The average research process is filled with repetitive and mundane tasks that take up a lot of unnecessary time. Recent estimates show that corporate researchers can spend up to 80% of their time on gathering and filtering information, and another 20% of time putting together briefings and reports. Nowadays, there’s no reason that time shouldn’t be put to better use thanks to automated technology and artificial intelligence (AI).
Of course, it’s no secret that many market research and intelligence professionals have a love/hate relationship with smart technology. However, the time has come for folks to get over their fears and use technology to automate simple tasks that free up time for more strategic activities.
To give you some ideas on how to get started with AI and automation, here are three ways companies are using technology to improve efficiency, decrease costs and uncover new sources of revenue.
1. Robotic Process Automation
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is becoming a dominant practice for modern businesses. More and more companies are looking to automate simple, repetitive processes by integrating technology, reducing cost and time spent on low value, labor intensive tasks.
As you may have guessed, this type of automation can be especially useful for basic intelligence gathering tasks that take significant time away from higher value projects and strategic contributions.
Examples of ways you can use RPA:
1. Data Mining
2. Data Collection
3. Basic Data Analysis
2. Smart Workflow
Smart workflows – also known as intelligent process automation (IPA) – combine machine learning with human intelligence to streamline the process. Many companies take this approach because it enables them to use machines for 80% of the work before real people to complete the final 20%. By reducing the amount of repetitive routine tasks, knowledge workers can focus on high value analysis and strategic activities. Also, having a human-in-the-loop, also accounts for the current limitations that exist with AI and machine intelligence.
Examples of ways you can use IPA:
1. Generating and sharing email briefings
2. Curating content for review by intelligence teams and market researchers
3. Tracking disruptions and innovations in your market
3. Content Generation
Natural language processing (NLP) has been used by organizations like the Associated Press for several years now. Thanks to recent advancements in semantic technologies, NLP has become a much more viable solution for teams looking to save time on generating intelligence reports.
Of course, NLP and semantic technologies still have a long way to go before they can effectively mimic, let alone replace, human intelligence when it comes to content creation. In the meantime, there are several ways that you can use these tools to save time on routine content tasks that take up more time than they're worth.
Examples of ways you can use NLP:
1.Generating content for reports and briefings (summaries, descriptions, etc.)
2. Secondary research collection with large document or data sets
3. Information sharing and distribution through digital channels
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