Every company is looking for an edge. It’s often thought to come with advanced technology. And it’s true that new technology can offer an advantage. But the technology alone isn’t enough. At the moment there’s a new combination of technology and data which provide the strongest competitive edge for businesses.
Understanding artificial intelligence
But to understand how data can revolutionize business, we first need to examine artificial intelligence. People often think of artificial intelligence, or AI, as little digital humans. Science fiction tends to portray AI as like humans but slightly more intelligent.
And it’s true that AI can help computers interact with humans. But the real power of artificial intelligence comes from data matching and manipulation. For example, AI is proving remarkably capable of cancer diagnostics. This is in large part because of how it handles data points.
AI can simply load up huge amounts of information about cancer. It can then use fuzzy logic to match up probable data points with corresponding connections in a patient. The end result is highly successful diagnostic procedures. An AI is capable of that advanced feat with medical data. And it can do something similar with data related to your business as well.
The first thing to keep in mind is that the source of your data matters. An AI, or anything working with data, needs to have exacting criteria in effect. This is one of the reasons why some companies specifically provide alternative data sources for clients. It’s not always an easy matter to narrow down your data sources.
However, some data sources are as easy as using a standard RSS feed. Many websites offer RSS feeds as a way to essentially tap into their database. One can sometimes even provide limited criteria which will modify the output of an RSS feed. However, you’ll almost always need to properly format the resulting data. And this is true even if an RSS feed allows some selective criteria.
Using your newly acquired data
Computers use something known as a data type to specify what kind of information it’s working with. This can prove somewhat difficult to understand at first. For example, a 1 can be both a string and an integer. Almost any data taken from an RSS feed or other online source comes in as a string of textual data.
Part of what your data processing and AI systems will need to do is scour these results for non-textual data. For example, if it noted the 1 in a text string than it might convert it to a usable number. But once the data has been properly formatted it’s ready for you to use.
Putting it all into action
Once you have the data sorted out you’ll need to configure your systems to make use of it. One of the most effective methods involve predictive data matching. Basically, your systems would look at existing data and then try to narrow down trends. This can provide you with a number of benefits.
One of the most important simply comes down to predicting market trends. But you might also see how your competitors will react to these market conditions. You might even see developing trends and have ideas on methods to capitalize on them.