The world of AI used to be a far-off, even fantastical, place. Today, AI is widely considered a critical tool with a tangible impact in reshaping industries. Many of us have been getting to know it over the last few years — especially generative AI tools like ChatGPT — and it no longer looms in the distance like some unintelligible, fearsome creature.
Artificial intelligence is a pivotal tool driving innovation and growth in everyday processes. PwC's research forecasts a staggering $15.7 trillion boost to the global economy by 2030, thanks to AI's role in fostering new growth, products, and business models. Unsurprisingly, 62% of business leaders surveyed by HubSpot have already invested in AI tools, and 43% plan to increase their investments this year.
3 Ways Leaders Can Use AI Insights for Decision-Making
Given how transformative data and AI insights are proving for businesses, how should leaders plan for AI in their own workplaces? How can leaders take the myths and legends of AI and make them real? There are three main areas to focus on:
1. People: Create a culture of fast learning.
AI has had a bad rap for replacing or diminishing human effort. People worry that their jobs will become redundant and that AI will take over creative tasks and render originality useless. But AI is far more useful in conjunction with human creativity — it needs to be trained on reality to make suggestions. A 2021 report from Adobe found that workers already relied more on technology for innovation and creativity than in previous years. Embracing AI in your processes can help team members do the same.
Example: A technology firm integrates AI into its training programs. They develop personalized learning paths for each employee based on their skills and learning pace. This approach helps employees quickly adapt to new technologies and methodologies. For instance, an AI system can recommend specific courses to a developer based on the latest trends in coding and software development, ensuring they are always up-to-date with industry standards.
2. Processes: Let data make you smarter.
From HR to supply chain management and product development to customer service, almost every part of your business’s daily life could be made more efficient with data and AI insights. Take any process you use and apply the wisdom of AI to it; you will find that you can optimize processes, find inefficiencies, and empower human beings to carve out higher quality in less time.
Example: A retail company uses AI for inventory management. The AI system analyzes sales data, predicts future demand based on trends and seasonality, and automatically adjusts inventory orders. This results in reduced stockouts and overstock situations, optimizing the supply chain. Additionally, AI can assist in identifying which products are likely to be popular in different regions, allowing for more targeted marketing and product placement.
3. Satisfaction: Track customer sentiment and act.
Insightful customer service can be game-changing for engagement and loyalty, so you’re probably wondering how AI can improve customer experiences. The technology works on massive datasets; it can pick out patterns and tap into previously invisible information, such as the most minor nuances of a customer’s preferences. In this way, AI is taking the traditional NPS to the next level. From automated feedback collection to in-depth sentiment analysis, AI can find likely outcomes before they happen so that you can take proactive measures to please and reassure customers.
Example: A hotel chain implements an AI-driven customer feedback system. The AI analyzes reviews and feedback across various platforms in real-time, identifying key themes and sentiments. For instance, if guests frequently mention the quality of breakfast in their reviews, the AI can highlight this as an area for improvement. The hotel management can then make informed decisions to enhance their services, such as improving the breakfast menu, leading to better customer satisfaction and loyalty.
AI is not replacing human effort but augmenting it, enabling faster learning, smarter processes, and enhanced customer satisfaction.
What Challenges Does AI Pose?
While the business use case for AI may seem clear, that doesn’t mean implementation and adoption will be easy. Teams must show the best of their strengths to overcome obstacles with their vision intact. Some of the challenges AI might bring include:
- Complexity. When businesses start using AI insights for decision-making, their world can become a lot more complex very quickly. It may be hard for organizations that aren’t used to this kind of complexity to take action without getting overwhelmed by data.
- Continuity. Adopting and working with AI is not a set-it-and-forget-it kind of task. It demands regular dedication of time and resources for monitoring, analyzing, and fine-tuning, ensuring that the AI insights you're utilizing effectively contribute to your business's success. Different projects have different timelines, and teams must be prepared to wait patiently for long-game results while working on shorter-term goals.
- Trust. There are risks to adding automation to processes. Training an AI tool on historical data, for example, risks prolonging and repeating biases. Companies must make sure they’re using data and AI insights responsibly, are common-sense checking at each step, and are utilizing AI to build trust with stakeholders rather than simply to make life easier.
The Future of AI is Personal
The most important thing to understand about the business use case for AI is that every organization will need a different action plan. Each company brings its own unique history and culture to the table; in turn, AI can react holistically to this story — if leaders let it.
Start with your business’s unique set of needs and goals for the future. Gather data and focus on finding the areas where data and AI insights could be transformative. Follow what you see in your own team rather than what you hear on the grapevine to ensure success in the long term.
There are many noteworthy resources for the best artificial intelligence platforms, including insightful books and entertaining podcasts to brush up on your knowledge.