As the old saying goes, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. Take whatever you might be binge-watching these days, for instance. If set in the future, there's an excellent chance it presents AI technology as either sentient robots scheming to enslave humanity or as a supremely intelligent, forward-looking companion to the protagonist that's equal parts comic relief and military strategist. Either way, deep space doesn't look too terribly friendly for future generations.
While those particular applications might very well be plausible for some point in the distant future, we have bigger fish to fry down here on terra firma at the moment. Fortunately, we're not relegated to imaginative sci-fi tales of an AI-driven future to realize the many ways AI technology can improve our current lives and organizations. For Xinn, having long embraced the extraordinary efficiencies afforded by AI and its accompanying technologies, we're excited for a future that merges the very best qualities of humanity and innovation.
To that point, we thought we'd share a handful of examples from companies already using AI to reinvent their business processes in some capacity. Stay ahead of the curve, implement AI-based platforms in precise, deliberate ways for maximum impact, and let these case studies inspire you to evolve with a dynamic, ever-changing marketplace.
Finding Needles in a Haystack
Immense market cap often comes with mighty strings attached. While many will categorize sheer size as a good problem to have in the bigger picture of modern commerce, companies with a seemingly infinite number of transactions -- both on the retail side and throughout internal operations -- have distinct issues to resolve. It's far too easy for subtle anomalies to get buried in a mountain of data, slip through the cracks, and go unnoticed until they become too obvious to remain in the binary shadows. The most significant, systemic issues have to start somewhere.
Walmart, the epitome of a retail giant, has recently integrated HANA, an AI-driven analytics platform, into its data processing systems to leverage the extensive insights afforded by AI into its business operations. Specifically, Walmart uses the platform to quickly but meticulously sift through reams of data and search for those anomalies on a real-time basis, likewise using that processed data to efficiently inform its other operations to cut costs and streamline everything from inventory control to marketing campaigns. In fact, recent surveys have found organizations adopting a a data processing approach similar to Walmart's are realizing an 85% reduction in the time needed to complete their core analytics operations.
The Next Best Thing to a Crystal Ball
Granted, the term predictive analytics sounds like something straight out of the previously-discussed sci-fi tales but, in another case of the future already knocking on our collective front door, a diverse set of companies and industries are already integrating this AI-driven technology into standard operations.
In essence, predictive analytics takes enormous amounts of historical and real-time data, processes it according to human-steered algorithms, and extracts insights into upcoming market trends and preferences. For example, Mr. Roboto from Domo, a business intelligence startup that specializes in management software, can integrate into any number of existing retail platforms and provide actionable insight from even the most nuanced of data points.
By extracting data from their POS and e-commerce platforms, Mr. Roboto allows retailers -- who otherwise might not have access to such sophisticated abilities due to cost and other barriers to entry -- to leverage the potent, soothsaying eye of predictive analytics and anticipate shifts in demand caused by changing consumer affinities or external market dynamics. This forward-looking, cloud-based approach allows companies to refine their inventory, better inform future marketing campaigns, and anticipate the effects of both micro and macroeconomic forces on their day-to-day operations, all through their preferred sales platform. From an inventory perspective alone, predictive analytics can help the retail sector capture over $150 billion in missed sales by merely creating a more personalized approach driven by AI, predictive analytics, and more accurately anticipated consumer interests.
AI Helping Financial Services Understand Their Customers
Of course, AI isn't strictly relegated to startups from Silicon Valley but also developed and driven by many of the largest tech firms as well. Pacific Specialty, a P&C insurance provider, recently contracted Avanade, a joint venture between Microsoft and Accenture that uses Microsoft's Azure cloud platform and Cortana Intelligence Suite, to provide its sales teams a more in-depth view of their customer base, product line, and how the two converge.
Simply put, Avanade allows the insurer to better understand the specific needs of its individual policyholders through its AI-based platform, revealing new ways to present a variety of products to its customer base that previously went undiscovered. Pacific Specialty's sales team can now use the insights provided by the Microsoft-powered analytics to pair current customers with additional products, extending the insurer's reach and fortifying its bond with the customer base that, over time, will inhibit turnover in a highly competitive industry. Avanade is also being used to develop new insurance products based on the subtle insights only uncovered by AI.
With 500 of the world's largest IT and business leaders expecting a 33% boost to revenue simply by adopting smart technologies like Avanade, it's safe to say that AI's best is yet to come. Xinn, for one, couldn't be more excited to see how AI continues to transform business processes, streamline industry, and allow companies to reach their lofty potential. The future is bright, indeed.