5 Strategies for Using Machine Learning in Your Business
5 Strategies for Using Machine Learning in Your Business
Machine learning is quickly setting itself to become an integral part of our technological future ---and for good reason. From online shopping recommendations to self-driving cars, large companies are using machine learning at the forefront of their platforms in innovation. However, you don’t need to be a Fortune 500 company to effectively use machine learning in your business and now is the best time to jump on the bandwagon.
Of course, you’ll have to know where to start. Perhaps you’re even unclear as to what exactly machine learning is, let alone how it is going to help your business. Machine learning, a phrase coined by Arthur Samuel in 1959, is when a computer extrapolates data in a way that it begins to “learn” or make progress on a specific target without additional coding from an outside source. This still might be confusing for some. It also may not seem to have a practical value within non-tech companies, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Smarter machines can lead to a more streamlined process for you, saving you time, money and resources that could be better used elsewhere.
1. Know Your Audience
I’m sure no one would have to tell any business owner the importance of marketing, but traditional marketing methods aren’t always cost-effective. In an increasingly global world with a seemingly endless ocean of options for any given client, you want to be able to stand out. With machine learning, you can tailor who sees your ads to people who are the most likely to be interested in them, eliminating the monetary cost of casting a wider net with fewer likely rewards.
Using software which analyzes the behavior and interests of individuals through their purchasing and browsing patterns, your ad is trained on a specific target audience. This could perhaps earn you a loyal customer who might not have otherwise come across your business at all or could have overlooked your ad in a sea of others. It also keeps your business visible to them, appearing in the ad space of a variety of different websites that they frequent, so even if they aren’t initially sold, you are never far from their minds.
2. Computer Help in Human Resources
Your business is only as good as your employees and so obviously you want the best. However, the hiring process can often be a cumbersome problem for companies with large human resource departments and small operations alike. Posting your position to any given job board can be easily overlooked or lead to an influx of applicants who don’t meet your specifications, even if they are clearly listed.
Online job boards such as Indeed or ZipRecruiter utilize machine learning to send the right people to you without you needing to wade through endless emails in the process. Their software analyzes both the skill set listed on the resume as well following the patterns of what each job-hunter tends to click on and apply to, showing listings in order of relevance to them. This will lead to genuinely interested, qualified applicants.
3. Secure Your Business
Breaches of customer information have led to some major headaches for big companies since the boom of digital business. From Target’s major credit card information leak to the recent Experian breach involving the sensitive personal information of millions of people, the backlash and fear of these incidents prove to be both a PR and logistical nightmare. The average business doesn’t have the resources to protect themselves against such sophisticated computer criminals. They can, however, buy software that teaches itself how to better protect them.
The predictive software can flag malware files meant to harm the system and can also zero in on website usage or unauthorized contact that could be the onset of a major information breach. They can learn from the patterns of previous major hack attempts and encrypt data accordingly removing weaknesses within the software that have left you vulnerable.
4. Protect Against Fraud
Digital criminal activity against businesses is not just trying to extract customer information from you, but also using the previously stolen information to defraud both your company and your client. Fraud and loss within companies can lead to significant revenue loss as well as the loss of trust of an otherwise loyal customer.
Machine learning can formulate algorithms to discern between typical customer behavior and high risk, fraudulent transactions. As of current, relatively few businesses are using machine learning to flag these transactions, still leaning on the traditional approach of human evaluation. Putting these algorithms into place for your business will eliminate human error and better yet, it can be done instantly. This leads to a quicker turnaround in processing and higher customer satisfaction.
5. Tell the Future and Grow
While your current business model could be perfectly sufficient for now, imagine if you could expand using a very carefully hedged risk based on something the people like or would like based on their data. Machine learning can lend to forecast demand or telling what the people will want---in the future, near and far. With this information, you can find where your business can fit, possibly in an underserved market itching for your branding or in a fast-growing market that fits well within the niche you have already established.
While computers can be found in almost every business, we are just being to realize their true potential. What once seemed to only exist in sci-fi novels set in the far future are the norms of today, but we are still underutilizing what is available to us. Tech-savvy companies that take advantage of machine learning software capabilities within their business can grow at unprecedented rates and do so even more efficiently than ever before.
You don’t have to be a computer wiz to start integrating computer learning softwares into the daily operations of your business. A learning curve can be intimidating but for the betterment of your business, trade in your blood, sweat, and tears for microchips and motherboards and thank me later.