How Big Data and AI are changing the Workplace

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The excitement has still not settled from the paradigm-shifting impact of Big Data on the way we work, largely because technology continues to spiral upward at a staggering pace. With the Internet of Things (IOT) turning everyday devices into a source of raw data for analytics to generate business insight, artificial intelligence is now coming of age to make analytics even more productive and efficient in the workplace.

Going into the future, large organisations expect to have 10 to 1000 times more data than what they have today. Established industry leaders with decades of industry and domain expertise, are at the forefront of helping businesses capture data, discover meaningful insights and deploy the benefits throughout their organizations.

These days, AI is changing both the competitive landscape and customer expectations to create a culture shift at top organizations. In the long run, this type of digital transformation improves the way we work. Leading organizations are experiencing a culture shift being championed by executives that realize that the digital transformation ushered in by AI is changing the competitive landscape and shifting expectations with customers that are changing virtually all aspects of how we operate. And the biggest shift is how we view, value and monetize information – made possible through data-driven decision-making.

Might be pertinent to ask at this juncture – What is AI and how does it matter to us. Artificial intelligence (AI) makes it possible for machines to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs and perform human-like tasks. Most AI examples that you hear about today – from chess-playing computers to self-driving cars – rely heavily on deep learning and natural language processing. Using these technologies, computers can be trained to accomplish specific tasks by processing large amounts of data and recognizing patterns in the data. AI has become more popular today thanks to increased data volumes, advanced algorithms, and improvements in computing power and storage.

Also – why is Artificial Intelligence important? Some quick obvious benefits are:

  • AI automates repetitive learning and discovery through data. But AI is different from hardware-driven, robotic automation. Instead of automating manual tasks, AI performs frequent, high-volume, computerized tasks reliably and without fatigue.
  • AI analyzes more and deeper data using neural networks that have many hidden layers. You need lots of data to train deep learning models because they learn directly from the data. The more data you can feed them, the more accurate they become.
  • AI adds intelligence to existing products. Products we already use will be improved with AI capabilities. Automation, conversational platforms, bots and smart machines can be combined with large amounts of data to improve many technologies at home and in the workplace, from security intelligence to investment analysis.
  • AI achieves incredible accuracy through deep neural networks – which was previously impossible. For example, our interactions with Alexa, Google Search and Google Photos are all based on deep learning – and they keep getting more accurate the more we use them.
  • AI adapts through progressive learning algorithms to let the data do the programming. AI finds structure and regularities in data so that the algorithm acquires a skill: The algorithm becomes a classifier or a predictor. And the models adapt when given new data. Back propagation is an AI technique that allows the model to adjust, through training and added data, when the first answer is not quite right.
  • AI gets the most out of data. When algorithms are self-learning, the data itself can become intellectual property. The answers are in the data; you just have to apply AI to get them out

Besides the above, it would not be wrong to say that Data analytics is fast becoming the key source for Business Innovation. Just as big data and digital transformation are busting internal silos, there’s also a similar change in how organizations share data externally with customers, suppliers and regulators. Innovation is more prevalent among organizations that source and share data more openly with external stakeholders.Further explained :

  • Wider use of analytics, better knowledge of its benefits and greater focus on applications have reversed a trend on the benefits of analytics.
  • Return on investment for analytics stems from the governing and sharing of data throughout the organization.
  • Machine learning enables organizations to discover more insight from their data, allowing employees to focus on other critical responsibilities.

In conclusion, it would therefore not be wrong to say that whether it’s tracking movement or understanding work habits, the Internet of Things is transforming many elements of the way we work. With IoT’s key role in making big data even bigger, it has an equally important role in realizing the innovations made possible by the data. AI capabilities can be anything from implementing image recognition to analysing consumer spending behaviour for fraud. Even the smallest changes to achieve more focused insight into trends and patterns allow powerful AI capabilities to yield big results from complex data sets.

Stephen Hawking has said, “Every aspect of our lives will be transformed [by AI],” and it could

be “the biggest event in the history of our civilization.”We’re not quite there yet, but it’s only a matter of time.It would be extremely interesting to see what AI would mean for business and leadership, and how analytics would come into play.But it is sure that different industries will go on the path of utilising AI to achieve a competitive edge and better serve their goals and customers.


About Author- Debjani Roy, Chief People Officer, SRL Limited. She is an HR Generalist with over 22 years of experience, Debjani has widespread HR exposure and hands-on experience in diverse industries spanning Manufacturing (NALCO), Telecom (Bharti), IT and ITES (HCL Tech. & BPO, Bentley Systems & Bharti), Travel (Kuoni) and now SRL Diagnostics (a Fortis Group Company).  Her notable areas of expertise includes; Mergers & Acquisitions (both domestic & International); focused as well as volume Resourcing to support Organic & In-Organic growth of an organisation; Performance Management; Comp. & Benefits – strategy as well as application; Employee Engagement; Internal Communication, Retention, Stakeholder Management, Is a professional Coach to senior Leaders, Organisation Interventions for Growth etc.

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