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Is Your Company Ready for the AI Revolution?

Tim Morrow Tim Morrow  |  
Jan 30, 2018
At Skyline, we like to stay on top of the latest technology trends so we can help you maximize potential areas of growth for your company. The 2018 Consumer Electronic Show (CES), which highlights the newest products and industry trends, just wrapped up in Las Vegas.

One of the hottest trends to emerge from the conference was that of Artificial Intelligence, what some technology experts and observers have dubbed “the #1 Biggest Trend in IT”.

“We are on the cusp of a paradigm shift in computing that is unlike anything we have seen in decades.”
   - Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft  

“Google is making an important shift from a mobile first world to an AI first world.”
   - Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google  

These are tectonic-shifting statements by some of the foremost leaders in technology. We should all take notice.
artificial intelligence

So, what is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

We’ve probably all seen Terminator or iRobot where super-smart robots go haywire and take over the world. Well, that’s one extreme and (hopefully) not likely. In a nutshell, AI is the ability of high-powered computers to take an ever-expanding data set (the bigger the better) and learn from it.
  • If Google Maps sees traffic going slowly on one road, it reroutes you on another. That is artificial intelligence.
  • If Facebook sees the Zac Brown Band trending on users with similar qualities as you, an ad for their next concert might appear. That is artificial intelligence. 
  • If you've ever tagged a friend in a Facebook photo or asked Siri or Amazon’s Alexa a question, then you've interacted with a type of AI technology.
AI is all about utilizing big data to deliver high-impact, actionable customer insights. AI tools analyze data, learn from it, and can help predict human behavior to make your business smarter. Companies are using AI and machine learning to predict when parts on a manufacturing floor are going to fail and to do “smart” preventative maintenance, instead of “scheduled” maintenance (which can be up to 80-85% wasteful).
AI is on its way to becoming ubiquitous in our lives. According to some financial estimates, AI will grow to become a $46 billion industry within three years (2020). And PricewaterhouseCoopers says AI will contribute up to $15.7 trillion to global GDP by 2030. That’s some staggering growth!

So, how should your company be getting ready for the AI Revolution?


1. Start with the customer, not the technology

A good place to start is by mapping out your business capabilities to see what is most meaningful to your brand and your customers. Think about the outcomes you want to drive for your customers. What do they care most about? Speed, convenience, price, or quality? Have you ever created user personas that represent each of your key customer types?

When you know what matters most to your customers, then you can optimize that area of your business to attract and retain them. Asking these fundamental questions will help you to shape the strategic data vision of your company.

2. Capture customer data

Are you capturing the streams of data you need to understand your customer? Are you able to back up your gut-level feelings and observations about your customers? Are you able to track their ever-changing buying habits and trends? Even simple online surveys can be valuable to help you get a better pulse on your customers.

Social data-mining tools are crawling through internet and social media sites (over Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) in search of valuable customer information. With the explosion of devices and the “Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT)”, data can be captured and stored in the cloud like never before. For example, Coca-Cola utilized AI to mine through all the data it captured from its millions of touch-screen-based soft drink machines to launch Cherry Sprite as a new flavor based on customer data - which showed people frequently added cherry flavoring to its Sprite product.

Social media, mobile applications, cloud computing and e-commerce are all providing the ingredients of valuable customer data that can be captured and utilized in big data solutions.

3. Visualize your data

To unlock the power of your data, you need to organize and visualize it in meaningful ways. Tools like Microsoft’s Power BI can you help you do this simply and effectively. Skyline has created a Free 1-Hour Power BI Webinar that can help get you going in this direction.
power bi dashboard in an hour

AI will be disruptive, but it can be your competitive advantage

AI and the proliferation of Big Data is not going away anytime soon. It is going to continue to disrupt industries. The companies that can master it will have a huge competitive advantage.

At Skyline, we specialize in helping companies capture, unlock, and understand their data to allow you to better serve your customers. Ask us how we can help you navigate these exciting times.


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