7 Ways Artificial Intelligence Can Streamline Your Business Operations
Artificial intelligence (AI) can aid a business in many ways. From automating routine tasks and guarding against cybersecurity threats, to organizing financial data and offering insights into customer behaviors, AI has become a vital tool in the business world. However, not all business leaders are aware of these possibilities. According to the Brookings Institution, a survey of approximately 1,500 American business leaders showed that only about one of every five was familiar with AI.
AI often gets mentioned in the same sentence as its sister science, machine learning. Artificial intelligence programs use algorithms to change their analysis and processes based on each new piece of information that they receive. As a result, AI applications are capable of producing more accurate results and more-streamlined processes without human intervention.
Artificial intelligence has uses in a variety of settings, including healthcare, government, law enforcement, and finance. In business, AI offers different opportunities for companies and organizations who want to streamline their operations, enhance efficiency, and improve profitability. Below are seven ways that AI can help businesses streamline their operations.
Identify New Opportunities
AI can help businesses collect and analyze data in a way that makes new opportunities more obvious. In other words, AI helps companies use their data as an asset.
For example, data may show that customers use a product or service because of a specific feature or trait. This insight, gleaned from data collected by AI, could lead to the development of other products or services that offer the same features. Because AI has already defined a specific demand, the company can focus its product development on a particular area. They can pursue this opportunity with a reasonable amount of confidence because they already know that demand exists.
AI can also help with the pricing of a product or service. An AI program looks at different variables and sees how much customers would be willing to pay for a product or service based on existing purchase data and competitor pricing. Businesses with e-commerce operations can go even further and create personalized pricing systems that could list prices depending on the past shopping, viewing, and purchasing data of an individual shopper. It would be nearly impossible to track each customer’s activities manually. Features such as individualized pricing would be unavailable without the help of artificial intelligence.
Strengthen Decision Making
AI can strengthen decision making by organizing data so that it provides meaningful insights related to pending decisions. This additional information can help stakeholders make informed choices based on as much information as possible.
Such informed decision-making can happen in a variety of situations. For example, a company could use AI applications to identify customer trends or patterns within their industry. They would then make recommendations or decisions that take advantage of these trends or patterns. AI algorithms can also provide forecasts and data-driven predictions. A company can use these to foresee potential problems. Though the issues may not materialize, the company can take steps to prepare for them.
One of the advantages of AI is that it can offer more focused and detailed forecasts with the addition of more data. Therefore, a company can adjust its problem-solving strategies as the situation evolves.
With well-organized and detailed information from AI and machine learning tools, executives and other decision-makers can adjust their strategies and make decisions faster. In some cases, the data mined and organized by a program can make a decision obvious. Business data applications can visualize data so that the decision-maker can provide others in the company with information and data that support their choices and convince others that the decision that they made is the correct one.
In addition to predicting problems, forecasting can also help companies predict the demand for specific products. These predictions can inform inventory decisions and tell stores how much of the product to stock to meet demand without having to deal with excess inventory.
AI can automate a wide range of tasks that would otherwise take time and require extra employees and resources. In addition to manufacturing operations, such programs can also help in areas including customer service and human resources. Artificial intelligence can sort applications and resumes during a company’s hiring process. An AI application can choose specific applicants based on experience, education, and other factors. These programs can also forward resumes to a particular department based on keywords within the application or CV.
These tools can handle the first phase of the application review process so that hiring managers can focus on preselected candidates that already fit their criteria for a position. AI can also streamline basic tasks in the customer service realm. A program can use email, voice, or chat data to make an initial assessment of a customer’s needs. In many cases, the program can address a variety of common problems and issues without requiring the customer to talk to a customer service representative.
When human communication is still necessary, the customer service program can forward the call or chat to a customer service representative who can streamline the interaction because the AI tool has already collected much of the information that they need to address the customer’s concerns.
In both human resources and customer service settings, AI can help streamline processes and emphasize efficiencies.
Cut Costs, Maximize Spending Efficiency
AI-informed personalization can lead to increased sales and decrease customer loss for subscription sites. Netflix, for example, claims to save about $1 billion annually because its personalization features keep some customers from canceling their subscriptions by helping them find additional content to watch.
Companies like Netflix use AI to enhance customer experiences. The online streaming service uses AI algorithms to make personalized recommendations for each customer based on their viewing preferences and history. The more the customer uses an informational, e-commerce, or entertainment site, the more data AI can collect to personalize their experience.
AI can also provide similar savings to businesses in other industries. For example, in manufacturing, companies can use AI to automate specific tasks. With fewer employees and a streamlined process, they can minimize production costs.
Finally, machine learning programs can assess current operations and help find potential areas for efficiency improvements. Once these improvements get put in place, a company can maximize their spending efficiency and get the most out of their operations budget.
Improve Data Security
Data security is one of the most critical issues for companies in today’s business world. Cybersecurity improvements involving AI can take place on several fronts. Tools like two-factor authentication or authentication apps with changing passwords help guard against hackers trying to enter your system, even if they’ve stolen someone’s password.
AI applications can also continuously search your system for evidence of code manipulation, viruses, malware, or other things that could signal a security breach. Searching for this type of activity manually or with a program that does not include AI is time-consuming, and may result in missed breaches. Machine learning is vital in this area because cybersecurity threats evolve, so security programs need to be able to improve and adjust their operations based on new data about threats and hacking trends.
Cloud-based computing can also help enhance security. The primary advantage of a cloud system is that, since the system gets accessed remotely, a group of people and software can handle security for the entire company. They can monitor all users and devices and handle any security issues quickly. A company with its own servers in different locations would need different security teams and setups to offer the same level of protection. In addition to providing more security, a cloud-based system can help you significantly cut security costs by streamlining operations.
Additionally, artificial intelligence can help companies ease the complicated process of migrating their data and operations to the cloud. Once you have made the switch, your company can use specialized cloud-based services and AI tools to ensure cybersecurity and enhance and streamline cloud-based processes.
Enhanced Customer Satisfaction and Personalization
Netflix, e-commerce sites, and search engines can use AI to retain customers, keep them on the site, and advertise relevant products based on their viewing and purchase histories. AI can also work for other customer service processes. For example, chatbots can provide basic customer service and solve common issues without requiring any human interaction.
Cloud-based servers can allow companies to collect data from a variety of sources and store it in one easily accessible place. Anyone involved in customer service can access relevant data, and the company can centralize customer service and customer relationship management (CRM) activities.
Foster Better Communication
AI can allow for more streamlined communications between businesses, clients, employees, and customers. It can also organize and visualize data to inform these interactions. In some cases, AI tools can collect, arrange, or call up data in real-time so that the business can have it on hand to better communicate with their customer, client, or employee.
In a cloud-based system, everyone involved in a project or discussion can access the same data sets. Because of such access, the combination of AI and cloud computing can help drive innovation and streamline the development process because everyone has easy access to all the data that they need to make decisions and organize projects.
Cloud-based data systems also allow for streamlined data collection. Employees can access the data in one place, but AI can also access additional information from each of the employees or other data sources in different locations. It can then centralize and organize this data in a way that makes it useful for a development team.