For the past few years we’ve seen big data and machine learning take more of a foothold in companies, with many believing the era of artificial intelligence (AI) is here.
What is clear is that with advances being made on an almost daily basis now, businesses need to prepare for a vastly different future. But, in order to take advantage, some companies may need to make a dramatic adjustment in how they work.
At the moment, for many companies, AI and big data are viewed in a way that limits the potential they have to offer. They are often seen as something that can help cut operational costs, rather than as a fundamental approach for generating increases in productivity, output and improved certainty over corporate direction.
In order for AI and big data to be successful, companies must combine them with business expertise and insight – making it something the C-suite can’t ignore.
Expanding the use of these technologies can help a business’s leaders answer some big business and organisational questions – and deep domain expertise is a vital part of that.
To ensure businesses get the most out of big data and AI, here are some tips for the C-suite to follow.
Stay ahead of the curve
The success of today’s AI is predicated on big volumes of data. The more data it receives, the smarter it becomes. And businesses continue to generate data at exponential rates.
This combination dramatically improves the ability to analyse, asses and predict not only the traditional areas scrutinised by company leaders — such as revenue, spend and sales — but also to bring together a range of data sets from internal and external sources to generate new sources of insight and prediction. As a result, the C-suite will be able to anticipate potential issues or opportunities that may arise.
Allowing the technology to take care of these steps — which have until recently been the responsibility of number-crunching teams — should enable better and faster decision making. Or even validate decisions the technology suggests leading to an increase in strategic thinking.
Review your processes
As companies begin to make this shift, one of the initial steps for businesses will be to take an overall review of their organisation to determine which functions would benefit from big data and AI solutions.
There will be business gaps that can be filled. Staff will need to be retrained, and processes will have to be adjusted to take advantage of the new environment that’s been created.
One example of how this concept can be put into action is security. Many companies are struggling to deal with the multitude of threats out there at the moment and struggle to establish clear protocols to protect their assets.
MIT developed an AI based system which detects over 85% of attacks by reviewing data from billions of log files entries each day. Over time it learns attack patterns, continuously improving its ability to predict threats.