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Published on 04/30/2024
Last updated on 06/18/2024

GenAI and data summarization: Use cases of GenAI for data analytics


Today, businesses have a wealth of data about their operations, customers, market trends, competitors, technology infrastructure, logistics, and more. Understanding and converting that data into actionable insights may be the difference between leading their market or fading into obscurity.

It is this challenge—sifting through vast datasets, effectively summarizing takeaways, and producing actionable insights—that generative AI (GenAI) will resolve. GenAI enables organizations to navigate the complexities of modern data analytics, nudging them toward more sophisticated, data-driven decision-making processes.

How might this work for the modern enterprise? The business environment is fast-paced, and the sheer volume of data feels like information overload. However, enterprises are tackling real-world use cases by using GenAI to get the most out of their data.

Understanding GenAI in data summarization

Although recent innovations in GenAI have made the topic ubiquitous, AI has always had a prominent role in data analytics. Traditional AI systems brought the power of pattern recognition. By analyzing historical data, AI could identify trends and uncover patterns that human analysts would never have been able to see. On top of that, traditional AI is adept at forecasting future events, giving us predictive analytics.

However, the traditional approach of AI to data analytics is mainly reactive, relying on existing data and trends to drive action. There isn’t a mechanism for creating new data or insights through synthesis.

That brings us to GenAI, shifting the focus from mere analysis to the comprehensive summarization of data. GenAI transforms extensive datasets into understandable insights. Because this technology can generate new content, it can synthesize the results of analysis and subsequently propose innovative solutions.

Three key differences between traditional data analysis and GenAI-powered data summarization are:

  1. Flexibility in data handling: GenAI demonstrates remarkable adaptability with various data types and sources in comparison to traditional methods that require data to be in a structured format.
  2. Speed and efficiency: Thanks to advanced algorithms, GenAI can process information much faster than traditional analytics.
  3. Depth of insight: Traditional analysis methods provide surface-level insights, but GenAI digs deeper to uncover patterns and connections that are not immediately obvious.

Adopting GenAI for data summarization is an attractive option for businesses that want to enhance their data analytics capabilities. This approach offers numerous benefits:

  • Enhanced efficiency: Automating the data summarization process with AI significantly reduces the time and resources needed for data analysis.
  • Improved accuracy: Leveraging GenAI reduces the frequency of human error, leading to more reliable and precise data interpretations.
  • Scalability: GenAI systems can accommodate increased volumes of data, unlike human analysts or organizations that are facing a skills shortage.
  • Support for massive datasets: GenAI can analyze and summarize extremely large datasets, offering insights that were once beyond reach.

GenAI can be a game-changer for data analytics, and businesses adopting GenAI can enjoy tremendous benefits. However, how your enterprise might use GenAI concretely in data analytics will depend on your use case.

Practical use cases of GenAI for data analytics

The potential applications ofGenAI for data analytics and summarization are unlimited. For businesses just beginning their journey with this technology, the limitless potential can be paralyzing.  To start, focus on common, practical use cases first, where the benefits will be clear and immediate. This will help your enterprise ease into the GenAI integration process and demonstrate its value.

Here are some key examples.

Example 1: Market research

GenAI can parse through extensive datasets to unearth trends and patterns that help you understand your market more deeply. Imagine the different kinds of data that your limited staff of human analysts just doesn’t have the resources to mine:

  • Social media activity: Sentiment toward products, trending topics, brand mentions
  • Competitor activity: Product launches, pricing strategies, market positioning
  • Economic indicators: Inflation rates, employment figures, GDP growth, and other influencers of market dynamics

By analyzing these diverse data sources, GenAI can empower businesses to swiftly recognize and adapt to market shifts, highlighting opportunities for strategic improvement and staying ahead of competitors.

Example 2: Customer insights

GenAI can dramatically improve your understanding of your customers. Consider the sheer amount of customer data available to your business: purchasing habits, online browsing patterns, campaign engagement, support inquiries, feedback surveys, product reviews, and more. 

By summarizing this data, GenAI can offer a granular view of customer preferences and pain points. In addition, GenAI can make suggestions for more targeted and effective product strategies, or for improving customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Example 3: Risk management

GenAI can also help detect potential risks and vulnerabilities by identifying patterns and anomalies in data. Those anomalies might come from infrastructure, or customer behavior data, or even operations and HR. GenAI can quickly assimilate and summarize information from a wide array of sources. As a result, enterprises can proactively manage risks and be better informed in their decision-making. Ultimately, GenAI’s role in data summarization can protect a company from potential setbacks and enhance its resilience amid uncertainties.

Key processes in GenAI-powered data management

What are the key steps involved in using GenAI for data summarization? The complex process can be distilled down to four essential parts. 

Data collection

The foundation of GenAI analysis is the collection of high-quality, relevant data. Businesses often have access to a wide variety of data types. What you’ll collect will depend on your specific business goals and the use case. Examples of the kinds of data that might be collected include:

  • Transactional data: Records of purchases, returns, and exchanges that can provide insights into customer buying patterns and preferences.
  • Operational data: Information related to supply chain logistics, inventory levels, and other operational efficiencies.
  • Financial data: Revenue, expenses, and other financial metrics used in financial analysis and forecasting.
  • Web and mobile application usage: User interaction data, including page views, click-through rates, and session durations.
  • Environment data: Weather conditions, environmental quality indicators, and other data relevant to businesses in agriculture, retail, and more.

GenAI systems thrive not only on the quantity and quality of data but also on its diversity. By collecting a diverse range of data types, businesses create a GenAI tool that yields a more holistic view of their operations, market, and customers.

Data preprocessing and cleaning

Next, the data undergoes preprocessing and cleaning to filter out noise (such as duplicate or irrelevant information) and to correct inaccuracies. Proper data cleaning ensures the accuracy, quality, and relevance of your data, directly impacting the reliability of the data summarization outcomes.

Summarization AI techniques

At this stage, GenAI is ready to analyze and summarize the data by employing various techniques. One technique, when working with textual data containing human language, is natural language processing (NLP). With NLP, a GenAI system can extract key phrases, identify sentiments, and discern trends.

GenAI will also leverage machine learning algorithms to identify patterns and correlations within large datasets. It will organize data into meaningful groups with techniques, such as clustering and classification. Given the size of these datasets and the subtlety of many trends, GenAI can surface insights that might elude human analysts.

It transforms large datasets into condensed, insightful summaries that highlight key trends, patterns, and anomalies.

Interpreting results

Finally, GenAI aids decision-makers by emphasizing key insights enriched with contextual analysis. By focusing on the most vital insights, decision-makers can quickly grasp the trends, patterns, and anomalies that demand attention. As GenAI offers predictive scenarios and recommendations, decision-makers can implement actionable strategies and maintain a forward-looking perspective.

Strategies for implementing GenAI summarization in your business 

Webex by Cisco is one example of a company harnessing the power of GenAI for data summarization. Here are two examples. 

  • Users can generate intelligent meeting summaries based on GenAI-powered extraction of key points and action items from meeting recordings and transcripts. 
  • The AI Assistant for Webex is being enhanced to offer Space Summaries to help users catch up quickly on unread messages. 

Enterprises are pursuing a competitive advantage by finding innovative ways to mine their massive data with the help of GenAI. Is your company in the same boat? If so, the first step on this transformative journey involves clearly defining your use cases for data summarization. Knowing the specific areas where data summarization can drive value—whether it's gaining customer insights, improving product development, or enhancing operational efficiencies—is critical. 

Next, ensure data privacy and compliance are prioritized as you embark on this GenAI endeavor. Your adoption of GenAI must adhere to regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) from the European Union and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), finding the balance between extracting valuable insights and protecting customer data. 

Lastly, train your staff to understand the ethics and responsibilities of handling data as they work with GenAI tools. Providing them with the skills and knowledge to interpret GenAI-generated summaries effectively will empower them to make informed decisions and propel your business forward.

Modernizing your enterprise for a data-driven world 

Data summarization with GenAI is playing an increasingly critical role in transforming business intelligence. GenAI can distill vast datasets into actionable insights. It’s become an essential tool for businesses that value data-driven decision-making but struggle to make sense of the massive volumes of data available to them. 

The message for the modern, innovative organization is clear: embracing GenAI for data summarization is a strategic move for enterprises seeking to remain competitive in today’s data-driven world.  

Learn more about shaping your organization’s AI strategy by exploring our AI Hub. 

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