3 Ways AI/ML Benefits Businesses Across All Industries

AI has moved from "concept" to an integral part of business applications providing a wealth of productivity gains and insights.

In January, Fortune reported that 57% percent of companies said they were using AI/Machine Learning in at least one business function, up from 45% in 2020. Leveraging artificial intelligence enhances automation, decision-making capabilities, and streamlined data-driven processes, and has become a necessary component of business efficiency and success. AI has moved from a concept to an integral part of business applications providing a wealth of productivity gains and insights.

1While artificial intelligence can be used in many industry verticals to aggregate data, the main benefit to leveraging AI is the business intelligence it provides.

For example, business intelligence software solutions, or BI, can use artificial intelligence to automatically analyze and show trending data and actionable insights that previously took hours, if not days, to correlate. This function better enables easy access to data and analytics for users. Artificial intelligence used in BI software solutions can also make data easier to understand and analyze. For example, the Natural Language Query capability in BI software solutions can train the data to understand business language. This means users can ask questions about the data within their analytics platform by using everyday language, such as “what was our top-performing product this year?” further streamlining the process of making business decisions.

2AI is not just writing a language and using it, but rather leveraging platforms and processes that are already built to increase efficiency.

AI now allows us to perform tasks automatically that traditionally would have taken days of coding and human involvement. For example, public and private cloud applications can utilize machine learning to do menial tasks, where bots can fix issues in real-time based on the data. A real-world application of this is when a leading tire manufacturer implemented image recognition technology that used automation to take pictures of tires on a vehicle and measure the tread to determine if the consumer needed new tires. Many organizations are using AI in the Help Desk and Trouble Ticketing functions in computer networks to recognize network errors. Then, by automating a predetermined fix to common error codes, the issues are resolved more quickly.

3Applying artificial intelligence can provide cost-effective solutions to everyday problems.

In business functions like manufacturing and customer assistance, AI accelerates processes and saves companies time and money. Call centers, for example, have a huge demand for AI, as it can provide sentiment monitoring and real-time analytics. Across North America in 2016, the average ticket cost for call centers was $15.56, with a low of $2.93 and a high of $46.69. By using AI in the Service Desk, companies can automate many of these incidents and tickets without human intervention. For sentiment monitoring, supervisors traditionally would need to listen in on calls to determine when customers were being agitated to enact sentiment monitoring. Now, AI analysis will automatically alert and bridge-in managers only when needed. AI can also provide real-time analytics that streamlines customer assistance. The first point of contact is often a bot, who may be able to resolve the issue without any human interaction. Conversely, if the bot cannot solve the problem or answer the question, it provides the agent taking the call with all the information of the interaction thus far, saving time and money.

Historically, consuming and analyzing the quantity of data required for AI would be far too cumbersome for a single person. However today, the barriers to entry for AI are basically nonexistent because AI resources can be developed from existing platforms or systems. In many cases, AI has moved from being a complex programing language to in some cases a low-code platform. Developers don’t need to reinvent the wheel because the resources already exist. Resellers that can provide AI recommendations and strategies to automate and streamline, data-driven processes will continue to be in high demand as businesses look to maintain their competitive edge in 2022.

Ray Nelson

Ray Nelson is the senior vice president, technical sales and services for ScanSource.

Ray Nelson

Ray Nelson is the senior vice president, technical sales and services for ScanSource.