The real problem in business is the gap between an action (an input) and an output. Business is not hard science like a Math where 2+2 always equals 4. So, there is always a cost or loss function in business.
Can some technological wonder bridge this gap leading to an accurate result i.e. sales, for each unit or measure of input/action? Neural networks can help bridge this gap, if they are trained to recognize, understand and classify each unit of data.
MNIST Handwritten and Fashion Data Sets
The MNIST Database of Handwritten Images and Fashion Datasets are two excellent examples of what Neural Networks can do. In the former, a neural network is trained to classify or identify handwritten images of numbers. In the fashion dataset, the neural network is trained to identify items of clothing like Shirts, T-Shirts, Sneakers, Sweaters, Pullovers, Boots, Sandals, etc.
The mere mention of a Fashion-MNIST dataset can trigger your imagination as to what a neural network can do to the retail industry.
The Process of Implementing Neural Networks with TensorFlow
Neural Networks can be trained using an open source software library called TensorFlow. With the help of TensorFlow, you can create a neural network by setting up an input layer, hidden layers and an output layer.
Large amounts of data can be fed to the neural network through the input layers. The training of the neural network will be broken down into several stages, through several hidden layers.
The first hidden layer will recognize the pixels, the second layer will recognize the brightness, while subsequent hidden layers will recognize the size, shapes, patterns, designs, etc. This is called a Deep Neural Network (DNN).
Neural networks can help tailor recommendations based on the dynamic preferences of each user—something that’s called “Predictive Reasoning”. However, the primary task of Neural Networks is to identify, recognize, classify and even understand the different patterns in large data sets to interpret any data to be fed in the future.
What Can a Neural Network Do For Your Business?
Neural networks can create customized, well-targeted marketing campaigns, facilitate sales, convert speech to text, recognize images, etc. This can help businesses of all industries in many hitherto unimaginable ways:
Neural Networks in Marketing
Neural Networks can be trained to classify information related to marketing and sales. A very large amount of business-related data from past business activities can be classified into many categories and their future outcomes can be predicted. The predictions can be sales forecast, consumer behavior, recommendations via predictive reasoning and even churn rate (when customers stop buying).
In Sales and Retail
Amazon is a classic example. If your dashboard said, “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought…”, you could try placing both the items together in your brick-and-mortar store.
Or your e-commerce website or app can recommend that item based on what the users bought together before. This is sure to boost your sales.
Neural Networks can also personalize searches and even predict what the user might search based on search data from the past.
It can also give you important insights to suggest prices at which the product will be sold better and will fetch more returns.
Neural Networks can help classify, cluster or group customers quite efficiently. The clustering can be based on income, demography, behaviors, attitudes, similarities, differences, churn rate, etc.
It can also use the data of customers visiting apps or websites, opening emails, click-through, engagement, etc. to help classify customers based on user interest.
Similarly, churn rate is the percentage of customers who opt out of a service, quit subscription or stop purchasing a product. So, in a neural network, it’s a very useful indicator that can help make decisions on when and what kind of offers can bring the churned customers back.
Neural Network is an important subset of Machine Learning, where training the network with a large pool of data can work wonders to make sales a certainty.
A Neural Network is a complex mathematical machine learning algorithm that requires some serious expertise to install, train and run.
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