Machine learning: what is it and how can it help your business?

An Introduction to Machine Learning

You may have heard the phrase “machine learning” before. However, if like most people, you may not have a clue what it means or how it applies to your business. Machine learning is when computers and pieces of software find patterns in data, digitally fed into an algorithm to increase the efficiency of your business or systems.

This may sound a little complicated. However, that’s because it is. To provide a simple to understand example, popular services such as Netflix, Facebook, and Google all use machine learning to tailor an individual experience to you. For instance, when you browse Netflix, you receive recommendations based on what you have previously watched. No two Netflix accounts are the same, just like Facebook feeds and Google recommendations.

To put it simply: machine learning is designed to provide the user with an optimal experience, while simultaneously increasing the efficiency of the service that is provided. That is, on the business end, cutting costs, increasing sales, and creating an overall better environment and user experience for your customer.

More businesses are beginning to understand the power of machine learning, slowly implementing these systems into their own businesses to maximise efficiency, even increasing ROI.

How does machine learning apply to my business?

Good question. Your business may currently not use machine learning systems, especially so if you don’t use custom or bespoke software. However, even if you don’t, if you use services such as Facebook ads or even Google search, then you are benefitting from machine learning in-directly.

For example, when using Facebook ads, you can target a very niche audience, an audience that has liked specific people, interests, and even friends. Your ads use machine learning to target these people directly, allowing you to get your product or service in front of those most likely to be interested.

However, it doesn’t end there either. As we mentioned previously, bespoke software uses machine learning to increase the efficiency of your business. But what businesses does this apply to?

What industries can benefit from machine learning

Many, many industries and businesses can benefit from machine learning. Whether you own a corporate cleaning business, restaurant, or sell products online, you can reap the rewards of machine learning.

This is achieved via custom software, essentially allowing your program to become greater intuitive, learning from itself to make your business operations that little bit more efficient.

For instance, if you tailor-make a program to help manage your accounting books, then machine learning will further improve this process. Perhaps you have an outgoing payment every month to one person or business – the software will register this each month, saving you the effort of manually submitting and acknowledging this payment. This saves you time, effort, and if done right, creates much less work, allowing you to focus on other, perhaps more important tasks.

Let’s take another example; let’s say you manage a golf course and hundreds of members. Machine learning would allow you to account for each subscription payment, automatically following up with an email to remind of upcoming payments for the year or month. Once paid, the system will mark this for you, saving you the time and effort of following-up and emailing each individual member of the club.

As you can see, machine learning is extremely versatile and super powerful, reducing the required working hours and replacing these with intelligent and intuitive machine learning systems and pieces of software.

Minimising human intervention

The ultimate goal of machine learning is to minimise human interaction with a computer or system. These computers/machines learn from patterns and existing data and develop over time, becoming faster and more efficient.

Over the past decade, machine learning has expanded massively. While machine learning was exclusively developed to identify patterns, it’s now being used to develop self-driving cars and other fascinating technology. We’re not saying you need to develop your own set of wheels that can drive itself; however, reducing human intervention at work is a massive bonus.

Another example of this is the transportation industry. Let’s say your company specialises in delivering goods to warehouses and other organisations, most likely long and complicated journeys that take days to complete. With machine learning, you can plot the most efficient route taking into account potential problems, real-time traffic and road works, and even profitability.

It doesn’t end there, either. Retail businesses use it to create custom product suggestions, the healthcare industry uses sensors and other devices to monitor a patient’s vitals, and the government use machine learning to detect fraud, identify, theft, and other crime.

Bespoke software

If you like what you hear, and are perhaps considering how machine learning would help your business, then listen up. The team at Bespoke Software can help you. We specialise in custom-built software that utilises machine learning, allowing you to operate your business as efficiently as possible.

We’ve worked with various companies, organisations, and businesses to fast-track their systems and make these more efficient. In-turn, saving them more money, time, and effort. There’s no task too big or too small we can’t handle, so feel free to reach out and start the conversation on how we can help your business.

To view our case studies, click here.

To conclude

Machine learning is a relatively new process/system developed in recent years. It’s only now that many businesses realise how machine learning can help them progress, expand, save money, and overall, become more efficient.

Remember: machine learning is not exclusively for large businesses or retail outlets; it’s for all businesses that have some current system or software and are looking for an intelligent and intuitive upgrade.

If you’re looking to implement machine learning into your daily operations, the team at Bespoke Software can create custom programs and software tailor-made to your business.

To get in touch give us a call  on 01733 215 777 or head over to our contact page.