Smart, AI and Data walk into the room…what happens next?


I must say, as I continue to see the world abuzz by AI, the more I am not only drawn to the topic but also tend to come across various views and opinions around businesses not yet truly benefitting from AI – and with that – the industry perception around the AI ‘pipe dream’.

Of course, implementing any new technology revolution within any business – and getting it right – takes time, the right consultancy, business dedication and a skilled team. While it will take time (and some patience) to start truly seeing the benefits of AI in the business realm, and while many are still getting to terms with the AI phenomenon, I do believe that this ‘pipe dream’ connotation will fall away – especially for a business that focuses on being data smart!

I recently came across a piece of very valuable content that not only added to my pool of resources, but also sparked my thinking around what smart businesses of the future will look like.

The content piece I refer to above, defines a smart business as one that is “embracing AI in the effort to improve efficiencies, reduce operational costs and increase profitability”. This piece also goes on to define an AI-enabled smart business as one “where data and analytics are used to guide people and applications so that they continuously know the best action to take and when to take it dynamically.”

In looking back to my first blog post on the AI topic, I made a very clear point that the success of AI in any business is linked to the quality of the data that feeds the AI processes. I wanted to reiterate this point here, as building a business that is AI smart not only means leveraging AI functionality within the business, but requires the business to once again focus on their data, to achieve the right outputs.

Considering this, my view is that it comes down to asking the question of whether it is possible for a business in the future to be smart or AI enabled, if it is not data driven?

Tougher economic climates coupled with the need to remain relevant in a very competitive business environment has resulted in businesses placing massive focus on being able to identify and fix any issues within their operations. And traditional BI has been a tremendous technology in terms of achieving this.

However, the future will need a more prescriptive view – not only predicting the risks before they happen to avoid possible downfall but outlining the reasons why the prediction has occurred. This growing need for prescriptive analytics will require a business of the future that is not only smart, but places immense value in its data and with that, utilises AI to achieve business best practices, results and future growth.

In closing, if a business’s data foundations are solid, if the business has the right processes in place to truly harness the power of its data and if the business values data as much as it should – then there should be nothing stopping the business from being a smart, data driven and AI enabled dream machine – ready to leapfrog the competition to achieve great future business success!

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