AI Case Studies: Marks and Spencers and the NHS | Mason Infotech

M&S and The NHS

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Setting the Scene

AI tools like Microsoft Copilot became available to businesses in 2023. Since then, businesses have been implementing them to save time, improve customer service levels, and automate repetitive tasks.

Two of the main winners have been the NHS in Northumberland and Marks and Spencers. Below, we detail their use cases, and how both organisations are using AI to enable automations and drive efficiency.

Marks and Spencer

Marks and Spencer uses Microsoft Copilot to power their customer loyalty programme, Sparks. With 17m users UK wide, M&S use copilot to gain customer insights, make recommendations based on past purchases, and creating targeted email campaigns. Previously, this process was managed manually, and M&S wanted a faster, less labour-intensive way to conduct this work. Now, Copilot allows M&S to speed up development times, reduce manual process, and improve the integration/delivery process.

At Marks & Spencer, the commitment to exceptional customer experiences extends beyond products to encompass data-driven innovation. Their enterprise data and data science team have undertaken a transformative project, focusing on enhancing customer-facing services like loyalty programs, marketing personalisation, and website optimization. Additionally, internal operations such as supply chain and price optimisation benefit from data-driven insights.

Within this framework lies a dedicated machine learning operations (MLOps) division tasked with maintaining and scaling the machine learning platform. This team streamlines productionising and deployment processes, manages cloud infrastructure, and elevates the maturity of machine learning solutions through rigorous testing and monitoring.

For instance, the data science team used Copilot to develop a machine learning model for the loyalty rewards program, emphasising stability and innovation. Leveraging Azure Machine Learning and Microsoft Copilot, they scaled the model's capabilities, training numerous models simultaneously to process vast datasets efficiently. This optimisation, particularly valuable in retail, significantly reduced execution time by 50%.

Using Copilot has lead Marks and Spencer to reduce errors and failures in development of new Sparks projects, ultimately leading to better customer experiences.

NHS Northumbria

NHS Northumbria is using Copilot to help patients better understand surgical risks. The team are using Copilot to collate historical data on surgical outcomes, and produce individualised patient risk profiles. This work is helping patients to make more informed surgical decisions, and also helping the Trust to place patients at the right facilities based on their risk factors.

Microsoft Azure Machine Learning and Copilot was instrumental in this project, offering powerful capabilities and the Responsible AI dashboard for transparent and interpretable outcomes. This ensured that the AI application wasn't just a black box but a tool that clinicians could trust and understand, crucial for personalised patient care.

The collaboration yielded unexpected insights, such as the significance of platelet count in predicting surgical success, revolutionising risk assessment protocols. By incorporating diverse data points, including blood test results, the team personalised healthcare delivery, fostering deeper patient engagement and tailored risk management strategies.

Moreover, the scalability and credibility of Microsoft's cloud and AI solutions provided reassurance for the project's expansion beyond Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. By making their models and methodologies open-source, the team aims to facilitate adoption by healthcare organisations worldwide, further advancing personalised medicine and patient-centric care.

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