Dec. 12, 2023 | Podcast

Episode 31: AI for Executives: Practical Uses for You and Your Company

West Monroe AI Lab Leaders & Hosts of This Is AI Erik Brown, EJ Johnson, and Ryan Elmore

About the episode

Can generative AI fix your data problems? Is prompt engineering a role or a skill? How is ChatGPT really useful for leaders? Host Rissa Reddan welcomes leaders from West Monroe’s AI Lab–and the hosts of West Monroe’s podcast miniseries "This Is AI"–to answer your burning questions about gen AI heading into 2024. Plus, learn about the technology’s limitations and the massive change management crisis looming from its expansion.


Erik Brown

Erik is a Senior Partner in West Monroe’s Product Experience & Engineering Lab at West Monroe. He is an experienced software engineer, entrepreneur, and leader who helps clients use complex, innovative technology to drive business value. He has studied classical piano since he was 5 years old, blending artistic expression with math and science.

Eric “EJ” Johnson

Eric is a Director in West Monroe’s Product Experience & Engineering Lab. His unique, creative insight into emerging technology allows him to build digital products, deliver value, and spark digital transformation. From woodworking to 3D printing—and everything in between—Eric is always building in his spare time, too.

Ryan Elmore

Ryan, a self-professed “proper data nerd,” is a West Monroe Innovation Fellow and the leader of its Data Science Technology team. He leverages expertise across AI, ML, engineering, solution architecture, process optimization, and automation to solve C-suite problems and create value for businesses.


What are some key strategies for businesses to effectively integrate AI into their operations?

Ryan Elmore: Effective integration of AI into business operations starts with identifying clear use cases where AI can add value. This involves understanding the specific needs and challenges within the organization and then aligning AI solutions to address these. It's also crucial to ensure that the necessary data infrastructure is in place and that there's a focus on data quality and accessibility. Additionally, educating the workforce about AI and its potential applications is key to successful integration.

What would be your recommendation for organizations starting with AI?

Erik Brown: Start by identifying practical AI use cases within your organization, like automating workflows or content creation. Begin with simple AI applications that offer significant value with minimal effort, and then progress to more complex applications involving data integration and custom machine learning models. This approach ensures a gradual and effective integration of AI into business processes.

What approach do you suggest for applying AI in marketing strategies?

Ryan Elmore: In marketing, AI can be used innovatively by reverse engineering existing use cases. For instance, analyzing the sentiment of marketing imagery and videos, then applying these insights to enhance click-through rates. It's about using generative AI to create content tailored to specific demographics, like designing impactful images for targeted audience segments.

How do you view the limitations of generative AI in business applications?

EJ Johnson: Generative AI isn't a one-size-fits-all solution and should be part of a broader toolkit. It's important to understand its limitations as a subcategory of AI and integrate it with other systems and capabilities, like databases and machine learning models. This integration is crucial for developing comprehensive solutions that deliver real value beyond just generating text.

What are your thoughts on the readiness for AI implementation in businesses?

Ryan Elmore: It's vital to have a clear understanding of what AI encompasses before implementing it. The fundamentals of machine learning, which underpin generative AI, are essential for successful deployment. Additionally, data hygiene and integration are critical prerequisites for effective AI use, ensuring that the organization is truly ready for AI integration.

This Is AI

AI applications like you’ve never seen them—In this video podcast miniseries, Erik Brown, EJ Johnson, and Ryan Elmore break down real-world examples and use cases to revolutionize your business.

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This is Digital

West Monroe's team of experts and guests pull back the curtain on how to build digital throughout an organization. Through real-world examples, you will learn how to spot digital transformation in real life, and how to make small decisions every day that make a big impact on growth.

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