There isn’t a single industry in the world that hasn’t been impacted by the world of technology and digitization. Be it big or small, technology & data- driven firms have always stood out in their phenomenal rise to success in short periods of time. Data science, in particular, has been one of the key pillars of technology to aid this growth. There have been countless case studies of Data Science & Predictive Analytics playing a significant role in the end to end operations of an SME business. As a practising Data scientist myself, I have led the implementation of several complex machine learning algorithms & predictive analytic solutions to fully automate several business processes. The role of AI in SMEs is explained below.
Data Science is a new-gen field of Science, that analyzes raw data of businesses to extract meaningful insights out of it with the help of modern analytical tools & algorithms. The science of predicting the future, with reliance on past data using algorithms is known as Predictive Analytics.
Data Science is broadly classified into 3 parts: Analytics, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (Deep Learning)
Analytics is broadly about analyzing a company generated data, social media data or even Machine logs to understand the key pain points and growth areas. The outcome of analytics is about actionable insights and recommendations for the business to invest in and diversify.
With the help of algorithms (such as Regression, Decision Trees, Random Forest, Forecasting), an SME can actually predict the probability of the product’s success with each price point. They can also forecast the sales for every given day for the next year by understanding the seasonality and past trends
The most advanced form of Data science, also known as Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning combines multiple inputs to make “Automated/Self Decisions” to act upon a specific operation. Heard of the self-driving Tesla car? That’s a prime example of the Deep Learning algorithm at play
Every SME has 100’s of process steps & functions, right from requirement gathering, designing, manufacturing, supply chain, marketing and sales. Data Science can play a part in each of these functions to enhance & automate the steps to achieve maximum efficiency.
Manufacturing – Machine Downtime: Sensors powered by an ML algorithm can identify if a machine’s performance is below par and showing anomalies. This can proactively identify if a machine will face downtime in the next 12 hours.
Customer Support– Chatbots: Automate most parts of customer servicing by implementing a chatbox using Text Analytics algorithms. This can understand what a customer is looking for and redirect him/her to related links instantly
Sales forecasting: Forecast the sales for the coming months using a powerful time series algorithm, based on the company’s past performance. This can help to prepare with better logistics and optimized inventory.
Loan Default Prediction: SME’s will have plenty of small B2B customers, who’ll repay only after a given period. ML can be used to even predict if a certain customer will default on his loan or repay on time
Deep Learning / AI – SME’s use apps as a POS or a way of communication with clients. Apps can be built with inbuilt Object detection technology. Users can just scan the object with the app and it’ll automatically bring up all the necessary information through object detection technology
Styling Through AI: If you are running a clothing company, AI has so many of opportunities for you. For example, a person just has to click a picture of a dress she likes and the image recognition technology can bring up all the dresses that are similar to the image. The algorithm will check for a similar pattern, colour, style among other things
If you are an SME, the world of Data Analytics, Machine Learning & AI is at your beckon. Don’t miss out on embracing it for the better
Growth Matters Forum is a community for business owners to explore ideas, streamline growth and create an impact. Join the community at Growth Matters Forum