Just How Efficient Is AI?

Our expert explains in detail how using AI saves his company lots of time.

Written by Dean Guida
Published on Jun. 03, 2024
Just How Efficient Is AI?
Image: Shutterstock / Built In
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When companies rely on different apps for everything from communication to project management to analytics and visualization, teams end up spending more time switching applications than they do on actual work.

How AI Saves Time: 2 Examples

  • Multi-source data analysis to manage a project: 10 minutes with AI, 35 minutes without AI
  • Post-meeting housekeeping (notes, followups, etc.): 2 minutes with AI, 15 minutes without AI

My team at Infragistics built Slingshot, a data-driven work management platform, to put an end to this constant app switching and bring all of a company’s applications and data in one place so teams, including ours, can work more efficiently, be more productive and increase visibility across the organization. 

More From Dean Guida3 Ways to Prepare Your Business for an AI-Powered Future

How AI Saves Us Time

At many companies, data is hidden in spreadsheets and spread across several systems, requiring analysis to make it actionable. As a result, teams don’t have a quick holistic lens into the data they need to make decisions. Instead, they make gut decisions or decisions based on the opinions of the loudest or most senior person in the room.

Slingshot gathers data into a central location so everyday business users can easily see what data their organization possesses, access the data when they need it and analyze it via visual dashboards. This puts data at the center of teams’ workflows and allows them to make more informed business decisions on a daily basis.

The tool is behind everything we do day-to-day at Infragistics: how we communicate, collaborate, innovate, make business decisions, drive performance and track results and more. 

We have found that by bringing everything teams need to do their job in one place, teams eliminate time searching to find out where their work, data, content and conversations live and can instead focus on doing work that moves the needle for the business. 

Faster Data Analysis

Take data analysis, for example. It takes 35 minutes, on average, to analyze three data sources (in this specific case, Google Analytics, Google Ads and Salesforce), then go to a communication app to share insights with the team, and then go to a project management tool to assign the team next steps for the data. 

It takes 10 minutes total to do the same within Slingshot. That saves employees 25 minutes each workday. Consider this on the scale of an 8-hour workday and teams can easily have a few extra hours back in their day. 

Time Savings on Mundane Tasks

We also use AI to further boost our team’s productivity and decision making.

Here’s an example: We first implemented Slingshot’s AI assistant, Emily, into the platform in 2020. Emily was originally built to help guide companies through the platform and offer advice on how teams could maximize their productivity within Slingshot, but we wanted to take these AI-powered capabilities to the next level. 

We knew that Emily had the potential to act as an extension of the team. Our vision is to enable employees to come to Emily with any request, from asking how much we spend on marketing to creating a chart that shows cost per lead and then adding the chart to team discussions. 

As a first step, we’ve implemented AI into our messaging channels to summarize meeting notes and develop action items. 

For example, our marketing team holds a biweekly meeting to discuss campaign performance from beginning to end. There are a lot of notes taken during the meeting for each audience and campaign type to identify areas of improvement and where to focus our efforts before the next meeting. These notes are shared with the team on Slingshot and are often never read again, mainly because there’s just so much content to sort through. 

Sometimes team members need to go through the notes, say if they missed a meeting or are looking for specific information. Team managers also have to develop action items from the notes. Pre-Emily, this took an average of 15 minutes, time employees needed to spend but time that didn’t drive business value at all. 

With Emily, individuals can simply ask to summarize meeting notes and develop action items. What used to take 15 minutes now takes two minutes, on average. 

More Uses for AIHow AI Can Improve the Software Testing Process

What’s Next for AI

We’re just at the beginning of AI’s ability to power teams to be more productive and drive better business decisions and results.

Teams will soon be able to get information about projects, collaborations and data just by asking Slingshot a question. For example, teams can ask which marketing campaigns are the most effective to close new business and Slingshot’s AI will provide an answer based on data from CRM, digital marketing and financial systems.

Just as we have with the technology and trends that have come before it, we’re evolving our company and technology with the rise of AI. We’re already seeing teams shave 10-plus minutes off of everyday tasks, many of which they do multiple times a day. There’s so much growth we have ahead to multiply this even further to create the most efficient businesses with the most productive employees.

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