Has your business delved into the exciting world of machine learning yet? This application of artificial intelligence (AI) has the ability to transform the way your business approaches data, from processing it to using it to inform your business practices and solve problems.

What is machine learning?

It can feel a little fuzzy or futuristic to those outside of IT, but machine learning has very tangible, right-now benefits.

At its most basic, machine learning is the task of making computers more intelligent by teaching them to identify patterns in data. Instead of telling a computer how it should behave or what to do, it teaches computers to retrieve data, then it uses that data to learn and process new information.

How is machine learning different from AI?

AI is like the tree, and it has a number of branches, including natural language processing (NLP), deep learning, computer vision, and others. One of those branches is machine learning.

Why machine learning? It comes down to data

Managing, processing and securing massive amounts of data is a big problem for modern businesses, so much so that it’s getting more and more difficult for humans to make sense of it.

Machine learning is the tool that can make sense of that data and help you put it to work, and do so in far less time than it would take a human. Consider how helpful some of these machine learning capabilities might be for your business:

  • It can discern patterns in data that humans might not otherwise detect or that is tedious for humans to do (for example, flagging offensive comments in a post)
  • It can deliver insights for smarter decision making, such as predicting customer retention
  • It offers opportunities for your business to increase productivity and efficiency
  • It can automate simple choices, so human teams can be freed up to focus on more complex decisions

Where do the humans come in?

For machine learning to work, it requires human input to set the structure and rules that will train the machine, as well as humans to interpret outcomes during deployment and management.

As well, data integrity is critical. Data scientists are needed to ensure data quality and hygiene. Without impeccable data science, any benefits from machine learning won’t be as effective or accurate.

Why Microsoft Azure Machine Learning?

There are a number of machine learning options, and Microsoft Azure Machine Learning stands out for its features, capabilities and pricing model, and the fact that it’s a secure and trusted platform.

Microsoft launched the Azure Machine Learning service in 2014 to bring predictive analytics into the Azure public cloud, which means users don’t need to invest in additional hardware or software. It’s a pay-as-you-go service, so you only pay for what you need.

Microsoft offers end-to-end MLOps (DevOps for machine learning) and allows businesses to undertake large data processing projects in what’s essentially a low-code environment. Some of the features we like include that it’s a user-friendly, drag-and-drop tool. It even comes with some data and algorithms built in, to improve accuracy of predictions.

For those who are somewhat wary of AI bias, it’s good to know that Azure Machine Learning can be built to moderate for fairness. Enterprise-level security and data privacy are also thought-through and accounted for.

What’s next?

Would you like to learn more about putting the power of machine learning to work for your business? AccountabilIT can help. Contact us to learn more.