What if your competitors could predict your next move even before you could? It may sound impossible, but with faster machine learning (ML) and smarter artificial intelligence (AI) analysing big data, anything is possible. There are currently approximately 4.57 billion internet users worldwide. Anything that anyone says about your brand, positive or negative is recorded and can be analysed, interpreted and scored, putting your business reputation and success at risk.
Adverse media, or negative news, has for a long time been used in the financial sector as a risk management tool to identify potential criminal behaviour during on boarding and periodic reviews of customers. But big data scientists like, Mark Germishuys, CEO of NGA, (Ngidi Germishuys and Associates) is revolutionising its use to offer strategic business intelligence to customers who are looking for a competitive edge. NGA have been developing and recently launched an advanced implication scoring technology, being the first in the world to do so. They are currently awaiting final approval for various patents globally to further enhance the model.
Using big data, AI and ML, has made the extraction and analysis of public sentiment from digital media channels a lot easier. Any businesses utilising this technology can access anything from competitor announcements encompassing revenues, fraud, operational issues, opportunities, new product launches, legal, own-brand health, regulatory, and positioning changes, in a matter of minutes.
Unstructured Data can be scrutinized for emerging themes in multiple industries that can affect an extensive variety of business decisions. The specifics of what is extracted can be tailored right down to finding out just who is talking about the client’s business and where associated content is originating through link analysis and geo-mapping analytics. Reports can be downloaded with a single click. Data sources include anything that is available publicly, from financial reports, press releases, blog posts, social media channels, forums, government databases and public records.
Innovation is nothing new to the big data pioneer, who launched his tech startup in 1999, after securing a patent, to build South Africa’s first data consolidation and online real-time reporting method. Today, NGA gathers millions of data points, and can identify industry intention before it happens or is just starting to emerge.
Germishuys says: “After many years of collecting both structured and unstructured data, and training our AI to identify patterns within text, we are now able to provide clients in any industry, from real estate, automobile manufacturing through to tourism or retail, with sophisticated and strategic intelligence. By utilizing implication detection algorithms and sentiment analysis trained on real human behaviour our clients are able to leverage opportunities faster. Ethical AI and ML makes the process more efficient and due to very little human interaction, it’s far more accurate and unbiased. It can radically reduce reputation risk and improve the transparency of organizations by responding or identifying risks earlier.”
“Using media in this way, can assist businesses in finding new markets to enter or increase presence, predict and analyse competitors’ actions, improve product development, reduce reputational risk and beat competitors to market. It can also improve and personalize consumer interaction, give consumers what they want and increase market share. It makes finding new products and tech that will disrupt the competitive landscape easier, identify legislative or political issues or stand out from the crowd with a distinct corporate identity and tone of voice.
While AI is gradually being introduced into small and large businesses, it’s still early days. Not only is there a perception, especially in South Africa, that it’s costly, but many business owners are still unsure of how it’s implemented, what the benefits are and its accuracy. Germishuys says that the more advanced Ethical AI becomes the more precise the results will be. “We have been training our Ethical AI to block out any text that is false and can skew the results, like paid-for media or repetitive content. It’s also a lot more affordable thanks to our technology being in-house. We use only NGA forensic science algorithms and database platforms.”