AI, analytics not the fiefdom of a few businesses (Book Review)
Title: AI and Analytics: Accelerating Business
Decisions; Author: Sameer Dhanrajani; Publisher: Wiley; Pages: 372;
Analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) -- concepts that seemed to be lofty
ideals not so long ago -- have suddenly started sounding all too familiar thanks
to their widespread use by some of the world's biggest internet companies. But
these technologies won't remain a fiefdom of a few. Nor should they, argues a
powerful new book.
On the face of it, only a few tech giants like Google, Apple, Facebook or Amazon
seem to be ready to maximise the adoption of analytics and AI and reap their
For example, anyone using Gmail would know how Google has used analytics to sort
emails in different categories to help its users get to the important messages
fast. Amazon's Alexa, Apple's Siri or Google's Assistant that can now perform a
wide variety of tasks using AI - from setting up alarms to playing songs --
hardly need any introduction.
But Sameer Dhanrajani, in his book "AI and Analytics: Accelerating Business
Decisions", argues that not many companies -- especially those that are neither
in the e-commerce business, nor strictly tech companies -- have been successful
in adopting these technologies.
In other words, only a few companies have been able to make use of these
technologies to give their organisations a sustainable competitive advantage
over their competitors. And this is despite the fact that most companies now
realise that adopting analytics and AI is a must to stay afloat in the future.
Dhanrajani, who has a rich experience of building AI and Analytics businesses
for a number of organisations, including Cognizant Technology Solutions, knows
that these companies need guidance, and most of all encouragement, in utilising
the data stored in silos of their organisations through analytics and AI.
Dhanrajani has been helping these businesses approach the problem with practical
insights for quite some time now with his blogs and lectures at business
conferences, and his latest book is also a step in the same direction.
The book is divided into two parts. The first part details what businesses,
including start-ups with budget constraints, need to do to transform their
businesses with AI and analytics.
Most importantly, Dhanrajani explains that lack of understanding of the meaning
of analytics, a talent crunch, and a view that it is an expensive, esoteric
subject may emerge as stumbling blocks in implementation of these technologies.
He offers strategies to enterprises to overcome these hindrances while laying
out a roadmap for them in implementing these technologies to make their
organisations smarter by increasing operational efficiencies and improving
customer relationship management, while reducing risks arising out of internal
decisions and external threats.
For, Dhanrajani believes that analytics has the ability to combine data from
numerous data sources in interesting ways and offer deep insights into the
impact of business decisions.
What makes the book an interesting read is that the author's recommendations are
nicely punctuated with examples of specific initiatives that have helped some of
the world's well-known enterprises leverage these technologies.
The second part of the book provides details about the transformations brought
about by AI and analytics for multiple industries - banking and insurance,
healthcare and life sciences, retail and consumer packaged goods.
In this part, the author also devotes a separate section to the relevance of AI
and analytics in autonomous vehicles, Internet of Things (IoT), chatbots,
implementation of blockchain technology, and in beating cyberattacks.
It is not without any reason that Dhanrajani wants to help all organisations
embrace the AI and analytics. First, unlike many thinkers, Dhanrajani does not
believe that AI would become an existential threat to humanity. According to
him, humans and AI will co-exist in the future as humans will be sensitive
enough to create contingencies to ensure that autonomous machines do not harm
He also believes that the world is on the verge of having a data-driven economy
where AI and analytics would be the driving force of success for most
Reading this book may not guarantee successful implementation of AI and
analytics in an organisation, but it may encourage many to take the right steps.
And who knows, it may help some to say hello to the future with greater
The title and small fonts used in the text may give some readers the impression
that reading this book would be one tough row to hoe. Far from it, the small
chapters and the easy narrative make reading it a pleasant experience, and also
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, AI and Analytics book review