AI and Big Data: How Artificial Intelligence Is Transforming the Business Landscape

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Read more about author Eric Sugar.

For as long as people have been conducting business, they have been using technology to enhance their efforts. In the late 18th century, industrial technology launched a revolutionary era of accelerated business growth. And in the late 20th century, the digital revolution transformed the business world again, leveraging AI and big data to boost efficiency and reach new markets.

In today’s business world, artificial intelligence is a disruptive technology that promises to transform the business landscape, bringing together computer technology and big data to drive powerful tech tools that simulate human intelligence. When it comes to business applications, AI’s potential is virtually limitless.

Combining AI with Big Data to Improve Business Performance

Applications that combine AI with big data to deliver new business insights promise to have the biggest impact on the business landscape. In sales and marketing, AI-powered tools can be used to analyze customer data with efficiency and accuracy that humans are not capable of achieving. Rather than being overwhelmed by large quantities of data, AI performs better as the value of data grows. The insights AI derives from customer data can be used to improve the effectiveness of sales and marketing by providing personalized product recommendations and creating targeted marketing campaigns.

AI can also work with big data to conduct predictive analysis, which involves analyzing large datasets to identify trends and patterns and predict future outcomes. Businesses can use the results of predictive analysis to make better decisions about a wide variety of business functions, including supply chain optimization, financial modeling, and risk assessment.

Fraud detection and cybersecurity are other areas in which AI can enhance business performance through data analysis. By analyzing data related to online transactions, AI systems can identify and prevent fraudulent transactions and detect security threats in real time. AI is already being used in the FinTech industry to reduce identity theft and other forms of illicit activity.

Leveraging AI to Improve Business Efficiency

AI-driven chatbots respond to queries in a way that simulates human conversations. They are frequently used to provide online customer support, answer questions, and assist with product-related issues. Chatbots can also serve internal functions, such as employee training or managing HR interactions. They improve business efficiency by reducing the volume of support that humans must provide.

AI can also be combined with robotic process automation (RPA) to create intelligent automation systems. Whereas RPA typically uses computer programming to automate tasks by simulating human movements, AI enhances this automation by introducing simulated intelligence to the process. Combining AI and RPA can provide dramatic improvements in productivity, efficiency, and accuracy.

Tracking the Impact of AI on Business

While much of the potential of AI has yet to be tapped, it has already brought some notable changes to the business world. Empowering improved decision-making ranks among the top ways AI impacts business. From informing more productive marketing strategies to helping identify ideal job candidates and uncovering weaknesses in cybersecurity frameworks, AI working in conjunction with big data provides business leaders with previously inaccessible business insights.

AI has also already empowered businesses to significantly enhance their efficiency. Predictive analysis contributes to this benefit of AI, as does the automation it can empower. Generative AI tools, such as ChatGPT, streamline processes and increase employee output by contributing to the generation of content such as blog posts, marketing copy, and computer coding.

As AI applications continue to develop, businesses can expect them to enhance performance even further by providing advanced data analytics. By processing and analyzing vast amounts of unstructured data quickly and accurately, AI will empower the type of data-driven decisions that provide a business with a competitive edge. This promises to completely change research and development practices, allowing more businesses to experiment and explore opportunities rapidly and with far less risk.

Natural language processing (NLP) is another AI-driven technology that promises to have a huge impact on the business world, as it dramatically enhances a business’s ability to analyze customer sentiment and understand user feedback. The insights gained from this application will allow for improved products and services that drive more customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

Understanding the Risks of Adopting AI

In addition to all its benefits, AI-powered tools also introduce new risks to the business world that must be addressed. One of the most obvious is the risk related to data privacy and security. 

As businesses increase data collection and AI analysis, they must ensure they protect sensitive information and comply with relevant privacy regulations. In some cases, Data Governance and access controls will need to be adjusted to guide responsible engagement with corporate data.

Perpetuating biases is another risk associated with using AI in business applications. AI algorithms can inadvertently perpetuate existing biases if trained on biased data, leading to unfair outcomes and potential legal issues. One company is already facing a lawsuit that alleges its AI-empowered screening tool enables hiring bias.

One of the more talked-about risks associated with AI involves workplace displacement. As AI’s capabilities have increased, so have fears that its use in the business world will cost many people their jobs. Proponents of AI say that combining it with reskilling and retraining of displaced employees will empower greater business productivity and innovation. Whether or not businesses will choose that course over simply replacing employees with AI systems remains to be seen.

Perhaps the biggest question that remains to be answered regarding AI is how reliable it will be at consistently delivering business value. AI’s capabilities have been clearly demonstrated. Its vulnerabilities, however, have yet to be fully tested. The best advice at this point for businesses seeking to benefit from the advantages of AI might be to proceed with caution.