What is AI and how can it be used in business?
Artificial intelligence (AI) uses computer systems to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. AI is being used in many different areas of business, including customer service, product development, and strategy. Amazon creating an AI assistant. Image source. We’re increasingly surrounded by technology which depends much more on the human brain than most people realize.
AI is capable of highly sophisticated tasks, like determining bite frequency, emotion, and mood. The advent of AI and the ability of smart technology to perform such tasks makes it important not to think of AI as just a buzzword. Instead, think of AI as a new way of interacting with the world, a new industry, and a new way of thinking about generating revenue.
AI in real estate
The stock market is made up of thousands of individual companies, each representing a different type of company. Some companies are publicly traded, like Apple, Facebook, and Google, while other companies are private, like AirBNB, Uber, or Yelp.AI technology makes it possible for you to provide your real estate clients with access to information that is historically only available to the top companies in your niche.
To continue our conversation from the previous point, one of the biggest companies using AI is Amazon. While they purchased Match.com (and now, the data used to provide the matches) from the founders of that company one decade ago, AI allows Amazon to provide housing recommendations to their avid audience of home buyers. However, the most talked-about use of AI is real estate. Using AI can allow real estate pros to gain an advantage over their real estate competitors.
To add to the list of important uses of AI, I would like to quickly discuss another area where AI is already showing its importance.
AI to grow your business
Artificial intelligence is a big buzzword that’s floating around your industry and has been for a few years now. But what are you supposed to do with it? Well, among other things, you can use AI to help grow your business in a number of different ways.
Data analysis and optimization: I admit I’ve been in and out of this game a lot lately as my job really has shifted away from “executing” and more towards “fluidly analyzing” and setting targets for our team of digital strategists and inbound team members. That said, there are still many case studies that show how smart and thoughtful people can make their businesses faster and perform better. One of my favorite examples to show off about this specifically is Home Depot’s “Machine Learning for Optimization” project.
This project used a database of dimensions (things like measurements, colors, and even temperatures) that they’ve collected over 7,500 times per year. Using their machine learning AI, they were able to automatically identify certain colors and heights within these collections, as well as optimize which colors and heights get used more frequently.
Why did they do this? Not to optimize a specific offer or any sales goals. Not really. It was to simply set a more strategic direction to their business and now, they’re really better off than they were with the previous direction they’d been headed.
how to implement an AI strategy within your business
There are four main components of an AI strategy:
1. Identify areas in which AI can add value to your business. AI can help your business in many areas, such as sales, marketing, finance, HR, and customer support.
2. Choose the right AI tool for your business. It’s important to determine whether an ANT tool (such as an EDA, CPA, or CRM) is appropriate for your business model before deciding on the tool platform.
3. Make sure the data is present. For example, if you are planning to utilize a point-in-time omnichannel solution like Alchemy Payments, make sure the transactional data is already collected and integrated in with the system, as it will be essential to analyze subsequent trends.
4. Build a working model. Once you’ve defined your goals and restrictions, let the AI system work with you to build a model that incorporates your data. Your model includes key assumptions, parameters, and outputs. It will serve as the foundation of your decision making around AI, both in the short and long run.
Which areas of AI can add value to your business? 25% of shoppers think that AI will positively impact items ordered online. 35% of B2B (business-to-business) shoppers think that AI will positively impact products purchased at brick-and-mortar stores. 63% of B2C (business to consumer) respondents agree that AI is likely to positively impact the shopping experience at brick-and-mortar stores. YouTube advertising as an example.
Here’s a business scenario using YouTube advertising. Let’s say you make products available for sale through YouTube channels. You decide to utilize coupon codes on some of your videos to drive relevant traffic to your YouTube store. To make your videos as valuable as possible, you decide on shaping the message to the product within the video. For instance, you want to emphasize unique and useful attributes of the product, and more photo resources on how to care for the product. In addition, to drive different types of purchasers to your store, you add a “how to care for” video to the end of each video.
How does machine learning differ from AI?
Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence. It is essentially a computer program that uses data to learn how to perform a task, instead of having people program in a series of instructions and it uses algorithms to find patterns in data and then make predictions based on those patterns.
For example, a simple classifier may find that a certain search result contains more exact matches to a list of terms: its initial starting point would be data about these terms and relationships, then it will try to connect those terms to similar data (known as a “cluster”) and make an overall assessment. This type of classifier example is quite simplistic, but a classifier that detects the visual properties of a photo could be made by taking a large sample of photos and analyzing them for patterns. Image Source: Wikipedia Tableau is a cloud data visualization software that makes general pivot tables possible.
When you are trying to figure out how you did on a certain task or make a report, a pivot table is one step to give you a chilling, objective overview of your progress. The advantages of pivot tables are that they allow you to put all kinds of information in one (sort of) neat table: you can see the entire number of visits over time, the unique pages on your site that contain that term in the text and even view ranges: New to pivot tables? There’s a lot of great resources for getting started with pivot tables including Moz’s “Guide To Excel Pivot Tables” and Tableau’s “Getting Started with Pivot Tables” in our Tableau Learning Center. Another great application for pivot tables is creating your own training set of documents that you can use to automatically generate updates to your pivot table as you learn how to do specific tasks or analyze a series of data.