Machine Learning is a technique to make computers understand patterns without being explicitly programmed. This is an area of Artificial Intelligence, a bunch of mathematical and statistical formulas trying to understand patterns hidden in data.
The area of study started with researchers trying to figure out how humans understand the world around them. It includes,
Machine Learning tries to mimic similar process to make computer learn/understand patterns hidden in data. Machine Learning algorithms can understand and process only the numbers which is a limitation, where as human mind can understand many things beyond numbers. The stepwise process of pattern recognition in Machine Learning is as below.
How Machine Learning (or Artificial Intelligence) can add value to business ?
Traditional way of Implementing Business Rules: In a traditional software company (where no Artificial Intelligence is used), a Business Analyst (BA) or Subject Matter Expert (SME) will understand business rules (or patterns), he/she will explain them to the programmer. The programmer will write a bunch of if-else conditions and loops to implement the functionality. When business rules change the programmer will have to depend on the BA/SME to perform the changes and the cycle of code, build, test, and deploy will continue until all the needs are met.
Here, the business rules understood by BA/SME are the basis for the whole system in making decisions. If for some reason, BA/SME is unaware (geographic location or changing patterns) of some scenarios, the system will fail to deliver best-in-class service in turn impacting the business.
Machine Learning way of implementing Business Rules: In a Data Science project, we consider all the above traditional approaches, on top of it Machine Learning or Artificial Intelligence will bring insights that may have been ignored by BA/SME.
The stepwise approach
Here, we consider BA/SME understanding, on top of it we are using data to bring out patterns (instead of programmer coding if-else conditions). The advantage of using Machine Learning approach is that it will bring out all hidden patterns in data. Especially in this data rich era (lots of digitized data), using AI/ML will bring lots of benefits to businesses.
The building blocks for succeeding in AI is to have a strong hold of basics in ML. There is a necessity for every individual associated to Data Analytics (especially inclined towards Predictive/Cognitive Analytics) gain this knowledge to come up with Innovative ideas and connect at the grass root level.