I am a chemical engineer and during my early career led a large chemical operations plant in India. It was customary then to start my workday by taking a walk around the plant which was expansive. Time constraints never allowed me to tour the entire plant on the same day, so I went to different departments each day to connect with the operators, supervisors, and managers. I learned the business intimately by doing this which made me a better manager and leader.
Much change has occurred in the business world since these early career days . Businesses are larger which means more employees. Businesses need to enhance the skills of a team, not just individuals. The digital world has led to an explosion of information. Do business professionals recognize this? Yes, they do. You can no longer stay abreast of all that is occurring internally in your business much less what’s happening externally in your respective marketplaces.
Mankind’s creativity is once again being tested to solve this information overload problem. Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) techniques using novel algorithms with Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning have been developed. A.I. is now automating the task of reading and ingesting knowledge from textual data. Nearly 90% of digital data is textual or qualitative. With A.I.-powered techniques, companies can digest a large amount of data, interpret it and generate real-time output responses to assist with decision-making.
While a lot of focus has been to analyze large complex data sets internally within the firewall of a business, it is also important for business leaders to focus on the external intelligence in the marketplace given the risks and opportunities that are ever changing. As the business grows and the team becomes larger, decision-making becomes more difficult. Humans are easily susceptible to letting emotion cloud their judgment; A.I.-driven machines simply do not have this problem and work more efficiently and effectively. They are immune to confirmation bias and other human tendencies. Objectivity drives better financial results. Historical data and how the marketplace (comprising of customers, competitors, suppliers, product, applications, technology, legal and regulatory, labor, equipment, and people) has behaved under similar circumstances in the past will help us understand more sophisticated “what-if” scenarios to plan the future.
A.I. is evolving so rapidly that businesses are just beginning to understand the importance that real time, distilled information can have on their decision making and thus the impact on their bottom line and overall value.
A.I. changes the way we read and analyze information. There is so much information that it isn’t possible to keep pace manually.
Embrace the new world of A.I. Don’t fear it. Learn more about what it can do for you and your business. It increases efficiencies and brings higher returns on investments. It can and will dramatically change the way entire industries think and operate. A.I. will be the next victory for mankind.