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The Achilles Heel of Artificial Intelligence and What To Do About It

Poor Data is the biggest hurdle to successful Artificial Intelligence projects. Read how to make sure you're using the best data possible.Machine learning and AI can offer tremendous benefits to enterprises of any size and in any industry. But there’s a dirty little secret to their use that many companies don’t know: Bad data is rampant and can make those technologies ineffective.

Poor Data: The Biggest Barrier to Successful Artificial Intelligence Efforts

So finds a 2019 AI/Machine learning global study from Refinitiv. It warns that poor quality data “is the biggest barrier to the adoption and deployment of machine learning….The adage ‘garbage in, garbage out’ has never been more pertinent. If data is the new oil, then much of it still needs a lot of refining and that’s a heavy lift for the consumers of data.”

Key Stat:
66% of respondents said that poor data quality impacts their ability to effectively adopt and deploy AI and machine learning. 

Sixty six percent of respondents to a Refinitiv survey for the study said that poor data quality impacts their ability to effectively adopt and deploy AI and machine learning. The survey also found that three of the top four challenges when working with new data for machine learning revolve around poor data quality: “accurate information about the coverage, history and population of the data,” “identification of incomplete or corrupt records,” and “cleaning and normalization of the data.”

The study noted that at the AI and Data Science in Trading conference in New York, “Several presenters talked about how difficult it is to find data of the appropriate quality and that some groups can spend 80% - 90% of their time normalizing and cleaning it.”

How to Make Sure Your Data Is High Quality

Refinitiv recommends several ways to help make sure data quality is high, including making sure it’s derived from a trusted source and that it be easily accessible.

One of the best ways to make sure that your data comes from a trusted source and is easily accessible is to use mobile forms and apps to acquire it. That way, you have control over data quality, and can make it instantly accessible when and where it’s required.

A Valuable Guide to Successful Artificial Intelligence

The guide, “Adding Artificial Intelligence Capabilities to Your Mobile Apps,” notes that mobile apps are the missing link in AI implementation —and can help improve data quality. The guide says, “Traditional data collection often comes from multiple sources including manual data entry and paper forms. It could take weeks to get hand-written forms completed in the field into corporate systems of record, and often the results are prone to errors. If your data isn’t accurate, your AI results will be lackluster, if not completely wrong. As a result, it’s critical to ensure that your AI effort is based on accurate, timely data. Modern mobile forms that incorporate best practices for field data collection are critical to enable solid AI.”

The guide will help you make sure your AI data is of the highest quality and also aid you in thinking through some of the key market factors, technology starting points and business examples for applying AI to your next business app. Get a free copy of the AI guide: "Adding Artificial Intelligence Capabilities to Your Mobile Apps".


Alpha Software offers the leading quality management software for manufacturers, which can collect more accurate manufacturing data to power AI.

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About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

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The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.