“44% of executives believe artificial intelligence’s most important benefit is automated communications that provide data that can be used to make decisions.” –Narrative Science

Companies today are considering AI options more and more. But what many companies don’t know is that to be able to succeed with AI you need to have a solid digital plan and good data in place first. If you don’t, you won’t succeed with AI. The key here is consistency. With consistency in place you are able to stretch your plan and strengthen it along the way.

To embark on a successful AI journey there are 9 key things to keep in mind:

  1. Believe the hype! It’s been proven that when implemented correctly, AI can potentially boost your top and bottom line.
  2. Without support from leadership, your AI transformation might not succeed.
  3. You don’t have to go it alone on AI – find a trusted partner for capability and capacity.
  4. Resist the temptation to put technology teams solely in charge of AI Initiatives.
  5. Take a portfolio approach to accelerate your AI journey.
  6. Machine learning is a powerful tool, but it’s not right for everything – think it through!
  7. Digital capabilities come with AI.
  8. Be bold.
  9. The biggest challenges are people and processes.

Businesses are finding it hard to figure out how to deploy AI and they are struggling to find out how it would work within their businesses. In 2016, total investment internal and external in AI reached somewhere between $26 and $39 billion. To find out if AI is right for you and your business you want to ask yourself the right questions.

Similar to a data management implementation, start with the end in mind and ask:

  • What business problem am I trying to solve?
  • What will the AI system do?
  • What will I teach the AI system?
  • What should I have experience with before starting my AI journey?
  • How do I make sure to keep my AI system updated?

With AI you can solve a lot of problems, but AI is not the answer to everything and it isn’t right for everyone. The biggest mistake companies can make is to start their journey with AI by not thinking it through. Good data is so important when starting this journey, and data is something that many companies already have, but their data management strategy needs to be strong before taking the path towards AI.