16 Valuable Benefits Machine Learning Can Bring To Small Businesses
Small businesses do lots of work with limited resources, making tech solutions particularly valuable for them. However, many small-business owners may disregard certain tech out of hand because they think it’s unaffordable or not applicable to their business. In many cases, they couldn’t be more wrong—including when it comes to machine learning.
According to the industry experts of Forbes Technology Council, there are plenty of tangible benefits small businesses can receive from leveraging the latest ML tools—in many cases with minimal cost and effort. If you’re looking for smart ways to use adaptive technology to help build your small business, read on for a list of just a few of the benefits ML can bring.
1. An Overview Of Financial Health
Technology can provide a window into the health and prospects of a small business. With a dashboard of their business activities—including cash projections and insights on sales and cost trends—a small business owner can weave an end-to-end picture of their company’s financial health. In this way, machine learning can help a business owner head off perilous trends. – Vinod Yeruva, Tata Communications
2. Real-Time Marketing Insights
With machine learning, marketers at small businesses can gain insights in real time and at scale, providing them with the ability to better understand their audience, what they need and where they’re looking for it. This empowers them to create better online experiences, improve business performance and build brand trust through true relevance. – Konrad Feldman, Quantcast
3. A Solution To Ad Fraud
If you’re spending money on any channel of digital marketing, an ad fraud solution will benefit your business. Fraud impacts about 25% of all digital marketing spend, and just about every ad fraud solution takes advantage of machine learning to improve the performance of marketing campaigns. It’s something that businesses often overlook, but it is critical. – Richard Kahn, Anura Solutions, LLC
4. An Accurate Customer Profile
Small businesses need to establish a culture of data-driven decisions early, and machine learning is a big tool for that journey. Taking internal data, combining it with the right external data sets and running machine learning algorithms can help small businesses understand who their customer is, what makes them tick, what is selling and more. This information is needed for making data-driven decisions. – Vikrant Pathak, myautoIQ
5. Improved Workflows
Machine learning is all about synthesizing business intelligence to solve problems that organizations are facing. It gives businesses the ability to gain trend-based insights through the analysis of massive amounts of data. In turn, businesses make data-driven decisions to best understand and serve the needs of their customers, improve workflows and eliminate ineffective practices. – David Gasparyan, Phonexa
6. Theft Detection
Small businesses can use ML-based software as a service to help detect theft or to identify a physical or data security lapse. This can directly translate to an immediate cash benefit. – Vipin Jain, Pensando Systems
7. Low-Labor Risk Assessment
Machine learning can process an amount of data that would swamp an entire team of techs, performing tasks such as profiling potential customers or identifying cases of fraud. Said data can also advise business owners on when to invest in new equipment or the best season for hiring. In short, ML can provide sufficient information to allow a small business to reduce the labor required for risk assessment. – Arnie Gordon, Arlyn Scales
8. 24/7 Customer Service
Machine learning can help a small business provide 24/7, AI-based interactive customer service that can give accurate answers and route customers to the right personnel or department. Such a service could even anticipate customer needs by checking any open service requests and having the context ready when they reach out. Additionally, the business could use this channel to collect feedback. With the wide range of cloud services available, there’s very little barrier to providing a virtual assistant service. – Chandrasekhar Somasekhar, Cleareye.ai
9. Better Customer Retention
Retention is a prime example of an age-old problem that is still looking for a modern solution. Some organizations have made stop-gap fixes, but the funnel is still leaky. Using machine learning—and more specifically, personalization or recommendations—is the best way for small businesses (especially digital ones) to solve retention problems. – Harshil Shah, DXFactor
10. Improved Customer Experiences
At its core, machine learning uses artificial intelligence to process data, perform data analytics and “learn” while identifying patterns. Several business processes are inherently regular and would greatly benefit from this analysis, including improving the overall customer experience, refining the customer adoption lifecycle and developing a cross-sell, upsell and recommendation engine. Coupling this analysis with automated actions yields an engine for scaling. – Carlos Pignataro, Cisco Systems, Inc.
11. Voice Assistance For Administrative Tasks
Small businesses should be using voice-activated personal assistants to their maximum potential. Machine learning is assisting applications to better and more accurately understand natural language, so confidence in them is building. Not only can they schedule appointments and handle other administrative tasks, but when used appropriately, they can also retrieve accurate, quality data within seconds, saving time and improving efficiency. – Pete Hanlon, Moneypenny
12. Improved Agility And Productivity
Composite AI solutions can boost the productivity of small businesses. Composite AI leverages a combination of artificial intelligence and human intelligence to redefine productivity and decision making, making humans more efficient in whatever they do. For example, an AI-assisted bot for task status tracking and assignment can help small businesses become more agile and productive by reducing waste when it comes to time and critical resources. – Gaurav Aggarwal, Avanade Inc.
13. Accelerated Time To Market And ROI
Any company using everyday tech platforms such as email and scheduling can benefit from ML and business automation tools. With secure access to rich communications data, any business can build intelligent processes and workflows that reduce operational costs and accelerate go-to-market initiatives and ROI. – Gleb Polyakov, Nylas
14. Protection From Phishing Attacks
Small businesses often lack security expertise on their IT team (or they may not even have an IT team), which makes them more vulnerable. ML can be used to help prevent email fraud and phishing attacks. The software can continuously monitor all incoming emails, looking for patterns in senders, IP addresses, content, links and so on. It can then identify and quarantine or destroy any possible threats. – Bruce Kornfeld, StorMagic
15. Improved Written Communication
One of the tech tool sets that we use across our organization is Grammarly, which uses machine learning and AI to identify grammatical and sentence structure errors. This intuitive tool is incredibly helpful for our organization, as it provides suggestions on how to easily communicate thoughts in an understandable way that anybody will gravitate to. – Marc Fischer, Dogtown Media LLC
16. Intelligent Document Processing
Intelligent document processing is an “absolute must” technology for small businesses. It is cloud-ready and AI-powered, and you pay only for each document that is processed digitally. Previously, this tech was available on-premises only and was largely not affordable. However, the times have changed, and now you can have your essential documents—including invoices, claim forms and mortgage documents—processed digitally. – Thomas Helfrich, System Soft Technologies
This article originally appeared on forbes.com, to read the full article, click here.
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