Long regarded as a cutting-edge technology only accessible to large conglomerates, artificial intelligence is about to be introduced into the majority of companies, in all industries. It is also transforming the role of business analysts…
Interpretation of data
Anand Medepalli works at Element AI, which employs more than 500 people in North America, Europe and Asia. He describes how artificial intelligence has disrupted the daily lives of business analysts. “Artificial intelligence models can be used to interpret data (video feeds, in-store images, comments left on social media) to help the company predict its sales. These systems can react to events in real time and help retailers know actual demand at any time, and so adjust their stocks.”
Olivier Mégean, president of Demain.ai, a community that promotes an operational approach to artificial intelligence solutions, discusses how this process is becoming popular. “Despite conventional wisdom, AI is now accessible to a very large number of companies. There are off-the-shelf solutions, with pre-trained algorithms that help to make its use generally accessible.” Anand Medepalli confirms, “SMEs can make use of many free and open source models that will meet their needs.”
What does the future hold for business analysts?
Will AI dethrone humans? “It’s not a matter of replacing us, but of introducing the human being into this technological process to ensure that active learning is based on quality data,” says Anand Medepalli. “We already use specialized software packages. Now the use of AI is more efficient,” says Olivier Mégean. AI will change “the way current employees do their jobs,” the two specialists say. “Working with machines is more than the technology,” says the president of Demain.ai. “There has to be a change of mentality to understand how work is evolving and will be redefined.”
“Artificial intelligence can really help increase distribution and supply chain roles by eliminating repetitive tasks, for example,” predicts Anand Medepalli. “Certain roles will thus move up the value chain. Staff skills will need to be strengthened in order to work better with the machines, because AI, which is still an emerging industry, suffers from a shortage of technical skills.”