Nobody could have thought Artificial Intelligence would be widely used when it became popular in the 1990″s. And when it finally got established, one could have imagined that only the big industries are capable of applying robotics to increase their productivity. However, the hypothesis was proven wrong when Artificial intelligence brought about the invention of Chatbots, and even now, Machine Learning (ML). Presently, Machine Learning is one of the other skills, such as Data Science and Digital Marketing, that is in high demand in the 21st century. Then what is Machine Learning?

Machine learning is the scientific study of algorithm and statistical models that computer use to analyze and make sense out of data without being explicitly programmed. It focuses on the development of models that can analyze big and complex data at a faster pace to deduce out reasonable conclusions. Moreover, machine learning becomes applicable when businesses, organizations, and research institute begins to value and recognize the power of data in decision making.

Now that is very important for businesses and companies to build strong relationships and study the behavior of their consumers. Apart from creating an online presence, employing the use of chatbot in customer services, and using different marketing strategies, another method to study consumer behavior is by collecting, storing, and analyzing data.

With these data at hand, a business can easily measure how consumers interact with their product, what factors affect consumer demand, and how can they manipulate their findings to their benefit. But to do this, they need the knowledge of machine learning to handle millions or gazillions of data before them.

Benefits of Machine Learning.

The benefits of machine learning cut across every department in a company, and below are some of the benefit of machine learning to a business;

1. Decision making.

With machine learning, no more guesswork, it’s time to deal with facts. Like the saying goes that “data are raw fact”, machine learning can help to transform these raw facts into meaningful insight that guides a business into making a real-time and accurate decision. A person’s knowledge can deceive them but working with data can simplify the process. For this reason, Journalism builds their foundation on facts, and medical research institute is now making use of machine learning to decide on medical diagnosis.

By analyzing the data, businesses could quickly know which of their marketing strategies is paying off to maximize it and increase or reduce the revenue spent on others. Companies can also use machine learning to know the purchasing reaction of people to their services and make decisions when the market is changing.

2. Meeting consumer’s satisfaction.

A business can use Machine learning to evaluate the reactions of consumers to a product when an ingredient is added or subtracted. For example, machine learning can be used by a coffee shop to know the correlation between the number of purchases and changes in the coffee ingredients. This will help the shop to evaluate if the new milk increases or reduces its customers and learn how to improve. For those using complaint mechanisms, they can use machine learning to create a model for knowing when complaints are high.

3. Eliminating manual tasks.

Imagine the stress and the time that will elapse when statisticians are employed to analyze millions of data records. But with machine learning, a company can reduce the number of people required to work on such a large volume of data. The models of machine learning can also assist in measuring precisely the relationship between quantitative parameters, external factors, and internal systems. Artificial intelligence aims to reduce manual tasks that can be achieved in small businesses with machine learning.

4. It reduces the cost of operation.

When a business organization makes sound decisions, their cost is reduced. Also, the price is reduced when a company reduces the amount spent on getting many statisticians to work with their data. Machine learning assists all departments in a company in reducing the number of expenses, and even that spent in production. As stated earlier, machine learning is about lowering the cost of operation, maximizing the profit, and turning around the odds in your favor.

5. Improve cybersecurity.

For a business organization with a massive database, they can use machine learning to mask their network from any anomalies or data leak. Machine learning can detect out any form of threat to the company cyberspace before they launch their attack.

6. Financial analysis.

Machine learning can also be used to execute and analyze the financial record of a business. It can also be used for portfolio management, trading, load recording, and discovery of their database.

Can Small Businesses Use Machine Learning?

Why not? Small businesses can use machine learning, although it may not be as much as the big ones. To some degree, they can use it to determine their customer’s reactions to a change in price and product grade. It can also help them to meet customer satisfaction and also learn which marketing strategy to implement. And with more improvement in technology, more benefits will be discovered soon. The question should be, where should be the starting point for machine learning implementation in small businesses?

The first step to machine learning is data collection. Small businesses should start keeping records of their finances and daily transactions. This data is to be stored and arranged in a presentable format for tools to work on them quickly.

The next step is to get machine learning tools or software, and there are many tools for different uses. For example, tools like MonkeyLearn can analyze text data from your support system to classify what your customer is communicating to enhance your workflow. You can also analyze contact forms and chats that can help you to discover customers who are close to buying. There are some tools such as Algolia that can help improve you website search, voice search, location-based search and mobile search. Retail businesses can try Sales Temperature to assist in finding the correlation between weather, holidays, and sales. The three examples provided make use of your existing business software and data so you can maintain familiarity with what you currently use while gaining the benefits of machine learning.

Finding the right tools for your business demands that you determine what your business need and how you can map any of these tools to get your desired result. Moreover, you need someone to configure these tools to perform their functions.