Centric Consulting was a proud premier sponsor of this year’s University of Akron data analytics conference. Here are some of our takeaways from the event about harnessing artificial intelligence for enterprise success.
On September 29, The University of Akron’s College of Business hosted its sixth annual Business Analytics Innovation Summit (BAIS) focused on cultivating intelligent data ecosystems that enable organizations to leverage data for strategic and operational decision making. The session’s presenters were hand-selected to illustrate how an ecosystem comes together and the next steps businesses are taking to realize analytics.
Our Centric Consulting Cleveland practice sponsored and attended the annual summit, but more importantly, we walked away with valuable insights on embracing AI at the organizational level.
It’s becoming increasingly clear today that embracing artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t simply a choice – it’s a strategic imperative. Recent statistics underscore the growing significance of AI in the workforce, prompting businesses to chart a course for AI integration into their overarching strategies.
For example, Gartner predicts that AI will generate 2.3 million new jobs by 2025, while PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates a potential $15.7 trillion contribution to the global economy by 2030. These statistics highlight AI’s transformative power poised to reshape industries and redefine business.
As a technical endeavor, AI and machine learning (ML) projects often start with the question, “How can we apply this data and this algorithm to our business?” However, in many cases, organizations should start with a different approach, focusing first on business needs and instead asking themselves, “What metrics and insights would be valuable to us, and which of those can AI provide?” Additionally, “Is the insight provided relevant and actionable?”
Our AI experts embrace this perspective, recommending clients start AI engagements with a visioning workshop where we collaborate with client stakeholders to capture business use cases that are most likely to drive value.
Challenges and Victories: Learning from Industry Leaders
A key theme from the event was looking to Amazon, Google and Microsoft as pillars of AI integration in the corporate world. These giants harnessed AI to elevate customer experiences, optimize operations, and stimulate groundbreaking innovations. Amazon’s AI-driven recommendation engine, for instance, demonstrates AI’s prowess in personalizing user experiences and is significantly boosting sales.
Yet, challenges have been part of their journey as well. Tesla’s ambitious Autopilot feature navigated regulatory hurdles and safety concerns, underscoring the criticality of responsible AI development. Learning from these successes and setbacks can provide crucial guidance as businesses embark on their AI journeys.
Getting AI-Ready: Tactical Steps
Another theme we noticed was that companies can become intimidated and overly cautious when pursuing AI initiatives. Taking a measured, thoughtful approach that focuses on creating value can yield substantial benefits. This six-step roadmap can help businesses eager to get AI-ready with this:
- Assessment: Start by evaluating your current data infrastructure and AI knowledge. Identify where AI can deliver the most value.
- Data Gathering: Collect and clean your data. High-quality data is AI’s lifeblood.
- AI Strategy: Develop a clear AI strategy aligned with your business goals, specifying the relevant AI technologies.
- Training: Provide AI training to your team, or recruit AI experts who can aid in building and deploying AI solutions.
- Pilot Projects: Begin with small-scale AI pilot projects to experiment and refine your strategy.
- Scale Up: Once you’ve optimized your pilot project, gradually expand AI’s use across your organization, continually monitoring and iterating as needed.
As organizations gear up to adopt AI, embracing a step-by-step approach rooted in strategic planning and scaling can help them drive more meaningful impact. In today’s landscape, where AI is rapidly transforming industries, collaborating with local leaders at BAIS around the challenges and opportunities it presents was valuable for our Cleveland team and the practitioners we met with.