Beckway Insights: Taking Out the Proverbial Garbage – Preparing for AI

ChatGPT continues to be a powerful demonstration of AI’s growing capability. From nearly acing college entrance exams to composing classical music, ChatGPT has most of us thinking “what’s next?” Whatever is next, experience tells us that it is going to come quickly.

As AI continues to work itself out of the sandbox and into the hands of enterprise users, the speculation around its potential transformative effects on every day “business as usual” has reached frenzied levels.

While we do not know the exact implications of integrating AI into our businesses, or even how it works, it is easy to imagine a large upside. That said, AI is only as good as the data it is fed. If a revolutionary AI-enabled ERP were introduced tomorrow, the speed at which a company could implement and reap the associated benefits would be a function of how well it manages its data today. As the adage states: “garbage in, garbage out.”

As AI’s development continues to accelerate towards a point of feasible enterprise adoption, now is the time for businesses to make the necessary preparations to receive an AI-enabled tool. In other words, now is the time to take out the proverbial garbage.

Here are some key points of guidance:

1)     Focus on Data– Data integrity is the foundation for all business intelligence.

  • Data Management Strategy – Ensure business and IT stakeholders are aligned to a clear strategy.
  • Data Governance – Assign accountability across the business.
  • Data Quality – Establish data quality rules, criteria, and reviews.
  • Data Operations – Ensure the team is in place.
  • Platform and Architecture – Choose the structure the makes most sense for the organization.

2)     Maximize Existing Tools – Extract the most utility without additional investment. This also forces the business to operate with a high level of data integrity.

3)     Layer in New Tools Intentionally – Build an ecosystem of symbiotic tools that form a strong foundation for any future AI enablement.

While the potential transformative benefits of AI are, today, opaque to most businesses, they may soon become clear and the race to implement will be won by those who are most prepared.