Learning algorithms can track user behavior on websites. With the information collected, businesses can personalize a customer’s experience. Customers could be shown products that they are likely to buy. 

Optimize workflow

Manufacturing businesses can make use of computer vision to monitor factory operations. Such technology can measure employee productivity and the efficiency of processes. Industrial robots can replace repetitive tasks or tasks that eliminate possible human error.

Improve physical checkouts

With the help of computer vision, retail stores can save customers a lot of time while checking out. Computer vision cameras across store premises can identify customers and the items they pic. Once customers are done picking what they require, the retailer can send an invoice online, thus avoiding any reasons to wait in a long queue.

Strengthen your cybersecurity efforts

 Every business has data that needs to be protected. They generally store this data on common/public infrastructure, which makes the data more prone to cybersecurity attacks. 

Applications of Artificial Intelligence for business

Businesses can employ AI/ML to strengthen their cybersecurity efforts. They can use ML to detect malicious activities in data storage systems and improve human analysis, from detecting attacks of a malicious nature to endpoint protection. Also, businesses can automate mundane tasks, thus allowing less room for human error due to fatigue, and more accurate results.

Market yourself with data

With the help of AI and ML, advertising campaigns can be planned with less subjectivity and more data-backed decision making. AI models that can analyze the most successful advertisement campaigns of the past are available in the market (IBM Watson, for example). These models can study advertisement parameters such as audiences, click rate, transaction rate, overall spend, etc. 

Applications of Artificial Intelligence for business

AI can also identify and segment audiences that are most likely to respond to a certain ad positively. By understanding their audiences, ads creatives, while subjective in nature, can be provided with an objective touch, to increase conversions.

Today, most brands use AI to prepare their ad campaigns. Using data, ads of the future can learn from the past to hack the future in their favor.

Detect fraud and anomalies

The banking industry is a sensitive one since issues in this field affect customers more than any other industry. Now that we’ve got Big Data, banks and financial firms can now access data on customer spending habits. So, if bank officials observe any anomalies in any transaction from a customer’s bank account, they can alert customers.

AI-inspired fraud detection applications review a customer’s social media, employment statistics, high school & college education, etc. to determine whether their expenditures and financial activities are in sync. Businesses can continuously update such applications as customer data change, thus more accurately determining what accounts for financial fraud.

Predict outages

To execute any strategy successfully, the resources that aid the execution process need to be abundant. Outages can slow down industry processes and hamstring operations. 

AI can monitor teams and their inventory to determine whether a plan will be executed on time or not. Teams can be alerted if new additions need to be made to their inventory and if any resources aren’t being used effectively.

Applications of Artificial Intelligence for business - outages

For example, in a factory setup, monitoring storage locations allows businesses to identify missing items and raw materials that need to be replaced or replenished. These raw materials are crucial to the final product’s creation, and AI can ensure that any possible hurdles are taken care of.

Conclusion

Despite AI being in its nascent stage, it has already proven to be a technological juggernaut. In business, AI can improve manufacturing processes, reduce financial fraud, and improve marketing campaigns, among many other applications as discussed above. 

With extraordinary leaps made in machine learning and computer vision, it will be interesting and exciting to see AI developers discover new applications. We will definitely update this piece once further applications of Artificial Intelligence for business present themselves.