By Alain Stephan
We are witnessing the early stages of an amazing time in human history. This is no secret. Amazon’s Echo, Apple’s Siri, Tesla’s autonomous vehicles, smart appliances. These innovative products are hard to ignore. And it is also hard to ignore the obvious defining feature they share — they are all fueled by artificial intelligence (AI).
But besides AI, there is something even more powerful that they share.
Yes, these household-name products and technologies are backed by amazing AI. But the personal user does not need to worry about how these products work, they just make their lives better — whether powered by AI, HAL 9000, or some wizard behind a curtain. The personal users’ routines and lives are enhanced — sometimes overtly, often subtly, nearly always meaningfully — by beautifully and simply packaged, easy-to-use artificial intelligence. In short, these products make AI consumable.
Think about it. Did you hold a family meeting and form a task force to make sure you realize full ROI from your Amazon Echo? Or did you power it up, ask Alexa to play Free Bird and start looking for new ways to connect it to your network of devices and make your daily life amazingly better?
Odds are you simply started using it¹ because Amazon designed a product with the goal of making it easy to consume the benefits of the AI. They didn’t set out to make Alexa to be a custom algorithm, tailored to each household’s unique problems, needs, and voice patterns. They designed a product for mass consumption, building AI that solves an ever-increasing universe of problems. Every day, Alexa is learning and getting smarter. She is getting better at answering your questions. And you, the personal user, don’t have to worry about how she’s doing it. Sit back, sip your tea, and ask Alexa to dim the lights.
When it comes to servicing business users, however, the major players in the tech world seem to be reverting back to archaic approaches for solving problems — developing better software, tools, and platforms. These tools are wonderful at enabling² business users. The tools provide the means to discover new patterns, create powerful new custom metrics and models, and explore new use cases and value propositions for the analysis of raw data.
Yes, analytics software tools are enabling business users to do a whole lot of really cool things. But in my opinion, that approach also translates into a whole lot of work — work and time spent scoping, collecting, cleansing, training, iterating, testing… Ugh.
So why have tech companies focused so much on the how when it comes to business users? Why have they complicated things? Why can’t they deliver data products that make a business smarter, delivering on a simple promise to the business user: “Do what you do, but do it smarter”?
The conventional wisdom, of course, is that the needs of the business user are so different across companies and industries, so complex and hairy, that tech companies would be trying to boil the ocean if they attempted to answer any meaningful business questions without very customized analytics. After all, the thinking goes, businesses have too many unique internal problems, processes, and politics for anything else to work. It thus becomes the ultimate in B2B tech hubris to think that one analytics product can accurately and effectively deliver insights for nearly every business.
At DialogTech, we believe in being the easiest company to work with, whether as a customer or an employee. So we challenge ourselves to make everything easier — even AI. And we believe that we are in a unique position to revolutionize how businesses leverage AI. The reason isn’t any one thing, but a combination of strengths that have taken years to develop and hone.
There is a better way to build AI-powered products for businesses. Every business — large or small. That’s what we’re working on. And we are moving fast — so stay tuned.
If you have specific questions about AI, please feel free to email them to us firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to answer.
¹Unless you’re this person.
²Merriam-Webster defines enable as “to provide with the means or opportunity.” By definition, therefore, analytics tools provide the Business User with the means to do analysis.
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