Artificial intelligence is increasingly driving decision-making in industries as varied as retail, manufacturing and healthcare and in large companies. In the digital age, businesses face a constant challenge: staying ahead of the curve when data is all around and ever-increasing in frequency and quantum.

By harnessing AI technologies, businesses can unlock insights, streamline operations, and make more informed choices. Here’s how to maximise AI’s potential:

Data-driven decision-making: Organisations are tapping into vast pools of data generated by their operations, customers, and markets. AI algorithms can sift through this data to identify patterns, trends, and anomalies that normally elude human analysis. By utilising predictive analytics, businesses can anticipate market shifts, customer preferences, and even potential risks.

Enhanced planning and forecasting: Traditional planning processes mostly rely on static models and manual inputs, making them vulnerable to inaccuracies and unforeseen disruptions. AI revolutionises planning by offering dynamic, real-time insights based on continuously evolving data inputs. Whether it’s resource allocation, production scheduling, or budget forecasting, AI-driven planning tools empower enterprises to adapt swiftly to changing circumstances. An energy company recently employed AI algorithms to optimise its power generation schedule by considering factors such as weather forecasts, energy demand patterns, and equipment maintenance requirements.

Personalised insights and recommendations: AI excels at personalisation by analysing Big Data to understand individual preferences and behaviours. By tailoring recommendations and content to specific users, many businesses have finally enhanced customer engagement and loyalty. Moreover, personalised insights also empower employees by delivering relevant information and guidance tailored to their roles and responsibilities.

Risk management and mitigation: Managing risks effectively is paramount. AI-powered risk management solutions can identify potential threats, vulnerabilities, and compliance issues in real-time, enabling timely or proactive intervention and mitigation strategies. By leveraging machine learning and predictive analytics, businesses can anticipate and address risks before they escalate into crises.

A financial services company has embraced AI-driven fraud detection systems to monitor transactions in real-time and identify suspicious activities indicative of fraudulent behaviour — much needed for the too-fast-too-soon digitalised Indian financial services.

Clearly it is time for AI integration into many business aspects. Start with clear objectives. Define specific goals and outcomes you aim to achieve with AI integration — whether it is improving efficiency, enhancing customer experience, or mitigating risks.

Next, invest in data quality. Ensure data accuracy, completeness, and relevance to maximise the effectiveness of AI algorithms. Implement data governance frameworks and quality assurance processes to maintain data integrity.

Third, collaborate across functions. Drive collaboration between IT, data science, operations, and strategic business units to ensure alignment and synergy in AI initiatives. Cross-functional teams can only bring diverse perspectives and expertise to ensure that all relevant factors are taken in.

Fourth, iterate and adapt. Just like strategy execution tools, AI is not a one-time solution but an ongoing journey of continuous improvement. Embrace an iterative approach, leveraging feedback and insights to refine AI models and algorithms over time.

Lastly, incorporate ethical guidelines and compliance frameworks into AI development and deployment processes.

The writer is a Fortune-500 advisor, start-up investor and co-founder of the non-profit Medici Institute for Innovation