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Artificial intelligence is no longer enough.

The future lies in applied intelligence. And our people are already using it to make the world a different—and better—place to work and live.

From automated workmen safety applications that use image sensing to alert when workers aren’t wearing safety equipment to high-range drones tracking millions of trees in plantations, we’re using applied intelligence to solve organizations’ most complex problems.

Sanjay Sharma is the Managing Director of Accenture Applied Intelligence and leads our team of 900+ data professionals in India. He is a true thought leader who has led his team from the front and has championed the evolution of digital transformation in India.

After spending over a decade and a half in the field, he shares how we’re entering a second wave of digital transformation and why this time, artificial intelligence alone won’t be enough to lead businesses—and careers—into the future.

4 components of applied intelligence

Applied intelligence is Accenture’s unique approach to scaling AI, analytics and automation to power every person, in every industry and in every function. This unique approach takes AI out of silos and allows businesses to unlock the full potential of AI to generate the greatest value, faster than ever before.

It’s our way of bringing together the best of technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA), analytics, big data and machine learning and data sciences to deliver real value for our clients, with the intent of augmenting human capabilities.

When executed across the business, it offers a seamless convergence of business strategy and AI, where insights drive every decision and every action, revealing new opportunities that never existed in the past.

I like to break the whole solutioning process down into four components:

  1. Sensing. 
  2. Analyzing. 
  3. Decisioning. 
  4. Execution. 

Applied intelligence can help businesses across all these four stages and provide a seamless experience.

Applied intelligence in action

Our more than 2,000 machine-learning-proficient data scientists innovate and scale the impact of AI, data science and intelligent technologies to bring innovation to our clients’ businesses.

They’ve helped create natural language processing (NLP)-enabled scanning of documents to track thousands of business contracts and smart dynamic pricing models for various e-commerce websites to achieve higher cart value through “those who bought this, also bought” recommendations.

They’re also using applied intelligence to create solutions to issues facing today’s society. They’re using cutting-edge data analytics and AI to help fight human trafficking, creating algorithmic fairness tools to fight bias in banking and even helped analyze public travel patterns to support Swedish health authorities during the global pandemic.

Building an applied intelligence career

Three things that have helped me navigate the waves of change and disruption as I’ve built my career in the digital space are:

  1. Continuing to learn, innovate and “think outside the box.” This includes staying well versed in newer coding languages, such as Python and Spark.
  2. Focusing on client value creation.
  3. Maintaining a “never say no” attitude.

If you understand data science, statistics and most importantly, logic, I am sure that applied intelligence could be an extremely exciting field that could offer a long, successful career.

We’re currently looking for big data engineers, data science analysts, AI managers and more. This is your opportunity to work in a diverse, global team of data and AI specialists and professionals to apply the power of automation, analytics and AI, and pave the way for innovation with the power to change businesses and society for the better.

Join us, and use applied intelligence to help disrupt the business world.


Copyright © 2021 Accenture. All rights reserved. Accenture and its logo are registered trademarks of Accenture.

This content is provided for general information purposes and is not intended to be used in place of consultation with our professional advisors. This document refers to marks owned by third parties.  All such third-party marks are the property of their respective owners.  No sponsorship, endorsement or approval of this content by the owners of such marks is intended, expressed or implied.


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Sanjay Sharma

Managing Director, Gurugram, India

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