Solving business problems with machine learning

Are you making smart business decisions with the support of machine learning?



Machine learning – what exactly is it?

The term ‘machine learning’ can conjure up images of a futuristic cosmos where technology overtakes humanity as the driving force. But it’s definitely not that sinister – in fact, search platforms, social media, and other service providers use it to deliver personalized information based on our preferences and interests.

How? Artificial intelligence and the refining of automation.

Machine learning is about software to be programmed with the ability to self-teach via analytics.

To look at it simply, programming enables a piece of software to:

  • Undertake a set task
  • Identify any mistakes associated with that task
  • Learn from those mistakes, and
  • Apply those learnings to enhance accuracy, precision, and efficiency when executing the same task in the future.

But how can you use machine learning to add value to your business?

Using machine learning to add value to your business

The challenge all businesses face is information overload. While technology has given us access to a diverse range of previously unavailable data, the ability to strategically use that data to refine business value proposition, offerings, services and internal efficiencies is limited.

And while automation provides businesses with streamlined methods of managing that data, the gap is the ability to respond to ongoing business changes and new needs. Even if a number of processes are automated, organizations require continuous intervention from skilled professionals to re-customize and tailor the solution in response to the evolution of the business.

Enter machine learning. Integrated into an existing system or business application, it transforms that application into a responsive solution platform that dynamically refits itself to a new business requirement or process change with minimal intervention.


An example of machine learning in practice

Invoice processing and procurement are critical processes to all organizations. With a direct impact on any financials in terms of accounts payable and receivable, the communications and automation needed in this area are considerable. It’s critical they:

  • Increase exponentially alongside business growth; and
  • Evolve as challenges in the processes do.

Canon’s IRISXtract is a smart data capture solution that enables the automatic recognition of documents before extracting the required information for processing and validation. A layer of machine learning enables it to:

  • Discover and auto recognize different sets and types of structured and unstructured documents
  • Extract automatically important data, and
  • Pass that data on for processing and further validation.

Invoices, delivery notes, purchase orders and other forms of accounting information can be automatically recognized regardless of the structure and origin, classified, categorized and then processed for data extraction, irrespective of which vendor they are sent from.

The generated information can then be passed onto automated workflows for further approval and digital signing.


Are you using machine learning to eliminate manual tasks and focus on your core business?

Looking at the invoice and procurement lifecycle above, the trained algorithms in IRISXtract deliver savings of at least 50% of the current workload of any accounting function.

Further operational cost reductions can be gained via responsive communications. Where the software finds an invalidated business rule (such as a piece of required information missing), it has the intelligence to request external parties to resubmit or correct the provided information – on its own.

In many organizations, the energy and focus of resources are often consumed on manual and repetitive tasks, data processing and reporting, and analytics activities. Removing these functions, while unlocking timely and accurate data, leaves significantly more space for your teams to focus on creative and innovative business thinking cycles.

Machine learning enables any company to considerably reduce the efforts needed on these tasks. This means that your staff can focus on more strategic initiatives, goals, and objectives while being provided with the accurate analytical information they need for effective and facts driven decision-making.

Is your organization looking to take automation to an entirely new level? For a personalized consultation on how to bring the full value of machine learning to your organization

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