As soon as we turn on a smart device connected to the internet, machine learning algorithms are at work. The spam filter got rid of annoying junk mail, automatically? How convenient! The latest Netflix series recommendation looks totally exciting? Put it on the watch list! And that great book tip on Amazon, you had that on your shopping list anyway? Check!
Welcome to the ever-improving world of self-learning programs. These collect your data, examine the existing data pool for patterns and regularities, intelligently link these and other data with each other and can draw conclusions independently. Such IT systems learn independently from experience gained, much like a human being. They can even find solutions to previously unknown problems and make reliable predictions or tailor-made recommendations.
Sounds exciting? It is. “Loosely speaking, machine learning is the art of making a computer do useful things without explicitly programming it to do them," is how Computerwoche aptly describes it. "Generating artificial knowledge from experience" is how science tends to describe it, and there are numerous different concepts, theories, and procedures, some of which you can read more about here if you're interested.
How do companies benefit from machine learning?
At this point, we as IT personnel consultants are interested in how Machine Learning (ML) can be of benefit to companies in general, but also specifically in Human Resources Management (HR) or in the placement of IT personnel. The bottom line is that it's all about efficiency, optimization and, of course, saving money.
From a technical point of view, the main benefit of Machine Learning - as a sub-discipline of Artificial Intelligence (AI) - is primarily the ability to analyse extremely complex and previously often unused data sets and to link insights from them. Big Data becomes Smart Data, ML provides new answers to business-related problems - around three quarters of all German companies have already recognized this and are already using ML solutions, according to an IDG study from 2020.
Machine Learning has long since arrived in companies
In addition to the particularly diverse possibilities in online marketing, there are also numerous applications in the traditional industry. Two examples: Manufacturing companies use ML in the area of process monitoring to avoid manufacturing errors with self-learning machines (predictive maintenance). Or in supply chain management: In order to ensure just-in-time production, optimized warehousing is indispensable. Machine learning is used, for example, to compare internal company data from all the locations of a global group with current external data (delivery times for raw materials, development of demand worldwide, etc.). From all this data, the software independently generates an extremely accurate forecast of demand for all components in the supply chain - at all locations. This is maximally efficient and optimizes SCM to a new level.
The great potential of machine learning is already being exploited in all industries and across corporate divisions. It is also particularly exciting in personnel/human resources management – ML will have a lasting impact on this industry in particular. Keyword applicant management: With ML-based tools, resumes of applicants can be sifted and profiles matched much faster. Already, "robot recruiters" are being used to "analyse" suitable candidates from datasets such as résumés, social media profiles, forms, even voice profiles. Algorithms are getting better and better at recognizing connections and skills that a recruiter might not notice. This can also lead, for example, to completely new career opportunities opening up or to predictions being possible as to which skills will be in particular demand in the future.
Machine learning specialists in high demand
Predictably, the demand for Machine Learning consultants and developers is high, and it's not just us as a leading IT staffing firm who expect this trend to continue to grow strongly. For IT specialists who want to familiarize themselves with the topic and acquire the corresponding skills, many cloud providers provide ML tools, e.g. Microsoft with Azure ML Studio, Google with Tensorflow, IBM with Watson or Amazon Machine Learning.
Are you currently looking for a consultant or engineer in the field of Machine Learning? Our team is looking forward to your inquiry!
Cover image © pathdoc / Shutterstock.com