When you take a hard look at the digital transformation, there are clear leaders of the tech industry, and even more clear laggards, according to Sheryl Kingstone, 451 Research director of customer experience and commerce.

The most successful leaders in the tech field are the ones who are working to understand and address data management, she said. As companies collect an abundance of structured and unstructured data, looking at it from a reporting standpoint will become nearly impossible.

“This is where machine learning today is making really effective strides of what we can do, and it’s not just about the robots, and how they are going to take over our jobs,” Kingstone said.

See: Culture, automation and self-service: The keys to big data success (Tech Pro Research)

If the data is there, it will be able to train machine algorithms to be more accurate, and it can complement the insightfulness and intelligence of human driven analysis. This will change not only the business application of machine learning, but also the way businesses interact with customers, she added.

For example, rather than having hard coded frequently asked questions for customer service and support, companies can become more intelligent with how they recommend content to customers, based on their needs. “That’s where machine learning is coming into play. It’s driving a much more productive, prescriptive, and efficient customer service experience,” Kingstone said.