AI for Small Business

The era of Big Data is upon us and small businesses are, at least inadvertently, collecting lots of it.
Data is collected in just about every small business function. Customers relay their data to small businesses. Small business functions are delivering data within the company. Company employees are creating and processing data, too.

It’s everywhere.
Now, what do small businesses do with that data? They definitely want to know what to do. And they appear to be seeking help in that area.

Increase in AI and Machine Learning Jobs
According to recent data from Indeed.com’s jobs posting platform, small businesses are increasingly looking for help from artificial intelligence and machine learning experts. Per Indeed’s data, the amount of such job postings at the site is on the rise.
AI and Machine Learning have been identified as technologies with the second biggest impact on small businesses. Big Data is first, of course.
While more small businesses appear to be focusing on collecting data, a growing number are trying to get data to work for them too.

“We’re now seeing that companies have enough data and processing power to actually use deep learning. We’re seeing that they can use big, complex neural networks with multiple layers, and we’re finally there,” Indeed senior vice president of engineering Doug Gray tells Small Business Trends.

“It’s pretty accessible no matter the size of your business, if you architect your systems well to emit data. More companies know how important it is to log every piece of data and customer interaction. And it’s now simple, with Amazon, to spin up a bunch of nodes and build a model that has predictive power and then shut it down again at a very low expense,” Gray says.

Not Hiring? Collect Data in the Meantime
AI and Machine Learning are emerging technologies, especially for small businesses. They’re accessible technologies, too. And they should become more widely accessible over time.
Now may not be the time for your small business to hire here, though. It may never be but there is a takeaway for any small business. Collect all the data you can and keep it safe, of course.

While these remain emerging technologies, the more accessible that AI and machine learning become, the easier it should be to use data to work effectively for your small business.