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How Can Machine Learning Fit in with Your Business

How Can Machine Learning Fit in with Your Business

June 18, 2024

Emerging technologies can help businesses attain their goals, but to do so, they need to understand how and when to leverage them. One of the fastest-growing technologies being used today is artificial intelligence. AI isn’t always what you may think it is, however. Many of today’s most useful tools for business are actually powered by something called machine learning. In this month’s newsletter, we will unpack machine learning and how it works inside a business.

What is Machine Learning?

Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence (AI) that enables systems to learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed. It involves using logic-based algorithms that can analyze data, recognize patterns, and make decisions with minimal human intervention.

How ML is Used

ML can be used in many different ways inside a business. It can improve any area where data is created—and especially where there is more data than you or your team can process. 

One of the most common ways is for use in the sales cycle. It’s common for potential customers to interact with your business in some way before they make a purchase or become recurring customers. ML algorithms can be used to analyze data and sort them into specific groups based on the information they provide your company. The cool part is that they can be sorted in many ways based on their behaviors while interacting with your digital platforms. This immediately makes it simple for organizations to tailor marketing strategies to individual customers. The more personalized your marketing is, the more engaged most potential customers will be.

This technology isn’t limited to individual interactions. With ML platforms, you can do a much more comprehensive job at forecasting future trends and tendencies of your customers, giving you more insight into their thoughts and giving you a leg up to tailor your sales strategies to gain sales and keep customers. ML can also be a big benefit in lead scoring. By reviewing available data, ML platforms can help identify metrics that stand out to increase your sales rates and get more meaningful and actionable conversations going.

Another great way to leverage ML is to smooth out operational efficiencies. Consider how helpful it would be if you could accurately predict demand for products so that you could maintain optimal inventory levels, but not to the point where you are left holding the bag on products you can’t sell.

ML tools can also handle many tasks. They are advanced enough to learn how to accurately complete the extremely tedious and boring things that your staff hates doing but are mandatory for your business to run fluidly. This can free up time for your staff to focus on revenue creation, and ML can typically get these tasks done in a fraction of the time that human employees can, with far more accuracy. 

Many companies are using ML to identify patterns in their stream of transactions to identify potential fraud. Nothing is a bigger headache for a business than angry customers, and nothing makes customers more angry than people trying to rip them off. If you can catch fraud early, it alleviates all potential headaches in this area.

How a Small Business Can Use Machine Learning

To use machine learning effectively, you need to have a plan. You should start by identifying the areas where ML can add value to your business. Consider the problems you face and the goals you want to achieve. Since data is the backbone of ML, gather relevant data from your business, such as sales records, customer interactions, and relevant financial transactions. You’ll want to ensure the data is clean and well-organized.

After choosing an ML platform, you’ll need to train and develop models. Pre-built models are available, but for the highest degree of effectiveness, you can create custom models that provide you with the clearest metrics to help you with organizational decision-making. Finally, you’ll deploy the ML model to your business processes. Continuously monitor its performance and make adjustments as needed. Collect feedback and use it to refine the model.

ML can be a great and useful tool for any business. For more information about ML and other emerging technologies, call First Column IT today at (571) 470-5594.

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