How Does AI Work?
To understand how AI can change business processes for the better, let’s look at how AI works.
AI is a branch of computer science that makes computers behave in a way that mimics human intelligence. It’s a broad category that includes a concept called ‘machine learning,’ meaning machines that are able to learn independently, without the need for human intervention.
The concept of AI certainly isn’t new, but advances in technology have enabled its spread within the enterprise.
Where Can Companies Start with AI?
One of the biggest benefits that AI offers companies is streamlining business processes. AI can automate tasks that were previously manual (and highly tedious), saving your organisation time and money.
Here's some examples of AI business processes and services:
- Prepare data for analysis
- Scale up of data analysis
- Make the query process easier
- Provide the right visualisations
- Share information with the right business users
Preparing Data for Analysis
To analyse data, it has to be ready, and by that we mean is:
- Structured properly
- Completely accurate
- Formatted properly
Preparing data for analysis is a time-consuming process subject to errors if you’re not paying close attention. When a machine prepares data, it’s much faster and more accurate. A computer simply pulls the data out of a system of record, ‘cleans’ it according to a predetermined set of rules so it’s accurate, and makes sure it’s formatted properly.
Scaling up Data Analysis
Humans can only analyse so much data at once. After a while, our brains get tired and start to make mistakes.
Machines, on the other hand, can analyse huge amounts of data quickly. They can even spot patterns that humans might not be able to see. Moreover, AI business processes allow computers to analyse unstructured data (information that’s not organised in a pre-defined schema). This includes:
- Social media content
Because AI can evaluate so much data at once, you get faster results. This means you can make better business decisions sooner, which enables you and your organisation to stay agile.
Making the Query Process Easier
Let’s say you’re in the marketing department, and you want to know how well your last set of LinkedIn ads performed. You would go into your business intelligence solution and run a query. But unless it's AI-enabled, there’s a good chance you might have to refine that query a few times to get the answers you're looking for.
Machine learning, AI’s sub-discipline, makes the query process much easier by allowing machines to learn the language and terms humans use to serve up the best possible query results. For example, if you use ‘LinkedIn ads’ in place of the term the BI solution normally recognises (such as ‘marketing campaign’), the BI solution will learn to add 'LinkedIn ads' to its internal dictionary to provide more accurate answers in the future.
Providing the Right Visualisations
Raise your hand if this has happened to you before: you’re creating a report, and you want to use a data visualisation, but you’re not entirely sure which one would be the best—do you need a bar graph or a pie chart?
AI-enabled business intelligence solutions contain the data visualisations you need so you can tell your data’s story effectively. For instance, if you want to understand what factors are driving a critical metric, the BI solution would suggest a data visualisation that showed key influences; if you want to know how a distribution changes across a category (such as sales per country), the BI solution would recommend a data visualisation that does that.
Sharing Information with the Right Business Users
When you create a data visualisation or a report, you want to make sure it gets to the right people in your organisation. More importantly, you want to get them that information easily and quickly, so there's no time wasted when there's crucial decisions to be made.
Another benefit of AI business processes is that it’s easy to share the insights you’ve discovered with others. AI will find all of the relevant data models a user needs and display them dynamically. With all of the information they need in front of them, users can get their work done faster.
Microsoft Power BI: Streamlining Business Processes with AI
Microsoft Power BI is a highly scalable enterprise business intelligence platform that delivers insights to the right people across the company. Thanks to investments in AI, Power BI features the latest developments in the field.
Power BI’s AI business processes:
- Automates the data preparation process
- Scales up data analysis
- Learns how to improve the query process
- Provides the right visualisations
- Easily shares data with those who need it most
Automate the Data Preparation Process
Power BI’s AI business processes automate the data preparation process, so data scientists spend less time getting data ready for analysis, and more time analysing information.
Scale up Data Analysis
Another benefit of Power BI is that it can handle high quantities of data at once, as well as a variety of formats that weren’t previously easy to analyse, such as social media content.
Learn How to Improve the Query Process
Thanks to investments in AI, Microsoft has improved Power BI’s query process so it can now learn new synonyms for search terms - like our example of using ‘LinkedIn ads’ when we mean ‘marketing campaign’.
Provide the Right Visualisation
Power BI has a wide selection of data visualisations from which to choose, so you never need to worry about choosing the wrong one - or boring your audience with meaningless pie charts. Power BI has a heap of pre-packaged data visuals but for that extra touch, there's a wealth of free custom visuals that can really make your data come to life in a meaningful way. More importantly, they also connect to the data source, so when the numbers change, so do the visualisations. You'll never have to worry about updating your visualisations to match the data again.
Easily Share Data with Those Who Need It Most
With Power BI, it’s incredibly easy to share information with the people in your company who need it most. A few clicks are all it takes to disseminate data models, as the Power Query function discovers all the models a user has access to and displays them dynamically.
Enlighten Designs: Transforming Your Organisation with AI Business Processes
Since 1998, Enlighten Designs has delivered amazing digital experiences to our clients. We’re proud Microsoft partners, with extensive experience in implementing AI and machine learning. For more about bringing your data to life and transforming your organisation, check out our work.