The last few years have seen a number of new technologies enter our lives so you’d be forgiven for perhaps not quite understanding how they might all fit together.
However, when it comes to technologies such as big data and artificial intelligence (AI), it is really important that companies work hard to establish the relationship between the two. Understanding the links between AI and big data can lead to great business insight and as such input into a company’s business strategy, thus helping the company move forward and improve.
Recent research in New Zealand, conducted by EMC, a leading cloud computing and big data firm, has shown that New Zealand businesses are, on the whole, embracing big data and utilising their learnings to inform their business strategies.
With 69% believing that big data analytics are crucial to the functioning of their businesses and 41% stating that when making business decisions they always consider big data, it is clear that big data has made an enormous amount of headway over the past few years.
However, whilst there are many companies across the world, not just New Zealand, trying to utilise big data analytics to its full potential, there are many who believe big data will never be able to achieve its full potential unless AI is also applied.
AI can provide companies with much deeper insight into business issues and help them to gain a more in-depth understanding of certain correlations that humans or big data on their own cannot detect. These days’ information and data changes so quickly that humans can find it hard to keep up; adding AI into the equation alongside big data can therefore help business deal with these speedy changes in a more effective manner.
How can AI work with big data?
One of the biggest problems humans have, in terms of big data, is that data sets are becoming too large for us to deal with effectively. Up until this point, humans have always been able to develop complex algorithms, hypotheses and theories, to deal with the information collected within these data sets but now it’s getting more difficult to make any sense of the vast quantities of information we collect. This greatly limits the insight we can glean from the data.
Bringing AI into the equation adds an extra level of intelligence into big data analytics. This means that complex issues can be understood a lot faster than if just relying on humans. Because AI is not bound by already established perceptions, as humans are, it also means that it is unlimited in the tests, hypotheses, variables etc. that it can develop and test. This means businesses are much more likely to discover patterns that they would never have done on their own.
Big data analytics can throw up a range of challenges, which humans on their own might well miss in the first instance or just not be able to solve, so AI’s ability to identify such issues and then reveal innovative solutions would be a huge help to companies.
AI algorithms have already been of particular help when added to big data analytics in the health sector. The combination of technologies has enabled Canadian researchers to recognise specific patterns in data taken from premature babies’ heart monitors and enable them to detect potentially life-threatening infections in their vital signs.
This knowledge thus enables doctors to recognise the warning signs earlier, in fact up to 24 hours before the baby starts showing any other symptoms of infection. In this case combining the two technologies can therefore be life-saving!
Although most businesses will not benefit in quite the same way, i.e. with life-saving insight, there is no doubt that the combination of AI and big data can lead to better decision-making processes and crucially, result in improvements being made to the day to day running of businesses.
The relationship between the two technologies can be as strong or as weak as you want it to be. However, you’d be much better off embracing the two technologies together. Your business will always benefit from more in-depth and better insight, so why wait any longer to make AI and big data part of your business strategy?