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Machine Learning 101: What Can It Do For Your Business?

Once considered science fiction, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are becoming more common in our everyday lives, from smart cars to smart phone assistants.

The number of organizations who reported using AI technology (or considering it for the near future) was 37% in 2019, meaning that more than one in three organizations consider AI to be an important part of their business plans.

By implementing AI strategies, business owners have the opportunity to harness the cyberpower of machine learning to improve their business insights and streamline operations.

 

What is machine learning?

You may have heard the term ‘machine learning’, but do you know how it differs from AI?

Although AI and machine learning are sometimes used interchangeably, they are slightly different.

  • AI reflects the concept of creating intelligent machines who can simulate the human experience through the way they think and behave.
  • Machine learning refers to the practice of allowing machines to learn from data, identify patterns, and make basic decisions with minimal human programming.

Machine learning is most commonly used to identify patterns and to extract meaning from large data sets. 

Everyday examples of machine learning include the recommendations that your Netflix or Spotify accounts make based on your activity, banks detecting suspicious card activity based on your previous purchases, and companies analysing how their customers talk about them online. 

Let’s take a look at how machine learning could benefit your business: 

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3d rendering robot learning or machine learning with education hud interface

  • Investigate industry trends

When you’re running a business, you need to know about the trends that are occurring in your industry, whether any new competitors are on the scene, and how you could streamline operations based on the best practices.

By using a reputable service such as Nexis DaaS, you can access an expansive source of data, allowing you to identify what people are saying about your industry or competitors, understand relevant risks, and stay abreast of any industry innovations.

This information could help you to identify brands to partner with, understand who your competitors are, and strengthen your own position in the market. 

In a smaller business, where research into operational changes and growth opportunities may be time-consuming, machine learning is an accessible option to help your business make informed decisions without the necessity of expensive human analysis. 

  • Identify behavioural concerns

Machine learning can be used to identify changes in customer behaviour, or any unconscious biases in business.

If your business allows clients to make online purchases, then machine learning algorithms could be applied to your systems in order to identify and prevent fraudulent activity. Machine learning can study a customer’s previous behaviour, in order to understand when activity on their account could be deemed unusual.

Some behavioural patterns are unconscious, and might not be recognized without the application of machine learning. 

Machine learning could help your HR team to understand if there are any unconscious biases in their hiring decisions, allowing you to take concrete steps to ensuring that your workplace is benefiting from a diverse range of professionals. 

  • Improve customer experience

A common use of machine learning—which has been rapidly adopted by major players in the business world—is personalized marketing. Recent studies show that personalized marketing can increase revenue at your business by 38%. Machine learning can identify your customers’ behaviour when interacting with your brand, and show them personalized ads based on this. 

Personalized marketing options are becoming widely available; a good example is Facebook, who allows you to target your marketing campaign towards users with certain interests, locations, and patterns of behaviour. 

Machine learning can also help you to understand how to better attract and retain customers, by analysing data on customer conversions, behavioural patterns of current customers, and where potential customers are abandoning their sales.

  • Improve productivity

The potential benefits of AI and machine learning in the workplace are expansive, with some AI even being used to enforce social distancing. One of the more common uses of machine learning is to streamline business operations, and to limit the amount of time that employees are spending on mundane tasks.

Basic tasks such as information and data processing are generally able to be completed via machine learning, and could free up employees to work on more complicated tasks. Recent statistics indicate that 29% of total task-hours in the workplace are currently completed by machine learning, with this number expected to increase to 42% within the next 4 years, based on current trends.

57% of employers in a recent study reported that their main goal in using automation was to increase employee performance and productivity, with 15% of employers investing in machine learning to reduce human error in basic tasks. 

 

Conclusion

Machine learning can empower you as a business owner to streamline your business processes, or confidently plan your next move based on market trends, without time-consuming and expensive research reports.

If you’d like to reduce human error, improve customer experience, and have access to a huge library of data for industry trend analysis, you should consider the benefits of machine learning for your business.

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