Crank up the Business Shaft

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Crank up the Shaft

The world of Data Science, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning has been gripped in hype over the last few years. A typical consequence of any hype cycle is the obfuscation of clear thinking. Since these technologies are essentially tools for creating better business processes and a better world, it is as good a time as any to examine how we can use them to crank up the business shaft.

Elements of the Crank Shaft

I like to look at underlying structures and distill patterns that emerge from things around us. Consequently, I have created a CRANK framework to help us clearly think about the various categories of the benefits or business impact of AI, ML and Data Science. Here is a visual depiction of the CRANK model.

CRANK up the business shaft - by Rajiv Maheshwari

 Deconstructing the Crank Shaft

The various elements or categories of Business Impact are highlighted below. Of course, each one of these deserve a few dedicated posts and can vary significantly upon the particular business context. However, this should be a good starting point to start looking at the all elusive ROI (Return on Investment) on modern technologies such as AI, ML, NLP and other Data Science applications.

  • Cost

This is the most common use case of technology. AI and Data Science can be used to achieve unprecedented economies of scale, particularly when combined with other technologies that help process optimization.

  • Revenue

This is truly the game changer that is enabled by Data Science. One can influence the revenue streams in a very significant and exponential manner by the appropriate application of Data Science to large customer data sets.

  • Asset

AI can be combined with IOT (Internet of Things) to create unprecedented business models that help optimize the use of assets. The repercussions are far reaching and can impact the longevity, utilization and even use cases of any physical device.

  • New Capabilities

This thought brings us to yet another dimension, which is the creation of new capabilities that never existed before. These capabilities may or may not have been humanly possible, but certainly were not possible through the use of machines and computers without significant human intervention.  Examples could include the capability to understand, process and create language or even images, sound or art.

  • Knowledge

We are living in the Information Age when there is a flood of information. The need to process information overload is fairly nascent in the history of mankind. This is where Data Science and NLP can help us with the ability to process, absorb and even create new knowledge and insights.

The Cranked up Future

We have witnessed several disruptive changes in the recent past. However, these are largely enabling changes and this has opened up the world to the possibility of far bigger changes. We are at the cusp of a new world order in the Information and Intelligence age. We need to overcome the limitations of our thinking that have been shaped by the Industrial Age. It is indeed time to CRANK up the business shaft and welcome the new world order!

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