Major Disruptions and The Effect on Machine Learning Algorithms

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COVID-19 and the Impact of Automation

“Data Science is a Team Sport.” That is what we have known at NLP Logix for almost a decade.  During that time, our team of experienced software engineers, mathematicians and statisticians and machine learning engineers have seen the effects major disruptions have had on the thousands of machine learning models we have fit and deployed for our almost 50 customers.  We have seen the effects of the H1N1 virus (swine flu), Zika Virus, hurricanes, oil price shocks, wars and other disruptions have had on the staffing, healthcare, fitness, financial services and myriad of other industries our customers serve.

Given this experience and a cat-bird view of how disruptions affect machine learning/AI models here is some practical advice:If you are currently relying on a black box machine learning solution, throw it out.  For better or worse, the world has now changed, and your clients behavior will now change in how they interact with you.  Businesses will deploy capital differently, consumers will change their spending patterns and suppliers will be forced to adjust.  That model must be refit on your most recent data otherwise it will chug along thinking it was the world we lived in before COVID-19.

If you are not currently using machine learning models to drive your business, now is a great time to get a jump on your competitors.  You will be able to level-set against the rest of your industry and train models given today’s realities.  For example if you are a,:

  • Maintenance Activity: Your customers will now be behaving differently.  Maybe they hold on to their fleet longer and invest more in maintenance.  Now is a great opportunity to optimize your work and how you deliver maintenance services to your customers.
  • Accounts Receivable Professional: Consumers will now be interacting with you differently.  If you are in the healthcare revenue cycle management industry, your world is different today as it was just this past month.  Your data can tell you what that new world looks like.
  • Private University: Today, there are tens of thousands of college students staying home right now taking their courses online, all the while their parents are asking “why am I spending over $50,000 per year for a traditional college education.”
  • Staffing Industry Professional: Don’t batten down the hatches and hide.  Take the initiative and start automating your processes based upon how the talent markets are now shifting.  Now is your chance to get ahead of the competition if you use your data correctly.

These are just a few examples, and we could think of 100 more.  The key is to step-back and look at your industry, customers and suppliers through the lens of the world that will emerge from this pandemic.  A great approach to make that happen is the following:

  • Conduct a full data analysis of your organization.  This includes all of your transactional, business and other data sources and identify the trends.  This will give you peace of mind of having more actionable information other than just watching the news announce another event closing.
  • Start an automation plan.  Now that you’ve completed your data assessment, you have the insight to start an automation plan for business process automation.  Why do your invoices need to be reviewed manually? Why do you manually prepare and submit repetitive pre-authorizations?  Why are you paying a large staff to do the same thing over and over again every day (and they are probably all sitting in cubes next to each other)?
  • Start small and never stop on your automation plan. This is where the true power and return on investment of machine learning/AI will benefit your organization.  Once you’ve started down this path, and your organization becomes more data-driven, you will build those muscles to bring on larger automation tasks and you will begin to really separate from the competition.

If you need help putting that automation plan together feel free to contact the professionals at NLP Logix. We understand that every business is unique and all data is different. Our team gets to know you and your company and leverage our technology to automate your unique processes. In addition to living the axiom “Data Science is a Team Sport,” we also like to say to our customers “Yeah, we can automate that!”