• Impact Study

Impact Study changing the face of consultancy with Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is the measure of the system’s capabilities to determine the right course of action to achieve the desired goals. AI adjusts its behaviour to optimize performance. It is fuelled by data, from where the machine learns the most subtle of patterns to differentiate between categories. It relies entirely on data and massive amounts of it. Early AI was a ‘rule-based system’, which meant that the machine followed a fed set of instructions. Recent AI is much more sophisticated where AI learns from data and creates new solutions to new problems. There are 2 types of AI systems, ‘narrow’, where expertise is confined to a single domain, and ‘general’, where expertise is spread across several domains.

Companies are using AI for complex strategy models. For tasks that have a scope for better performance, and the capability to generate data, AI can help yield superhuman level performance. Though AI has been around for some time now, improved computational powers and algorithms have led to impressive improvements. As a result, AI is now being moved out of the lab and used in real life. Their value comes from being cheaper, faster, and easier to employ, relative to human expertise. AI can be operated by lesser skilled humans too because the expertise has been embedded in the machine. AI software can be replicated at minimal costs, which is why services provided with the use of AI cost less as well. It is revolutionizing because now scientific and highly accurate data can be produced with minimal expenditure. It also means that they can process data at a much larger scale, which otherwise would have been a difficult task if done with humans. The reaction time being infinitesimal, it is used for high-frequency tasks, which cuts down time to milliseconds. AI applications include but are not exhaustive of-

  1. Data classification- AI classifies data more accurately than humans. The data output is clean and crisp since AI fishes out useful data like finding needles in haystacks.

  2. Anomaly detection- Helps detect anomaly, such as fraudulent financial transactions, or malware. AI does it by identifying routine patterns of behaviour from the past, and then singling out anything that does not fall into that pattern. Helpful in monitoring large data streams and in real-time, it cuts down on time humans would have spent figuring anomalies out.

  3. Prediction- Since AI processes a large amount of similarly patterned data; it can predict future behaviour based on past behaviour. Already in commercial use, ISB uses this feature to predict economic boost or product reception based on past performances. It provides accurate insights into business areas including sales and operations.

A knowledge-based consultation technique is one of the most promising areas of AI applications. ISB commercially harnesses strategic digital assets for growth and new business. Clients can suffer from myopia, failing to envision long term goals, and that is where ISB steps in. It offers innovative commercial delivery modes bundled into improved analytics. It has unlocked a data-informed culture and transformed business models with the help of AI ecosystems. With the use of AI, ISB automates the whole process of consulting. The solution implemented by this technology is based on the ‘Cognitive Model’, in which human behaviour and problem solving skills are simulated through AI. The resulting solution is hence called ‘Cognitive Consultant’, which ISB makes use of. Cognitive consultancy provides a world class experience to clients reducing human engagement, which can then be employed in areas where AI doesn’t work.

ISB doesn’t create new information or run new analytics. Instead it makes use of the information that other companies already have access to, but are unable to put to use. It generates a competitive advantage through data science. AI is not labour intensive; it reduces the need for human hands at work, the machines doing the work for them. The use of AI solutions makes time-based business models obsolete, which leads to ISB following a flat fee model. ISB, being a general consultancy firm, is a pioneer user of AI. Data scientists now bring solutions to the table without needing management consultants. The AI systems at ISB are fed data in the form of growth strategies from different industries from all over the world. It is a continuous process of learning for the system. Whenever a new client with a unique problem needs help, this AI helps find solutions by permutations and combination of the strategies accumulated over the years. It works by filtering out, processing, and generating a base strategy unique to the product, industry, location, and objective. By processing past and current consumer behaviour practices, it can almost accurately suggest the location and timing of product launches that will ensure maximum consumer engagement. It also predicts success rates of strategies which is then useful in either changing or developing the base strategy for maximum output.

ISB is one of the pioneers of moving the consultancy industry from active to passive management by rolling machine-driven algorithms. ISB’s consulting services include bias-free insights (humans are prone to cognitive biases), because they are solely based on data science. It employs AI to figure what works and what doesn’t in marketing channels and customer engagement. Eliminating guesswork, the consultancy then allocates resource decision to alternate marketing choices. Though most clients initially sought out human services with years of industry experience, they are now realising that years of industry experience is nothing but a keener understanding of data patterns. AI achieves that in time that is miniscule compared to what a human takes to gather that experience. ISB makes use of that and provides services at a cost that is reasonable because it doesn’t charge for human industry, rather machine learning based outcomes.

PwC’s UK AI leader Euan Cameron says, “Artificial Intelligence could add huge value to the professional services sector”. AI can significantly restructure workloads by examining years of behaviour. The system compiles both client data and external data to create a platform that tailors the information to client demand using data statistic algorithms. Practice that involves filtering useful data from big data sets, it also involves minimal programming. Data science for AI works by covering a broader spectrum than just statistics and algorithms, through the inclusion of data engineering, data, business, and predictive analytics. It examines years of behaviour. To sum up in Dr. Matthew Howard’s (Director of AI at Deloitte) words, “Consultants have a key role to play in fulfilling the demands of the market as part of the AI ecosystem – marrying business needs with technology.”

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