Posted on: July 16, 2020 | 2 min read

Accelerating Automation with AI: How the Professional Services Industry Can Thrive with Advanced Analytics

Advanced Analytics Services | Hexaware

If you are in the professional services industry, then you know that the solutions you bring to your customers are important yet intangible. Often, you may be recognized by the knowledge-set you bring to the table, your experience in the field, or the functionality of your system. Professional services organizations develop processes and make decisions for complex tasks across fields like accounting, consulting, legal, software development, and many others. A common fear for leaders in this industry is globalization and customer-based pricing. There is a need to automate, accelerate, and differentiate to thrive. This is where artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics can play a vital role.

AI may seem intimidating to some, but it exists to support workforces. CCG utilized Natural Language Processing (NLP) to help a professional services company that supplies software to contractors and site owners to expedite and standardize the process of creating contracts for construction work. See case study.

When engaging with this business, three things became very apparent:

  • Manual efforts to review and analyze documentation was daunting (users had to sift through an average of 150,000 tasks within a catalog per project)
  • Timelines were delayed due to frequent accuracy checks and back-and-forth communication (multiple iterations added an average 31 additional days to the process)
  • Standardization of proposals was key (there were inconsistencies in handwritten and text documents and a variety of construction slang)

An NLP system was built to streamline and automate the review and development of tasks. To gain efficiencies, we started with Google’s open source BERT model which had learned English sentence structure, words, and grammar from reading Wikipedia. Learn the difference between AI and ML.

Next we customized the BERT model with transfer learning so it could understand “construction speak.” We fine-tuned the model by having it analyze over 100,000 pieces of scope text over the course of a couple days (which would take a human about 3,400 hours to read). The tool then performed simple tasks, strengthening its accuracy with each output. Presented with new project scope, the robotic agent is now equipped to read the text, analyze the content, and develop a first draft of the proposal necessary to complete the project work, providing a solid starting point for the team and reducing the manual effort required.

This is just one example of how professional services organizations can leverage artificial intelligence. AI models are built to help workforces move faster, and with greater accuracy. It saves both time and money, and by completing tasks faster, departments can focus less on mundane tasks. For businesses that may be going through a crisis or facing hardship, a major benefit to using NLP and AI is that systems can predict changes and adapt quickly. With the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, incorporating new biohazard data sets and learning sentiment of terms like “social distancing” can strengthen the relevancy of an AI system’s output.

Between adjusting for changes in the environment, automating processes, and expediting once-manual tasks, the professional services industry can reap many benefits from leveraging AI. Hear how AI plays a part in crisis with this interview: The Future Needs Future Data with the VP of Innovation at Gordian. To explore how to leverage advanced analytics in your business, connect with a data science expert here.

Topic(s): Data Science
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