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Why Anomaly Detection Plays A Critical Role In Businesses Today

It’s no secret that advancements in technology play a huge role in the businesses of today. Now, you may think that only the largest companies use some of the more advanced technologies such as AIs – but that is, in fact, not true. Technologies regarding anomaly detection play a crucial role in all the business branches, and every business can gain a lot from them. Plenty of businesses focus on streamlining their operations and striving towards automatization when it comes to physical jobs. But making sure that your data is automatized and taken care of properly is perhaps even more important. No matter whether we talk about physical jobs or data analysis – anomaly detection gives a company the means to automate its operations incredibly efficiently.

While all this might sound vague now, in this article, you will be able to find out why anomaly detection is so important and how it works. Let’s start from the beginning.

What are anomalies in business?

Before getting into the importance of anomaly detection, it is important to establish the term anomaly, when it comes to businesses. A good starting point to understanding this term is a situation that has probably happened to all of us. If you log into your Google account from a new device – you will get a notification. If you change the pattern in which you spend your money, you will probably get a notification from your bank. These examples show that a certain algorithm has detected an activity that strays away from what you usually do – it has detected an anomaly.

Basically, an anomaly is an event that strays away from a usual, already existing pattern. In most cases, the detection of such events by introducing machine learning anomaly detection is incredibly important – both when it comes to safety and to ensure that everything works properly in different systems. Now, to go into more details, let’s discuss the main parameter regarding how most of the businesses operate – patterns.

Patterns in relation to anomalies

It should be noted that it is indeed in human nature to look for patterns. Hence, most of the systems that we created operate on the basis of various generated patterns. This is incredibly helpful for us, but it leads to such a situation where most of these patterns are repetitive if we do everything properly. Surely, a repetitive pattern is good on its own. But locating any deviations and hence anomalies is much harder if there is a ton of repetitive data surrounding the anomaly. Well, doing so is harder for humans at least – but not for AIs, and more on that later.

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Indeed, these deviations in repetitive patterns can tell us a lot about the system, as they indicate that something out of the ordinary has happened. When it comes to research in academia, these deviations are good – as they lead to new discoveries. On the other hand, when it comes to businesses, deviations in patterns mostly mean that something is wrong and needs to be addressed. This is why it is so important that these anomalies are discovered accurately and fast.

How does anomaly detection serve businesses?

As you can probably expect, there are a plethora of business issues that can be tracked down and solved with anomaly detection. When it comes to financing sectors, the most straightforward case of this is when it comes to fraudulent transactions, as well as system mistakes. Both of these issues lead to huge losses for a company, so, detecting these deviations from the normal operation is crucial.

Another common use of anomaly detection is in IT sectors, but also in any setting that requires the internet for operation – so, different factories and industries. Anomalies that are most common in these settings are hardware breakdowns, network issues that can cause problems in how things operate, and even accidents. When it comes to industrial plants, but also to plenty of businesses, the data regarding these issues come from various sensors. Another way of gathering data, more commonly in regular business practices, is through various algorithms and computer input data. These exact signals are those that need to be thoroughly analyzed in real-time to ensure optimal working conditions. 

Quality, safety, and more

Ultimately, having an AI that analyses all relevant data in real-time and looks for any anomalies leads to the higher quality of various operations, as well as more safety. So, no matter whether the concern is a cyber attack, hardware, software, finances, or something else – anomaly detection is a great thing to have. 

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Why can’t humans be as efficient?

After all this, you probably have thought at some point about the necessity of AIs. Sure, all of that makes sense, but it can’t be that difficult for humans to do this job instead of AIs. Well, that isn’t all that true. The part that is true is that in simple systems that are composed of one variable, detecting an anomaly can be an easy task for a human. But, most of the systems in businesses today are way more complicated than that. Another thing that should be addressed is the fact that anomalies aren’t always that straightforward for the human eye. Some data can only make sense if the entirety of everything surrounding it is taken into consideration, and doing so requires comprehension of an enormous amount of data.

These exact issues are quite problematic for humans, but not for artificial intelligence. Machine learning-based algorithms are incredibly efficient for going through high-dimensional data clusters very quickly. The time that would take a regular person to go through the amount of data that an AI goes through in a minute is months, and in some cases, even years.

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Finally, the key takeaway here is that anomaly detection allows businesses to enhance their operations by catching possible problems early and precisely. Mistakes happen every day to all of us – but, when it comes to companies, it is important to ensure some safety nets. Anomaly detection is the key to doing so. 

As you’ve been able to see from this article, AIs play an important role in the development of all the business branches out there. Not to mention how important they are for science purposes. But, many people fail to realize that AIs and machine learning already impact your everyday life. There is great potential in machine learning, and learning more about it as well as integrating it into your business can only be a good thing. 

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