The advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled machines to simulate human or natural intelligence, transforming the technology landscape forever.
Machine Learning (ML), a discipline of AI, empowers machines to automatically grasp data and learn from past experiences to identify patterns and predict outcomes. It gives computers the freedom to operate autonomously without relying on human intervention or explicit programming.
ML leverages algorithms to glean insightful information from colossal volumes of raw data. Hence, it has become essential for businesses to adopt ML to decrease costs, automate operations, and supplement revenue growth.
But most companies get stuck in the pilot phase either because their processes are not entirely codified or ML-critical data sources are too technical to produce actionable outputs.
So, how can businesses successfully adopt ML without incurring huge costs or hiring dedicated teams?
What Is MLaaS and How Can It Help Improve Your Business?
Have you ever wondered why Siri or Alexa are such great virtual assistants? Or how Netflix suggests just the right selection of movies and shows that cater to your tastes? Or better yet, how Spotify curates a playlist specific to your musical tastes?
Machine Learning is behind this all. But while Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify can afford to build their distinct ML models, your business might be strapped for cash. So how can you leverage ML to improve your business operations? By outsourcing the essential ML services to MLaaS service providers.
Machine Learning as a Service (MLaaS) refers to an array of services offered by cloud computing companies. These services are bundled together to provide machine learning tools in a subscription-based model, such as APIs, NLP (natural language processing), data analytics, deep learning, and facial recognition.
MLaaS service providers free you of time-consuming and expensive processes, such as model training and evaluation, predicting future outcomes, and data preprocessing. It can be implemented immediately, is scalable as per your business requirements, and since it’s subscription-based, you only need to pay for the services you use.
MLaaS can be employed by businesses to improve their business operations in a myriad of ways. Let’s take a look at some of them.
How can MLaaS help improve your business?
MLaaS has multiple use cases for businesses, providing access to faster, more accurate, and actionable insights to enable sound decision-making. Some of its common use cases are:
Leverage NLP for data extraction
NLP is a subfield of machine learning through which computers can recognize, decipher, and exploit human language.
NLP inspects a sentence’s language structure and meaning of words to extract data and produce outcomes. It learns and understands human language to help you automate various activities.
For instance, you need to extract a particular vendor’s email ID, phone number, and address from several documents. You can easily extract the required data through NLP, which would otherwise take up too much time and resources. NLP can also help you with document classification, text summarization, and more.
The increasing adoption of technology across industries has contributed to the growth of NLP, with the global NLP market size to reach $341.5 billion by 2030.
Wondering what else ML and by extension NLP help your business with? Levity’s guide to machine learning as a service can help you understand the applications of MLaaS and its subsets more clearly.
Enhance customer service through customization
Customers form the core of a business, and enhancing their experience is a great way to build a loyal customer base. Personalized solutions make your customers feel valued and understood.
With MLaaS, you can quickly analyze customer data and gain actionable insights to build a loyal customer base.
MLaaS will help you to gather customer feedback from multiple platforms and organize it. This will aid you in giving your customers a personalized experience to keep them satisfied with your product or service.
Explore raw data to gain intuitive insights
As a business, you’ll amass vast data over time. Analyzing this data to gain intuitive insights requires comprehending the data and connecting the puzzle pieces to achieve the complete picture.
You can explore data with MLaaS to weed out unnecessary information. MLaaS will present your data visually and in charts to help you discover the trends and analyze if a business opportunity is worth exploring.
Capture meeting notes through voice-to-text translation
Meetings—internal or external—are an integral part of a business. Several crucial agendas are discussed in a meeting, and sometimes it’s difficult to recall the exact discussion or the CTAs.
Individuals often jot down notes to serve as a ready reference for future uses. But it’s not the most efficient way to track everything discussed during a meeting.
With MLaaS, you and your employees can easily automate the meeting notes procedure using the voice-to-text translation system. This will aid everyone involved to be more present and focused in a meeting.
Identify new images automatically through computer vision
Computer vision employs MLaaS to understand and dissect the visual environment. Utilizing deep learning codes, computers can perceive and categorize objects in a pre-defined bracket, identify objects from a video or picture, and keep track of the movement of an object in a video.
Computer vision is based on pattern recognition. Here, visual data is necessary to train computers to analyze and classify photos, identify objects in them, and check for patterns.
A business can utilize computer vision to cut down on hours spent on manual labor to tag items from its inventory. For instance, if you sell footwear, it’ll require a significant amount of time to manually tag footwear according to various factors including type, design, and size.
Through MLaaS, you can leverage computer vision and utilize image annotation to automatically identify new product images and classify the product as per your defined tags.
Boost security with facial recognition
Most businesses protect their sensitive data through passwords and codes only a select few have access to. But they aren’t full-proof since password-protected data can be easily hacked. Thus, you must upgrade your systems to secure all your data–sensitive, classified, or otherwise.
With MLaaS, you can utilize facial recognition algorithms to grant access only to individuals who pass the camera’s test. This way, approved individuals can automatically access data, but unauthorized individuals won’t gain access to any confidential data.
Besides security, this will also ensure that your employees have only access to the data they require and not the entire database, which might end up overwhelming them.
Improve company culture through employee satisfaction surveys
You can utilize MLaaS to improve and drive your company’s culture too. This will promote not only a healthy work environment but also a productive one.
Begin by conducting an employee satisfaction survey. Expose the gathered data to sentiment analysis. This survey will assist you in understanding your employees better. You’ll be able to find the departments happy with their work, understand your employees and company atmosphere better, discover any challenges your employees might be facing, and more.
You can then work on improving the company culture to maintain a healthy work environment and enhance the overall employee experience.
MLaaS has countless applications and can help you improve your business in numerous ways. Some more examples include predictive analysis, designing virtual assistants or AI chatbots to save costs, establishing anomaly detection, and improving and automating manual tasks.
But why should a business use MLaaS?
Why should a business adopt MLaaS?
There are several reasons why small and medium-sized enterprises should adopt MLaaS:
- A third-party vendor hosts MLaaS: businesses don’t need to put any extra strain on their internal resources since a third-party vendor hosts MLaaS. They can get started with MLaaS immediately without going through the process of setting up an elaborate system or installing any software.
- MLaaS effectively manages data: MLaaS providers offer cloud storage and adequate ways to manage data for machine learning projects. This enables data scientists to effectively access and process data.
- MLaaS is cost-efficient: establishing an ML model from scratch is expensive for a business. Top-tier hardware is required, which is costly and consumes copious amounts of electricity. With MLaaS, you just need to pay for the hardware you use.
- MLaaS lets you experiment without writing extensive codes: MLaaS service providers provide tools for APIs, data visualization, predictive analysis, and NLP to help you perform sentiment analysis and derive actionable insights. Few MLaaS providers also offer drag-and-drop functionality that will let you and your team experiment with different tools without having to write extensive codes.
- MLaaS doesn’t need human intervention: machine learning models learn autonomously and aren’t dependent on human intervention. The more data they’re fed, the better they become at analyzing data and providing outcomes. This also helps automate several manual processes.
Adopt MLaaS to improve your business
MLaaS is the way forward for businesses. It is expected to experience a CAGR of 39.25% between 2020-2027.
When employed strategically, MLaaS can give you an edge over your competitors. It can also aid in scaling and improving your business, which will ultimately boost your revenue.