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Top 5 Practical MLOps Use Cases


Trinh Nguyen

Jul 06, 2023

The demand for machine learning expertise has surged in today’s rapidly evolving technological landscape. This makes it one of the fastest-growing roles in the job market.

According to the 2022 LinkedIn jobs report, “machine learning engineer” ranked as the fourth fastest-growing role in the US, with an impressive 20% of available jobs offering the flexibility of remote work. This exponential growth is a testament to the transformative ML power and its potential to revolutionize industries across the board.

With this surge in demand, organizations increasingly invest in MLOps implementation to streamline and optimize their machine learning workflows. The MLOps Community estimated that the MLOps market had seen significant growth, with around $1 billion in investments attributed to 43 vendors. That number excludes the investments made by tech giants like Google and AWS. These statistics highlight the significance and immense potential of MLOps in driving innovation, efficiency, and scalability in machine learning.

This article will center on the fascinating realm of Machine Learning Operations! We’ll unveil the top use cases of MLOps implementation with real-world examples that leave you in awe.

Are you curious to explore this extraordinary world of MLOps? Do you want to unlock the true potential of machine learning for your business?

Let’s embark on this exciting journey together!

What Is MLOps?

It’s said that machine learning is likened to a child learning about life. Everything is recorded and absorbed every second, minute, and day under the child’s eyes. But they need the guidance and help of parents and teachers.

Similar to Machine Learning. It’s hardly significant as a raw information-gathering tool. It also needs ML engineers to guide data ingest, data prep, model training, tuning, deployment, monitoring, explainability, etc. Such an improved information-gathering process is called “Machine Learning Operations.”

So, MLOps (Machine Learning Operations) refers to a set of practices and tools aiming to streamline the entire machine learning lifecycle. It includes developing, deploying, monitoring, and maintaining ML models in production environments. It bridges the gap between data science and operations, ensuring AI and ML capabilities are successfully integrated into real-world applications.

MLOps use cases as a model registry for version control, efficient model training pipelines, data extraction and preprocessing, and model evaluation capability. Using the model registry, metadata, and artifact tracking capabilities, you can enable model governance.

With MLOps, organizations can effectively deploy AI solutions across different domains, such as fraud detection models, letting them make accurate and timely decisions based on insights derived from their data.

Importance of MLOps in Managing Machine Learning Workflow

It is difficult to operationalize machine learning throughout the software lifecycle. Even data scientists, who take care of it, sometimes feel lost in the sea of data. Without assistance from other teams, reassembling structured data requires significant work and resources.

So how important is MLOps for overseeing the process of machine learning?

  • Collaboration and Efficiency: MLOps promotes seamless collaboration between data scientists, engineers, and stakeholders, enabling effective teamwork and knowledge sharing. It establishes streamlined workflows, version control, and documentation, reducing errors and improving productivity.
  • Scalability and Deployment: MLOps ensures that machine learning models can be scaled and deployed efficiently. It incorporates infrastructure management, containerization, and automation to handle increased data volumes and user demand, enabling rapid and seamless deployment across various environments.
  • Lifecycle Management and Iteration: MLOps covers every stage of a machine learning model’s lifecycle, from creation to decommissioning. It includes model retirement, upgrading, and retraining processes, allowing businesses to adjust to shifting business requirements and developing data. As a result, models are guaranteed to be valuable, accurate, and relevant throughout time.
  • Monitoring and Performance: MLOps focuses on continuous monitoring and performance tracking of machine learning models in production. It facilitates real-time monitoring of key metrics, anomaly detection, and automated testing, allowing organizations to proactively identify and address performance issues, ensuring reliable and accurate predictions.
  • Reliable Deployment Practices: Model deployment standard practices, including version control, model validation, and canary testing, are implemented by MLOps. Following these procedures will help firms deploy trustworthy and well-tested models, lowering the chance of errors and enhancing the reliability of the production system.

Top Use Cases of MLOps Implementation

#1 Continuous Integration/Deployment (CI/CD)

mlops can be used in continuous integration deployment

One of the top use cases of MLOps implementation is the application of Continuous Integration/Deployment (CI/CD) practices to machine learning models.

Just like traditional software development, CI/CD enables the automation of ML models’ development and deployment processes. Organizations can streamline their ML workflow and ensure consistent and reliable model deployments by integrating version control, automated testing, and automated deployment pipelines.

Do you know how CI/CD is applied in practice?

Consider a healthcare organization that develops a machine learning model to predict disease outcomes based on patient data. With MLOps and CI/CD, they can establish a pipeline that automatically incorporates any changes or improvements made to the model.

This pipeline can consist of running tests to validate the model’s accuracy, evaluating its performance on different datasets, and deploying the model to production environments. By automating these processes, the healthcare organization can rapidly iterate on its model, incorporate feedback from medical professionals, and easily deploy updated versions.

Implementing CI/CD brings several benefits.

  • Create better collaboration between data scientists, software engineers, and domain experts. Ensure that models are developed and deployed in a coordinated and efficient manner.
  • Identify potential issues or regressions in the model’s performance for quick remediation with automated testing.
  • Facilitates faster deployment cycles, enabling organizations to deliver ML-powered applications and services to end-users rapidly.

#2 Scalability & Resource Management in MLOps

Scalability and resource management are essential in MLOps, enabling organizations to efficiently train, deploy, and manage machine learning models at scale. By implementing MLOps practices, businesses can optimize their resource allocation, improve model performance, and handle increasing data volumes effectively.

How does the renowned retail giant Walmart apply scalability and resource management in its business strategy?

Walmart utilizes MLOps to enhance the efficiency and scalability of its machine-learning models. One notable example is their use of MLOps for demand forecasting. After continuously monitoring and retraining its models, Walmart has achieved improved accuracy in predicting customer demand over time. This approach has proven more accurate than traditional demand forecasting methods.

As a result, Walmart has reduced incidents of out-of-stock products, optimized inventory management, improved production environment, and enhanced customer satisfaction.

Walmart has expanded the usage of artificial intelligence and MLOps across numerous other aspects of their organization, building on the success of demand forecasting.

For example, they use identical fraud detection tools to spot and stop suspected fraudulent actions. Walmart can efficiently scale its efforts, analyze enormous amounts of transactional data, and proactively spot questionable trends or behaviors by using MLOps for fraud detection. This aids in both client protection and loss minimization.

Furthermore, Walmart applies MLOps to optimize its supply chain operations. They can evaluate enormous amounts of data on inventory, logistics, and customer behavior by using machine learning models and MLOps techniques. Walmart is able to make data-driven decisions to streamline its supply chain, reduce costs, improve delivery efficiency, and ultimately enhance its customer experience.

Scalability and resource management through MLOps provide organizations like Walmart with the ability to harness the power of data and machine learning to drive operational efficiency, improve decision-making, and deliver enhanced value to their customers.

#3 Real-time Model Monitoring and Alerting

mlops can help in real time model monitoring and alerting

Real-time model monitoring and alerting involve continuously monitoring the performance of deployed ML models in production environments and generating alerts when anomalies or issues are detected. By proactively monitoring models, organizations can ensure that their predictions remain accurate and reliable over time.

Organizations can detect concept drift, data quality issues, or model degradation, safeguarding against potentially costly or harmful outcomes. It permits organizations to catch and address issues promptly so that models remain accurate and reliable in dynamic production environments.

Netflix, the popular streaming platform, utilizes real-time model monitoring and alerting to ensure the quality of its recommendation system. Netflix employs an internal tool called Runway to monitor the performance of recommendation models in production.

The ground truth data, which indicates whether a user plays a recommended video, is collected and compared to the model’s outcomes. If any discrepancies or degradation in performance are detected, the relevant ML teams are alerted to investigate and fine-tune the models to maintain high-quality user recommendations.

#4 Data Management & Governance in MLOps

To guarantee the quality, integrity, and compliance of the data that is utilized in machine learning models, MLOps requires efficient data management and governance as one of its vital components. Businesses can maintain data consistency, establish data governance frameworks and model development, and improve overall data reliability if implement effective data management techniques.

Ocado, a leading online supermarket, exemplifies effective data management and governance in MLOps. With millions of events every minute, Ocado’s data team verifies the data integrity and quality infrastructure in the Cloud. They establish daily training pipelines for machine learning models, incorporating up-to-date data and insights. One prominent application is model governance for machine learning models’ proper management and control throughout their lifecycle.

Ocado’s microservice culture enables comprehensive event tracing throughout its system in the spirit of accountability and auditing. This traceability extends to data ingestion, transformations, and overall data lineage, ensuring transparency and data integrity. Tracing events in time facilitates addressing anomalies and maintaining reliable data throughout their ML pipelines.

Ocado optimizes its machine learning models, providing accurate recommendations, improving the production environment, and streamlining order fulfillment. The company used MLOps to develop an anomaly detection model to identify fraudulent transactions. Their commitment to high-quality data enables them to deliver exceptional customer experiences in the competitive online supermarket landscape.

#5 Automated Testing & Validation

mlops can be used in automated testing and validation

MLOps has played a crucial role in enabling automated testing and validation for machine learning models in the healthcare industry. This has been particularly important in ensuring the accuracy and reliability of disease prediction models. The consequences of false positives or negatives can be significant.

MLOps offer a solid framework for evaluating and verifying ML models in healthcare. Healthcare professionals can evaluate the effectiveness of their models and spot any potential problems or flaws via automated testing procedures. The development of more trustworthy models that can be relied upon for disease outbreak prediction, patient monitoring, and cost-cutting initiatives is made possible as a result.

For example, MLOps can help develop healthcare analytics models that analyze electronic health records (EHRs). These models can identify patterns and risk factors that indicate a patient’s likelihood of developing certain diseases.

By using machine learning models for automated testing and validation, healthcare providers warranty the accuracy and effectiveness of these models. This empowers them to take proactive measures for disease prevention, personalize patient care, and allocate resources more efficiently.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, machine learning model development has been instrumental in enhancing the speed and accuracy of testing and validation for ML models for predicting disease outcomes. By continuously monitoring and validating these models, healthcare organizations can adapt to evolving conditions, improve the accuracy of COVID-19 predictions, and make data-driven decisions to effectively manage the spread of the virus.

What Are the Key Challenges in Implementing MLOps?

  • Data management: Managing and maintaining high-quality, diverse, and labeled data for machine learning models is a major hurdle. Ensuring data consistency, accessibility, and privacy can be complex, especially when dealing with large datasets.
  • Model versioning and reproducibility: Tracking and managing different versions of ML models and their associated dependencies and configurations can be challenging. Reproducing and validating results across different environments can also pose difficulties.
  • Infrastructure and scalability: The infrastructure required to enable MLOps (scalable computing resources and reliable storage systems) can be troublesome to set up and manage. Specialized knowledge may be necessary to provide effective model implementation, monitoring, and scalability.
  • Continuous integration and deployment: Integrating machine learning models into existing software development practices and workflows can be challenging. Implementing continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) pipelines specific to machine learning requires careful consideration of versioning, testing, and model deployment strategies.
  • Skill gaps and talent shortage: Building a proficient MLOps team with the necessary skills and expertise can be difficult. It’s because of the rapid evolution of the field and the shortage of qualified professionals. Organizations may need to invest in upskilling existing teams or attracting talent from diverse backgrounds.
  • Change management and cultural shift: Implementing MLOps often requires a cultural shift within organizations, where traditional practices and workflows may need to be adapted. Change management efforts, including training and fostering a data-driven mindset, are essential to ensure successful adoption.
  • Cost optimization: Managing the costs associated with MLOps infrastructure, compute resources, and tooling can be challenging. Balancing performance and efficiency while optimizing costs can require careful resource allocation and monitoring.

Final Thoughts

What do you think about MLOps? MLOps are a must-have for organizations that put AI at the heart of all their technology operations. Regardless of how advantageous ML skills are to contemporary firms, utilizing these ML capabilities to their full potential requires the proper personnel and MLOps tools and processes. As was stated at the outset, if ML is a child, MLOps is a wonderful mentor to assist in keeping ML on the right path. And Neurond’s MLOps service is renowned for being a great instructor.

Neurond’s MLOps service stands out for its exceptional application of MLOps principles with a team of highly skilled engineers and professionals. With a deep understanding of data management, scalability, and CI/CD practices, Neuron ensures seamless integration and deployment of ML models, enabling businesses to unlock the full potential of machine learning initiatives.

Thanks for reading it. We hope this blog motivates you to start your MLOps journey toward achieving your goals.