Since its emergence in the mid-20th century as a subfield of computer science, artificial intelligence (AI) has evolved from basic tasks like devising strategies for checkers games and solving algebra problems to an expansive field with applications throughout the arts, sciences, and business. As AI has become more accessible, companies are seizing on the opportunities artificial intelligence offers to improve operations and increase profits. This article will give an overview of how AI is helping businesses, particularly in productivity, customer service, ideation, improving sales, and data mining.
Demystifying Artificial Intelligence
If you have used a website’s chat feature to speak with customer care or perused a streaming service’s personalized recommendations, you have already encountered AI. However, the reaches of this ever-evolving technology extend far beyond automated chat responses and customized movie picks.
Artificial intelligence is the science of designing machines and software to think like humans and perform complex tasks, such as analyzing data. A subfield of AI called “machine learning” uses algorithms to improve AI functionality without programming the software with new functions. The bottom line is that machine learning simulates the human brain’s capacity for connecting information and refining results to produce increasingly sophisticated outputs.
AI is pivotal in business because it analyzes vast datasets, extracting insights and enhancing decision-making across various industries. For instance, AI aids the retail sector by personalizing consumer recommendations and forecasting sales trends. Additionally, financial services companies employ AI for fraud detection and algorithm-directed trading.
So, how is AI helping businesses? Using AI in your organization can be a practical application of the old adage, “work smarter, not harder.”
Top 5 Ways to Leverage AI in Business
Whatever your technological proficiency level, incorporating AI into your business can be a momentous decision. However, many of the perks of artificial intelligence lie in critical areas that have likely been crucial for your business since day one. Here are five ways this rapidly developing technology can help your company:
1. Boost Productivity
Using machine learning, AI can perform complex calculations that would otherwise take a human much longer. This ability reduces errors in data processing and saves time, which ultimately helps your bottom line. With AI technology assistance, you can streamline tasks like writing web copy and producing sales reports. However, the productivity benefits of AI extend beyond directly automating processes and cutting labor costs. For instance, in manufacturing, AI-powered predictive maintenance can analyze equipment sensor data to forecast maintenance needs, reducing downtime if a crucial piece of equipment breaks down.
2. Enhance Customer Service
Companies can offer immediate, consistent customer support through AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants, even outside regular working hours. Natural language processing enables AI systems to understand and respond accurately to customer inquiries, reducing response times and increasing customer satisfaction. AI can also analyze customer data, such as demographics and purchase histories, to identify trends and preferences. With this information, your business can tailor its products and services to meet customer needs better.
3. Fuel Ideation and Innovation
Whether you’re an industry veteran or a new entrepreneur, you need fresh ideas to stay viable in the market. AI empowers businesses across sectors to make data-driven decisions to foster continuous growth and advancement. For instance, in real estate development, AI can aggregate vast amounts of historical data and market indicators to predict property value trends and enable well-informed investments.
4. Improve Sales Strategies
AI can enhance sales strategies by identifying trends and preferences from vast customer data. This technology can target high-potential leads with personalized product recommendations, improving conversion rates and moving consumers more quickly through the sales funnel. Businesses can also use AI for dynamic pricing, which leverages market data to update prices in real time, maximizing revenue and increasing your business’s competitive edge. Additionally, predictive analytics can optimize inventory management, ensuring your products are available when and where they’re most in demand.
5. Unleash the Power of Data Mining
Data mining involves using advanced algorithms to analyze large volumes of data and extract valuable insights. When automated with AI, data mining can help you uncover customer preferences, such as the time of year in which a particular product’s sales are highest, enabling targeted marketing campaigns and product offerings. Data mining can also spotlight operational inefficiencies, like resource wastage, to reduce costs and enhance productivity. Whichever application you choose for AI-driven data mining, the technology can often reveal opportunities even the best-trained professionals may miss.
Getting Started with AI
No matter your level of technical savvy, adopting new equipment and processes for your business can present challenges. Here are several tips for deciding if AI can help your business and general considerations about the field’s development.
Assess Your Needs
You know your business best, so you likely have a few ideas about where AI can streamline processes and aid growth. Once you’ve decided to enlist AI, these tips can help you pinpoint where the technology can be most effective and avoid common pitfalls:
- Identify Your Goals and Challenges: Your priorities could be to increase revenue, improve customer satisfaction, or reduce operational costs.
- Evaluate Existing Processes: Time-consuming, repetitive, or resource-intensive areas could all be ripe for AI implementation.
- Assess Your Data: AI is only as good as the data it receives, so assess whether you have the data required to train and feed AI algorithms. This could include customer data, transaction history, inventory records, etc.
- Gather Customer and Employee Feedback: Customers and employees have unique insights about your business, so consider surveying them about areas where AI can improve their experiences.
- Consult AI Experts: For additional peace of mind, you can enlist AI consultants to offer insights into how AI can benefit your business, such as technical feasibility, cost, and employee training.
A Peek Into Implementation
Technological advancements, especially ones that challenge social norms, are often accompanied by fear and mistrust. However, just as the telephone, photography, and the automobile became integrated into daily life, AI will likely continue pervading society. Although there are many ethical dilemmas in artificial intelligence—for instance, cybercriminals may use it to create fake data and more robust viruses—entrepreneurs using AI can help leverage the technology for the greater good.
Although AI has evolved exponentially in recent years, we are still in the infancy of this transformative technology. In its current form, AI is a helpful tool for businesses looking to increase value and stand out from the pack in their sector. Whether you’re interested in boosting productivity, enhancing customer service, fueling ideation, improving sales strategies, or maximizing the power of data mining, making AI work for your business can be a wise investment in your company’s future. Stay tuned to the Viking Blog for individual deep dives into the five ways we mentioned to leverage AI for your business.
When discussing adding value to and helping your business, we must emphasize that the most vital assessment of your business is a formal valuation. A professional business valuation will provide a wealth of information about your business’s current status and actionable insight for maximizing opportunities. Contact Viking today for a no-cost consultation. We offer confidential business valuations for qualifying companies.