Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a term out of the books that has come to life in the last decade or so and is now widely used in businesses. Machine Learning (ML) is an integral part of AI that is redefining how businesses works in 2019.

Almost 97% of the mobile phone subscribers use machine learning applications in one way or another both knowingly and unknowingly. Hence, applying ML to your businesses will open up wide opportunities to connect with new customers and business prospects equally.

Against a traditional thought process, ML is not only applicable to large businesses with big names but to small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) as well. The algorithms of ML are getting smarter every day. Let us find out how can ML be applied to SMBs in 2019.

Machine Learning in Fin-Tech and Accounting

The average business is endangered to lose around 10% of its profit due to human errors in accounting and fin-tech. The margin for error has been made narrow by automation of most of the business processes including accounting.

Streamlining the repetitive and data-heavy accounting process by integrating book-keeping software with ML will make accounting more accurate, insightful and quick. One great example is the integration of QuickBooks 2019 with ML software.

Machine Learning in Cyber-security

 Cyber Security

The biggest setback that a business, irrespective of its size can have is the threat of cyber vandals attacking the database and buccaneering all the essential data. Applying ML for data security has dual benefits in terms of stringent and automated data security.

Machine Language is able to detect the patterns of the data and the intricate algorithm is impeccably good when it identifies any unusual or suspicious behaviour. This suspicious behaviour of the account or the network is used to detect whether there is a fraud or a security breach. 

Machine Learning in Smart Marketing

Smart Marketing

In 2018, almost 50% of the businesses adopted ML in their marketing process. Needless to say, they reaped the rewards in terms of improved marketing campaigning models and a surge in their revenue goals. This is just the tip of the iceberg!

ML is helpful in predicting the market trends, split testing, sentiment analysis and retargeting the customers. For example, using MailChimp integrated with ML can help to trigger a response (i.e. machine-learned response) according to the actions of the customer.

Machine Learning to Automate the Routine Tasks

One of the primary reason why ML is used in businesses is to automate mundane routine tasks like book-keeping, data entry, etc. Streamlining these tasks can help a business save hours of works which is very essential if you’re an SMB.

With machine learning saving time by automating routine tasks, an SMB can focus all its attention and time on core activities that increase production. Popular examples are using chatbots, personal assistance software and integrated email-ML software.

Machine Learning to Improve User Experience (UX)

In today’s highly digitalized world, a good user experience (UX) makes a world of a difference to an SMB. A bad and confusing UX interface means that the customer would just swivel away from your virtual properties (like webpages, etc).

ML features like voice assistance or chatbots if used on your webpage as the first point of contact (PoC) between the customer and your SMB, can improve the overall UX interface performance. They can analyze the patterns & trends in the customer’s actions to provide a better service.

Machine Learning for Customer Excellence

The ML features like chatbots that were mentioned previously can be used to predict the behaviour of a user and provide a suggestion based on the machine-learned data. An example of this is the e-commerce websites that ‘magically’ provide recommendations.

Using ML to study the behaviour of a user can help your SMB have an edge over the rivals by suggesting only the relevant to the specific customer. Hence, personalized ad-campaigns and customer-specific recommendations can be attributed to the learning of user patterns.

Machine Learning in Market Prediction

Market Prediction

Machine Learning has found a useful application in prediction of the market’s future trends, patterns and operations. By using ML-integrated market analysis, businesses have been able to stay up to date with every minute movement of the market at all times.

Hence, ML ‘tries’ to predict the future of the market which helps SMBs to know about the ideal stocks, funds and investments. Thomas Reuters has been able to blend ML in their marketing operation and is the front-runner in ML-integrated market analysis.

Machine Learning in Automated Recruiting

Automated Recruiting

The world’s average unemployment is at an all-time low, which is majorly attributed to lack of skills. Sometimes, due to human errors, some suitable candidates are not able to come to the surface and an SMB ends up losing a deserving candidate.

By using ML-powered recruiting applications and software (like recruitment chatbots) the process of recruiting can become automated from the initial screening to job matching. As a result, employers in SMB will find the right candidate and save time.

Machine Learning Can Save Power, Cost and Time

Back in 1992, researcher Koskela had mentioned in his new production philosophy how waste activities should be minimized and the core activities made better to save the resources of any business production. More than 2.5 decades later, the priniples are still true. CodeGreen Energy is saving a fortune for companies by its energy-efficient ML.

With the aid of ML technology, SMBs can now optimize the amount of power and also increase their efficiency by smartly predicting the future energy load at the SMB’s granular levels. For example, GE has used ML software to save 20% energy on wind-turbine motions.

BONUS: Machine Learning for Smart Conversational Interface

Tech-giants like Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple have been able to develop these ‘talking-interfaces’ and we don’t see any reason why SMBs shouldn’t follow suit. The concept of talking/interactive Interfaces (like chatbots, etc) has been made possible by ML.

ML-driven smart conversational interfaces have been providing answers to most FAQs. Some of its upper versions are now able to book appointment and set-up meetings. SMBs will benefit from these interfaces as they make the business process more efficient.

Parting Thoughts

Even though it might seem impending on the horizons but machine learning is not going to replace humans. Not as of now! The human intellect, emotions, relationships and insights are something that a machine lacks and they are irreplaceable.

Applying ML in business may seem like a technology that only the large firms can afford but with careful considerations and smart planning, you can optimize its use. Many cloud-based services have been able to provide cost-effective  ML-models of their own.

Recent technology has seen a surge in ML and this would probably be the best time to invest in a Machine Learning business solution. The availability of quality algorithms and the ocean of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), SMBs can now create their own ML-models.

Images: Freerangestock

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