How AI can support and elevate the role of the CIO
Artificial intelligence (AI) will be the most impactful technology to affect businesses since ground-breaking inventions like the telephone, the personal computer, and the Internet.
With AI innovation, there is a very symbiotic relationship between data and AI: the more data that AI has, the better it tends to perform. While there are numerous ways of applying AI within your business, for many CIOs the question remains: how can AI leverage my organisation’s data more easily and with greater impact?
The current state of reporting
Most organisations today suffer from having too much data. Ingesting all that information, preparing the reports, building dashboards – all of this takes time and effort, but does it really add value to the business?
The key to addressing this problem is AI and transforming the way information is presented to our colleagues and departments. In the same way Facebook or Amazon provides a personalised experience for their customers, AI can provide a personalised data experienced for everyone in your organisation.
We need to recognise that there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution when it comes to reporting. While this sounds obvious, the same is true within departments or even small teams. For example, each member of your sales team needs different information based on their goals, their role, and requirements.
But it’s not just the type of information; it’s how we process it. The reason your daily sales reports are full of graphs and charts is because most people are great at processing information visually – but what about the rest? For some, a line graph or text summary is infinitely easier to digest.
Questioning the status quo
The most crucial area for improvement is also the most counterintuitive: we must reduce the number of reports each person sees to the absolute minimum. I spoke with a company recently that generates more than 700 dashboards.
There is a tendency to send all information to all people, just in case. Why do we do that? Consuming irrelevant reports not only disrupts your focus, but those 10-minute disruptions add up on the clock. Perhaps more crucially, exposing team members to only the most relevant data helps them focus on what really matters, thus improving performance.
Why now for AI
At its core, data represents the heartbeat of the business, and these reports offer the best approximation for judging the current health of the company. Getting this information is the final step in a fine-grained feedback loop, helping us evaluate our recent activities and judge whether we are heading in the right direction.
Without the right information, however, we could start moving in the wrong direction and making decisions which harm the business.
Fundamentally, AI and machine learning (ML) can be leveraged to provide a much more personalised data experience for users. In essence, the ML model would help determine which information to display to which user, in which format, and at what time. A module or layer would also be created that took decisions from the ML algorithm and sent customisation commands to the reporting app to make those necessary changes.
How does it work?
The reporting application should be able to capture historical information on which users accessed which reports at what times. It would also monitor which reports they accessed most frequently spent the most time looking at. Manual data can then be gathered on the personal preferences of each employee. All of this would be amended or approved by managers to ensure that each individual’s goals are aligned with the department and overall organisation.
For optimal performance, the algorithm also needs to factor in nuances of human behaviour, in particular, how habits are formed and broken. Working properly, this augmented approach would seem effortless to the end user. In fact, such a system would almost merge into the background, like an invisible butler that provided useful information at a convenient time.
This approach is a significant departure from how reporting is done today. To accomplish it will require not only cutting-edge ML, but also a change in mindset to how data is consumed at an organisational and C-level. However, those willing to press ahead will reap the rewards of a more augmented approach, where personalised reporting means the most crucial information is always consumed in the most effortless manner.
Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their use-cases? Attend the co-located IoT Tech Expo, Blockchain Expo, AI & Big Data Expo and Cyber Security & Cloud Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam and explore the future of enterprise technology.
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