Artificial intelligence: from media hype to visible ROI
Saturday March 17th, 2018. The coldest one since 1909. On my planning, a trail run along the Belgian coast. Brrrrr! Luckily for me, Balthazar, my Boston Dynamics robot kept an eye on the extreme weather conditions and has put some extra warm sport clothes into my sports bag. On my way to the coast, I realised my autonomous car is paying off! My iPad suggested me to memorise the trail course. It would certainly not be the first time I get lost during a race. Since I was running late for the start of the race I was extremely happy when my car told me that the nearest available parking spot would only be 100- 200 meters away from the starting line. No parking stress for me, so I had a few extra precious moments to close my eyes and focus on the race before setting out.
Of course, I don’t have a Boston Dynamics robot, nor do I have a self-driving car. However, my anecdote is a realistic view on how the world will look like in the (near) future! Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the world astonishingly fast. Some call it the 4th industrial revolution. I truly believe in the power of AI as much as I believe AI is hyped by the media. Unfortunately, the AI concept in a business setting is, in my opinion, too often abused. Many people talk about AI but the true business value and impact is often overlooked.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
Before explaining the business value and impact of AI, we need to understand what artificial intelligence is. A lot of buzzwords like computer vision, robotics and deep learning are used as synonyms for AI. At 4C we propose the idea that AI is any technique that enables computers or robots to mimic human intelligence. It includes computer vision, robotics, deep learning, machine learning and data processing like for example natural language processing.
From AI to ROI
Generating value from AI requires a masterplan. Surprising? Not at all! First of all, you should use AI in your organisation where it can help your business. Don’t create a culture of man versus machine but empower and involve your business to connect with AI. Secondly, make your strategy AI driven! Get rid of opportunism and gut feeling. Instead use facts generated by AI to make important business decisions.
Driving service center efficiency in the insurance industry
Calling a service center can cause a lot of frustrations on the employee side as well as on the customer side: long waiting queues, unlimited call transfers, follow-up calls, etc.
NN, one of 4C’s insurance customers, is aware of these customer frustrations and wanted to tackle them. Their challenge is to handle a high volume of calls in a timely fashion with the right solution at hand. By using AI, NN wanted to analyse and understand the common topics for which they received calls. This resulted in insights about which processes led to frustrations. Thanks to AI, NN can help their customers in a more efficient way and train their agents on topics that really matter! AI eventually led to a potential saving of €300K - €500K.
Boosting campaign ROI in the beauty & care industry
A lot of companies have trouble to reach a satisfying marketing campaign ROI. Targeting the right people with the right message is key to boosting your ROI. Let AI be your helping hand! 4C helped a retail customer to discover purchase behaviour patterns in their data. An AI model was built to identify groups of customers with a similar purchasing behaviour. For each group a different marketing goal and campaign were identified and linked with the right KPIs to measure the marketing campaign effectiveness. This way, the retailer could boost their campaign ROI with on average an additional €100K.
What is it that I hope you will remember? Keep on being amazed at how the world is changing and the increasing potential of AI. Focus on how AI can grow your business in order to reap the benefits. By the way, I did participate in the trail run and finished 18th. Not bad for my first race of 2018!