The final blog post in our Digital Transformation series focuses on the idea of transforming impact to accelerate an organization’s mission. Organizations today need to be able to anticipate their members’ demands, expand their reach and develop new solutions to better meet their membership’s needs. They need agile decision-making tools that can capture and use data to respond to evolving business needs. By doing this, they then can use this data to transform and fuel innovation to better serve their missions.
BI and AI – The Intelligent Choices
The greatest benefits are comprised of Business Intelligence (BI) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) components. By standardizing on a robust Cloud platform, organizations gain and have predictive analytics with machine learning. They are using it to stay relevant and competitive.
Like most reporting solutions BI can show you what is going on, but the more important view is what is not going on, showing leaders the “invisible” aspects of their organizations’ business. BI brings all the operations and processes of an organization into the forefront thus making it possible for users to identify any areas that need improvement. Once leaders are able to see these “missing” pieces of what their members want they can understand why they are engaging with the organization. By using BI tools, organizations can use these insights to develop programs, services, etc. that match the expectations of their members thus increasing their revenues.
AI is the broader concept of machines being able to carry out tasks in a way that we would consider “smart.” AI can be used to automate the simple things like the communications process of an organization. Mundane tasks are simplified using big or complex data. Machine Learning is the current application of AI based around the idea that machines are given access to data that allows them to learn for themselves.
Where is AI Used
The most common examples of AI in everyday use are Apple’s “Siri” and Amazon’s “Alexa”— both personal assistants that have already become the new normal for thousands of people around the globe. These and similar intelligent gadgets are able to recognize our speech (read: “understand what we want or need”), analyze the information they have access to, and provide an answer or solution. What is remarkable (and a little scary) about such assistants is that they continuously learn about their users until the point at which they are able to accurately anticipate users’ needs.
Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music are some other touching points between AI and the public. These services are capable of recommending music based on your interests. These apps monitor the choices you make, insert them into a learning algorithm, and suggest music you are most likely to enjoy.
In associations, AI and BI can work together in tools like Microsoft’s Social Engagement Tool which is a social media listening and engagement application that allows users to gather insights, meet members on the channel of their choice, and build a trusted social presence with them. They are using BI data collection and AI intelligence to accomplish the following:
- Tracking sentiment on incoming social posts
- Receive alerts and notifications to allow users to stay ahead of any negative sentiment
- Analyze conversations to learn what members are saying about campaigns, the industry, etc. across multiple social channels with social listening
- Grow and manage their community by identifying, tracking, and connecting with influencers and others who come in contact with the organization.
Opportunities for New Business
As exhibited above, organizations can use information captured to create new lines of businesses and personalize their members’ experiences thus increasing engagement and retention. BI provides advanced analytics to provide staff with predictive insights into membership, trends, etc. They can collect, analyze, and develop a deep understanding of their memberships’ wants and needs to redesign experiences.
Fear Can be Paralyzing
A fear often expressed when organizational leaders object to switching to a Cloud platform is trust and security. While no system can boast that it is 100% hacker proof, the Cloud has become a much safer place. The world’s leading businesses and government agencies use and trust their information in the Cloud, and if a company like Microsoft can have trust in the Cloud, then why can’t other organizations big and small?
Do Your Homework
That said, organizations should conduct their own research before choosing a Cloud provider. They should seek out Cloud services that are reputable and used by the world’s leading CRM providers not small specialized systems that are not widely used or vetted. For example, organizations like Pixar, Ebay, Boeing, Samsung, 3M and the NFL are all trusting their Cloud services to Microsoft Azure (which also happens to be the Cloud service hosting Altai Systems’ AMS platform).
While it may seem appealing and cost effective in the short term to go with a small specialized system, the long term ramifications could be significantly burdensome. Highly specialized systems are often rigid in scope and become obsolete very quickly. They also tend to fail to keep up with the ever-evolving landscape of new technology tools. Likewise, by going with a small Cloud provider, an organization runs the risk that that provider may not exist or could be merged with another provider in the not so distant future. If that provider does go out of business or gets merged, then what happens to all the stored data? Is that kind of risk worth making for a short term financial gain?
The way data is consumed and the types of products and services members demand of their organizations are ever changing. The Cloud, along with BI and AI tools can help organizations, large and small, stay abreast of the dizzying landscape of technology apps and hacks. Levering tools that are designed to automatically update, helps alleviate the headaches associated with the dreaded system “upgrade.” Help your organization foster creativity and keep up with the times. Don’t fear the Cloud, embrace it.