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This article was published on June 28, 2022

Business AI solutions for beginners: What is vertical intelligence?

Going up?

Business AI solutions for beginners: What is vertical intelligence?
Tristan Greene
Story by

Tristan Greene

Editor, Neural by TNW

Tristan is a futurist covering human-centric artificial intelligence advances, quantum computing, STEM, physics, and space stuff. Pronouns: Tristan is a futurist covering human-centric artificial intelligence advances, quantum computing, STEM, physics, and space stuff. Pronouns: He/him

Artificial intelligence has completely upended the business world. Whether you’re a fledgling startup or a billion-dollar global conglomerate, the way you do business today is radically different than it was just five years ago.

In the modern paradigm, one of your company’s greatest assets is the data generated by your employees, clients, and customers. And, sadly, most businesses are leaving money on the table by simply storing that data away somewhere to collect digital dust.

The problem: How do you audit your company’s entire data ecosystem, deploy models to identify and infer actionable items, and turn those insights into positive business outcomes?

The solution: vertical intelligence.

Unfortunately, “vertical intelligence” is a buzzword. If you try to Google it, you’ll just get pages and pages of companies that specialize in it explaining why it’s important. Nobody really tells you what it is in the context of modern AI solutions.

I spoke to the team over at NowVertical Group, a big data company that specializes in vertical intelligence, to find out exactly what it means.

And it turns out that it’s quite simple. Vertical intelligence is the combination of human expertise and big data analytics applied with surgical precision and timing.

As NowVertical Group’s COO, Sasha Grujicic, told Neural, we’re coming out of a once-in-a-century pandemic. And, unlike most industries, the world of AI had a positive surge during the COVID lockdowns.

That means innumerable businesses are caught playing catch up when it comes to industry regulations, federal and global compliance initiatives, and data management. For those who are already being left behind, the challenge of integrating new solutions can seem insurmountable.

Worse, as Grujicic puts it:

The momentum is not going to slow down … even in the economic climate today.

That’s not to say that anything’s recession proof, but AI’s become a backbone technology for businesses just like the internet or electricity.

Luckily, for those lost in the weeds, the concept of vertical intelligence is a bit of a one-stop solution. It’s not one-size-fits-all, which is kind of the point.

Rather than purchasing a bunch of software packages and then hiring trained computer scientists to turn those generic solutions into something workable for your company, a vertical intelligence solutions company brings industry-specific expertise to the table along with bespoke algorithm and data management solutions.

That’s a fancy way of saying that vertical intelligence always requires human expertise because it involves more than just deploying models.

You can deploy a thousand models and parse a planet’s-worth of data, but if you don’t know what insights to look for or how to ensure your entire platform meets regulatory compliance, then you’re just muddling about in the dark.

And it goes beyond that as well. As businesses scale and platforms evolve, how can you be certain that your data (and your customers’) are being secured with the most up-to-date protocols and privacy measures?

As Grujicic explained, that’s all part of vertical intelligence as well. The two major questions he says every business should ask are:

What does your data look like and what are the risks associated with that?

The bottom line is that any company that’s generating actionable data can benefit from the integration of a vertical intelligence solution.

Vertical intelligence may be a catchy buzzword, but the simple fact of the matter is that combining domain-specific human expertise with AI-powered big data analytics isn’t really optional in the machine learning era.

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