AI might bring to mind near-future sci-fi films or megacorps with trillion-dollar bottom lines, but the truth is that it’s become cheap and ubiquitous enough that even SMEs can easily take advantage of it. Despite its imposing name, AI is a solid, high-impact tool that’s great for helping humans perform everyday tasks more efficiently and effectively – improving productivity, reducing human error, and creating new growth opportunities.
How AI Can Benefit Your Business
AI presents numerous opportunities for today’s businesses by allowing human employees to do more, see more, and know more. Businesses that incorporate AI into their operations leverage benefits such as:
- Automation. AI can automate routine, repetitive tasks such as placing calls or summarizing documents, freeing humans to perform more challenging tasks. This delivers time, cost, and operational savings.
- Trend-spotting. AI excels at parsing huge datasets to draw trends and make connections. This information can be used to make adjustments or to inform business development.
- Reduced human error. AI not only works more quickly than humans but is less likely to make run-of-the-mill errors due to miscalculations, fatigue, burnout, and so on. When coupled with a human QA system, errors are dramatically reduced.
- Customer experience. AI can quickly assess customer feedback and sentiment across social media, review sites and more, positioning businesses to offer an improved, more personalized customer experience.
- Lead generation. AI can mine customer habits, interests, and intent to identify those who are likely to convert – and ensure that they’re being targeted at the right point and in the right way.
- Cost optimization. AI can help businesses identify inefficiencies, reduce human workloads, reduce customer churn and predict market demand, therefore reducing costs and increasing revenues.
There are numerous industry-specific use cases for AI, from appointment booking to chatbots to compliance to reputation protection – and plenty of bespoke or off-the-shelf solutions that can deliver significant bang for your buck.
How to Incorporate AI into Your Business
Incorporating AI into your business comes with a caveat: and that’s that you should have a viable business case for its application. Using AI just because everyone else is can be an expensive lesson!
In general, situations that call out for an AI solution are those that:
- involve lots of data – usually too much for humans to handle
- involve repetitive work that can be automated
- can be overseen by a human “manager.”
If you’re considering incorporating AI into your business, it’s vital to do it the right way. Here’s how.
- Make the right business case. Consider the size of your business problem, the potential ROI, and how tailorable the proposed AI solution is to your needs. In some cases, a non-AI solution (like a spreadsheet!) or a hybrid AI/human solution might deliver more cost-effective results. In others, AI can deliver enormous opportunities.
- Make sure you have the right data. The size and quality of your datasets are critical to the performance of AI solutions. Gathering, “cleaning,” and labeling data is time-intensive but vital. Additionally, know that a very small dataset won’t necessarily yield the results you need – this can be a problem in highly niche fields or fields where important data exists behind “walls.”
- Use the right product. Myriad AI vendors are delivering different solutions built on a variety of approaches ranging from neural nets to NLP. Know that the “big name” vendors or those built on huge neural net models such as GPT-3 can be costly and might not deliver the right ROI for your problem. Ensure your vendor understands your problem and your goal and can offer a tailored, viable solution that makes sense from a cost and performance perspective.
- Plan for human oversight. Today’s AI isn’t going to replace humans. It works best when a human is there to interpret the data and make decisions accordingly. For optimal results, ensure that your AI solution allows for human intervention, oversight, and decision-making.
- Get human buy-in. Employees can be wary of AI if they don’t understand that it aims to augment their efforts, not replace them. Strive to get buy-in at all levels of your organization to ensure the best results.
We Can Help You With Your Business Problem
Have a business problem that you need help solving? Talk to the expert leadership team at StellaPop today about what kinds of solutions will deliver the most impact – whether it’s AI, an off-the-shelf package, or team capacity building. For more information, get in touch!