Breaking It All Down: Machine Learning 101

We talk a lot about machine learning. Machine learning is a combination of data and artificial intelligence. We know that these are powerful tools to help companies sell better. But we also understand that the concept of machine learning is very hard to understand.  

There is unimaginable amount of data that is available out there. This data can be gathered and used for a variety of business purposes. Some data is used to improve processes, while other bits of data can be used to help you price, advertise or market better.  

To help understand how machine learning works let’s break it down into three simple steps:

Step #1 – Data

We all know what data is. It is facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis. Wherever we go online we leave data behind. Information can range from sites we visit to items we purchase and millions of data points in between. All this information is stored on sites and search engines as 1s and 0s. Most people or companies that have access to this data can use it to improve performance. They use it to better understand what their audience wants. After all it is the first rule of marketing: Know your audience. This is the data part of machine learning. Collecting useful information from your audience that will help you sell better.

Step #2 – Artificial Intelligence

The words artificial intelligence usually conjure up images of the movie A.I. or Terminator. That is what most of us have grown up believing artificial intelligence to be. What real A.I. looks like though is a computer designed system that is able to perform complex tasks and make decisions that would take humans too long to perform manually.

So while we think of A.I like this:


It’s actually more like this:


Artificial intelligence is a tool that is built to make decisions based on what is input into it. It automatically optimizes and tests as new information is added. Simple explanation for a hard concept.

Step #3 – Merging Data and A.I.

So now we have two major elements:

  • Data – Facts and statistics we can gather from users.
  • Artificial Intelligence – A tool used to make complex decisions based on input.

These two compliment each other perfectly. You can simply take the A.I. tool and input the data. The A.I. tool can then take the data fed into it and perform the tasks that it is programmed to do. When these two concepts merge the A.I. tool is able to use the data points fed into it to calculate patterns, run tests and deliver the best option for each task that it is assigned to do. That’s machine learning. That simple.

If you would like to learn more about A.I. and data contact us!

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