How to Integrate Machine Learning Models into Small Business?

Small businesses are always open to new opportunities which could give them a leverage in one way or another.

SaaS products, cloud for data storage and sharing, and self-driven digital marketing are the ways small businesses tend to opt because they consume less of a money and offer bigger profit margins.

Machine learning potential is the new thing small and medium companies are eyeing due to the potential it holds. One sure thing is the automation of workflows and second, data-driven information enables business executives to make better decisions.

What factors are making it easy for small businesses to integrate ML applications?

Machine learning algorithms and pre-trained machine learning models are the two main factors helping small businesses to easily integrate machine learning applications.

What is machine learning?

Before getting into details of how SMBs can seek advantage of machine learning applications, it is important to understand what is machine learning? It’s an AI’s application, having the ability to learn and improve experiences without being programmed by humans.

ML has an emphasis on the development of computer programs with the accessibility of related data which it uses to learn.

Now, get back to how small business can integrate machine learning.

ML Algorithms, Yet to Be Trained

To train ML model, a developer feeds data through algorithm and later uses trained or fed model with new data set. Do you know open source ML algorithms are driving factor for small businesses to extract maximum benefit?

Scikit-learn and Apache Mahout are some popular open source ML tools. They are industry tried and implemented with many algorithms which can handle different problems.

Now comes some constraints, you must have labeled and a good amount of data which needs to be trained through ML model.

Small businesses have hundreds of data points and lot more of first-hand data, sufficient enough to get trained. Through this data, you can get ML solutions like predicting churn rate, etc.

Pre-trained ML Models

Being a small business owner, you might think of first option to be the harder one. Then, there is the second and the easy to handle option, pre-trained machine learning models.

In this model, computation time and data requirement are key concerns. Large cloud vendors are providing pre-trained models as a service. Example, Amazon model which is being used in Alexa is also available at AWS platform.

Small companies trying to achieve the computation time thing through cloud platforms but they failed on the data side. However, with the provided solution, small companies can optimize their workflows just like large companies are doing.

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Applications of Machine Learning for Small Businesses

CRM Systems – Route Marketing and Sales Teams

These systems compile information of customers from different channels such as social, email, phone etc. This way sales forces get integrated environment for managing interactions. Also, automation in CRMs through machine learning improves marketing and lead generation.

Small businesses can benefit from AI integration into systems such as Salesforce. In 2016, Salesforce launched AI functionality for CRM applications. In recorded phone calls, emails and social posts, Einstein AI (by Salesforce) allowed small businesses assess consumer sentiments. Such businesses evaluated customer feedback and rearrange their marketing efforts.

With machine learning enabled CRMs, small business can better take hold on customer understanding and route their marketing and sales team towards customer satisfaction and more sales.

Customer Service and Support - Chatbots

Customer service and support is one of the best ways for customer retention. Quality of customer service may affect if the support person is involved in many other repetitive manual tasks. Since human has emotions so conversations may go negative. Chatbots are one of the ways offered by machine learning for customer support.

You can train chatbots with automated responses. This way more and more customers can be satisfied at the same time. Also, they are best where emotions can’t control the conversation.

Marketing – Sentiments Analysis Algorithms

Marketing budgets often exceed because there is lack of deep domain expertise. This is often undesirable for small businesses. So such businesses can use AI with their modest budgets. Acquisio is one of the tools which manages marketing across channels such as AdWords, Facebook, etc. and analyze performance. It suggests best budget distributions for Paid Per Click (PPC) campaigns.

Sentiments analysis algorithms of machine learning help in assessing customer data easy. This way you can reduce cost per click (CPC).

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