Today, talking to an Alexa, Google Home or Siri is part of many people’s daily lives – they have the ability to make things faster, easier and even more engaging at times. They also learn with every interaction and can personalize your experience with them according to the data they have gathered in the past. From ordering food to turning off the lights before you go to bed – all of it can be done without you having to move an inch. This is only a small example of the way in which the major crossover between humans and machines is taking place in the world today, and more so in the world of business.

Making the most of the data with automated tools

Gathering and using data in some form has always been crucial for businesses to map their success (or failures) and plan for future growth. However, the way this data was studied and implemented had, up until recently, been limited to variable-based assumptions made by human teams. Now, with the rise in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics, companies are being able to automate processes across the board and obtain accurate insights from several data points at a fraction of the time. As per a report by PwC, it is estimated that, by 2030, AI will contribute close to USD 15.7 Trillion to the global economy.

By implementing AI and data analytics, businesses are able to gather more accurate information even from the most complicated data sets, as these tools can study Big Data to spot patterns and discrepancies that are far beyond the bandwidth of human teams. Through the process, AI tools are able to make assumptions based on past data, test them out and deliver accurate predictions for a business instantly. This also greatly reduces the scope for human error as well.

Boosting customer engagement for a better experience

The aim of using AI to optimize internal operations has a direct impact on the output produced by employees. This output directly affects the value that is created for the customers as well. For example, in the travel industry, online portals use a combination of AI and data analytics to track the clicks, keywords, and preferences of each user. For this, several businesses are using chatbots powered by machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) to gather valuable customer insights.

Chatbots have the ability to carry out human-like conversations and can be programmed with relevant data in order to accurately address customer queries and requests. Since ML gives chatbots the ability to learn independently and become smarter with every interaction, they are able to deliver a personalized experience to every customer based on their habits and preferences.

The insights gathered by these tools can then be implemented by the business to plan a particular strategy or process, making for more personalized customer targeting. This, in turn, can help improve customer engagement, increase sales and ensure higher rates of customer retention.

Optimizing employee management

While companies are using automated tools to enhance employee productivity and deliver a better customer experience, these tools can also be used to the internal strategies of organizations in terms of HR processes. As per McKinsey researchthere is potential for 56 percent of typical tasks, from hiring to the retirement of an employee to be automated through disruptive technologies. Most HR teams would earlier have to spend hours going through CVs, appraisal forms and other employee documents and processes, now AI tools can take over. By programming, these tools with data pertaining to organizational policies and requirements, they can do most of the basic tasks instead of human teams.

For example, when hiring, automated tools are able to carry out the initial screening of potential employees to determine whether the candidate is eligible for an interview as well as answer basic queries. For existing employees, these tools can manage processes such as leave requests, feedback and employee exit. The added benefit of these tools is that they are online 24×7, hence giving employees access to them anytime and anywhere.

By implementing AI into employee management, companies are able to streamline processes, making things easier for employees as well as HR teams. With this, HR teams are enabled to shift their focus to the tasks which require more of the human touch and expertise. These include employee training, team building activities and addressing more major issues amongst others, thus helping them to increase employee satisfaction as well.

Therefore, by using automated tools to carry out the more basic, repetitive tasks, companies are able to achieve a lot within a short span of time, enabling them to optimize processes while cutting-down operational costs. AI tools have the ability to learn over time, giving companies better insights to improve their business strategies for a competitive edge. Above all, this approach helps to greatly boost employee productivity and foster innovation by freeing up room for them to focus on tasks that create direct value for the business. In this way, companies are able to achieve optimal efficiency, leading to sustained and scalable growth.

(The author is the Director at Absolutdata Analytics)