Welcome to the April issue of Martellus Matters. One of the questions we hear being asked in boardrooms across companies concerns what impact AI will have and how best to prepare for it. We tapped a leading professor and author in the field as well as our own Martellus Expert for their practical advice on what steps businesses should take now
AI is Coming…
Are You Ready?
Build the Right Strategy
AI is coming. Whether that is exciting, anxiety-provoking, challenging or all three, virtually every company is investing to get ready for the onslaught of artificial intelligence. Without having the right strategy in place first, though, businesses risk losing millions of dollars and umpteen hours of time. A smarter approach is to take a step back to ensure that you are foundationally prepared for machine learning before taking action. Consider what investing in AI will mean to your organization, identify when AI can help to achieve specific business outcomes and set clear, measurable goals. Ask yourself: Are you fundamentally structured for the coming digital experience, and if not, what people and processes do you need to get into position?
The Three-Step Plan
Begin by cleaning up all your data sources so that you have a single view of your consumer. To accomplish that you must be sure that your terminology is tagged online and off to provide an accurate report on every action that takes place from forms to downloads. This process will enable you to constantly gather information that can be used as predictive analytics. When you identify behavior across touchpoints, you will be better able to create an analytics-based strategy. Once you have the right tagging and analytics, think about the best experience to pilot with personalization: Will it help your bottom line? Will you learn more about your interactions with consumers? Be sure that you have clarity around use cases, including quantifiable measures. AI isn’t just coming, it’s here. And it can be transformative – if you do it right.
The Role of Data: What You Need to Do Now
We asked Amy Webb, founder of the Future Today Institute, NYU Stern School of Business professor, and best-selling author of The Signals Are Talking: Why Today’s Fringe Is Tomorrow’s Mainstream. for her advice on pitfalls to avoid.
“AI isn’t a magic wand. I once heard an executive brag about the number of machine learning patents his company had. ‘Great,’ I told him, ‘but what are you planning to do with them?’ Patents alone won’t create new business verticals or profit centers. To take advantage of this next era of computing, look for narrowly-focused business applications using data your company already has access to. Make sure that your data is clean, free of bias, and that you have consent to share it. It’s vitally important that every organization review its data retention and use policies now. Finally, make sure you’re developing your stable of quality data scientists and engineers who represent the rich diversity of your customer base. It will still take a few years for AI applications to propagate, but that doesn’t mean you can wait a few years to start recruiting and training your workforce.”
Martellus in Action: How Management Can Lead
Martellus Expert Damaris de los Santos specializes in digital product management, web usability and user experience. Here, she gives her tips on how management can lead the way to successful usage of AI.
1. Leaders must foster a culture of experimentation. Trying out pilot programs – and being willing to learn from them – can help you avoid larger and more costly disasters.
2. Implement a uniform set of best practices that grows out of your pilot programs and is informed by outside experts who create clear guidelines.
3. Start by automating an internal process that will free up employees to spend more time on other things that can improve the customer experience.