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How to build enterprise-grade proprietary Large Language Models (LLMs)

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In the dynamic and rapidly evolving sphere of artificial intelligence (AI), enterprises find themselves at a pivotal crossroads. The advent of generative AI technologies, particularly proprietary Large Language Models (LLMs), presents both vast opportunities and significant challenges to enterprises. These organizations face a strategic dilemma: to build their own generative AI capabilities from the ground up or to adopt pre-built solutions. This decision is not just about technological adoption but also involves weighing immediate operational needs against long-term aspirations for innovation and competitive advantage. There is a strategic dilemma between build or buy. The choice between developing an in-house AI capability and opting for ready-made generative AI solutions encapsulates a fundamental strategic crossroads for enterprises. On one hand, ready-made solutions offer a quick entry into AI-powered markets, enabling companies to deploy AI functionalities and services rapidly. On the other hand, the endeavor to develop bespoke AI capabilities promises deeper integration with business processes and the potential to create unique intellectual property, laying the groundwork for significant long-term dividends.

Embarking on the journey to develop proprietary generative AI is laden with complexities. The fast pace of technological advancement, coupled with the fluidity of the regulatory environment surrounding AI, introduces considerable risk. The investment in developing generative AI from scratch might confront obsolescence before it can deliver its full potential value. Consequently, enterprises must prioritize adherence to high standards of data privacy, operational transparency, and ethical AI usage, ensuring the long-term viability and regulatory compliance of their AI initiatives.

The integration approach of generative AI technology within an organization’s existing technological ecosystem stands as a critical factor. Seamless integration not only enhances security but also ensures that the AI’s capabilities are deeply woven into the operational fabric of the organization. This strategic alignment ensures that AI advancements are immediately applicable, enabling enterprises to maintain a competitive edge without the lag associated with new technology deployment.

For enterprises venturing into the generative AI space, selecting the right path involves more than assessing technical capabilities. It requires a holistic view of the potential partner’s operational ethos, their track record of innovation, and their commitment to delivering customer-centric solutions. Evaluating past success stories and use cases offers valuable insights, helping enterprises identify solutions or partners that resonate with their strategic vision and long-term objectives in leveraging AI.

This article delves deeper into the strategic approach of building enterprise-grade proprietary Large Language Models (LLMs) with technical know-how.

Proprietary Large Language Models (LLMs) – what does it entail?

Proprietary Large Language Models represent a specialized segment of artificial intelligence technology, designed and controlled exclusively by the organizations that develop them. These models offer a distinct advantage in terms of incorporating security and privacy measures right from the design phase. They are notably adaptable, allowing for high levels of customization to meet the unique requirements of different organizational functions and specific data sets. This capacity for customization extends to fine-tuning the models to align closely with particular business needs.

The pre-training of these models on actual business transactional and operational data ensures that the output they generate is both highly specific and accurate, thereby facilitating improved decision-making processes. Over time, the investment in developing proprietary LLMs can prove to be cost-efficient, offering significant benefits in terms of security, flexibility, and the precision of outputs while also safeguarding data and intellectual property.

These specialized models are offered as a service to the public by their creators, who retain exclusive control over their modification, enhancement, and distribution, except as explicitly allowed by the creator. Examples include GPT-4 by OpenAI and Gemini by Google. These proprietary LLMs are known for their superior usability and stability.

One of the key advantages of developing proprietary LLMs is the degree of control it grants an organization. This autonomy eliminates reliance on external vendors and enables a tailored approach to addressing privacy and compliance concerns, potentially offering cost savings at scale. Despite the quality of open-source LLMs currently lagging behind their proprietary counterparts, the control over data privacy and the model’s environment remains a crucial consideration. It is anticipated that the gap in model quality between open-source and proprietary LLMs will narrow over time, as open-source models advance towards becoming state-of-the-art.

The preference for proprietary LLMs over open-source alternatives often stems from their accuracy, as demonstrated across various benchmarks. Moreover, proprietary models frequently come as part of a fully managed service, reducing operational complexity and integrating seamlessly with other generative AI tools to expedite the realization of value.

There is a significant interest among organizations in developing their own proprietary LLMs, despite the widespread experimentation with generative AI models. Security concerns remain a major hurdle for broader adoption in business contexts.

When it comes to AI development, the ethical and privacy considerations are paramount. Companies that have ventured into creating foundational AI models report no significant privacy or ethical issues, highlighting the potential for responsible innovation within the proprietary LLM space. This approach underscores the evolving landscape of AI, where the development of proprietary models is seen not just as a technical achievement but as a strategic asset that can be leveraged to gain competitive advantage, ensure data protection, and customize solutions to meet the intricate needs of modern businesses.

Why owning a proprietary large language model is critical for an enterprise? – Key benefits

Owning a proprietary LLM offers significant advantages to enterprises across various aspects, from customization and security to cost efficiency and operational flexibility. Let’s delve deeper into these benefits and how they collectively make the case for why an enterprise might consider investing in its own LLM.


Customization stands out as a pivotal advantage. Enterprises often operate within niche markets or have specific needs that generic models can’t fully accommodate. The ability to tailor an LLM to understand industry-specific terminologies, processes, and data ensures that the model’s outputs are highly relevant and aligned with business objectives. This is not merely a matter of convenience but a strategic tool that can provide a competitive edge, enabling businesses to generate insights, automate tasks, or interact with customers in ways that are finely tuned to their ecosystem.

Enhanced security

Data privacy and security are paramount, especially in industries governed by strict regulatory standards like healthcare, finance, and legal. Using an external LLM involves risk as sensitive data might be exposed during transmission or storage. A proprietary model mitigates this risk by keeping data in-house, allowing enterprises to implement and control security measures according to their standards and regulatory requirements. This aspect not only protects the enterprise from potential breaches and compliance issues but also builds trust with customers and partners who are increasingly concerned about data privacy.


The business landscape is dynamic, with constantly evolving customer preferences, market conditions, and technological advancements. Owning an LLM provides the agility to adapt the model as these changes occur, ensuring that the technology remains relevant and effective. This flexibility extends to scaling the model to handle increased loads or refining it to cater to emerging business areas without being constrained by the capabilities or priorities of an external provider.

Improved accuracy

The accuracy of an LLM is directly tied to the quality and relevance of the data it has been trained on. By focusing on domain-specific data, enterprises can enhance the model’s understanding of their particular field, leading to more accurate and insightful outputs. This specificity is critical for tasks that require a deep understanding of complex subject matter, where generic models might miss nuances or produce errors.

Cost efficiency

While the initial setup of a proprietary LLM requires upfront investment in resources and expertise, the long-term benefits can be substantial. By eliminating the need for recurring fees associated with API calls or licenses for external models, enterprises can achieve greater cost efficiency, especially as their usage scales. Additionally, by maintaining an in-house model, companies can optimize their investments in data infrastructure and talent, further enhancing ROI over time.

Offline access

The ability to operate independently of internet connectivity is a crucial benefit in many scenarios, such as remote fieldwork, secure facilities, or during network outages. Offline access ensures that business operations are not interrupted and that data processing can be conducted with greater control over security and privacy.

In summary, owning a proprietary LLM allows enterprises to harness the full potential of AI in their specific context, offering a blend of strategic advantages that can lead to improved operational efficiency, competitive differentiation, and compliance with regulatory standards. The decision to invest in a proprietary LLM reflects a futureproof approach to leveraging technology to meet the complex and evolving needs of modern businesses.

Innovate with Custom LLM Development

See how our expert team can assist in developing powerful, proprietary Large
Language Models for your enterprise.

An overview of the structured approach for building an enterprise-grade LLM

1. Define strategic objectives

  • Align with business goals: Understand how the LLM can support the enterprise’s strategic objectives, such as improving customer experience, automating operations, enhancing decision-making, or generating new revenue streams.
  • Identify use cases: Pinpoint specific use cases where an LLM can provide competitive advantages or operational efficiencies. This could range from customer service automation to personalized content creation.

2. Assess data readiness

  • Data inventory: Conduct an inventory of available data resources to train the LLM, ensuring that data is diverse, high-quality, and relevant to the identified use cases.
  • Compliance and privacy: Evaluate data privacy, security requirements, and compliance with relevant regulations (e.g., GDPR, HIPAA) to guide data handling and processing protocols.

3. Architectural planning

  • Infrastructure requirements: Determine the computational and storage infrastructure needed to train and deploy the LLM, considering whether to use cloud services, on-premises data centers, or a hybrid approach.
  • Scalability and integration: Plan for scalability to handle future growth and integration capabilities with existing enterprise systems and workflows.

4. Talent and expertise

  • Build or buy decision: Decide whether to develop the LLM in-house, which requires a team of experts in machine learning, data science, and domain-specific knowledge, or to collaborate with external partners.
  • Training and development: Invest in training for the internal team on LLM development and management or identify external partners and vendors with the required expertise.

5. Development and training

  • Model selection and customization: Choose a foundational model that can be customized for your needs, considering factors like language coverage, learning capacity, and ethical considerations.
  • Continuous learning: Implement mechanisms for continuous learning and model improvement based on feedback and evolving data sets.

6. Security and governance

  • Data security: Implement robust data security measures, including encryption, access controls, and secure data storage and transmission protocols.
  • Ethical and responsible AI: Establish guidelines for ethical AI use, including fairness, transparency, and accountability in model training and outputs.

7. Deployment and monitoring

  • Pilot testing: Conduct pilot tests with real-world scenarios to validate the model’s performance, user acceptance, and integration with existing systems.
  • Continuous monitoring: Set up systems for ongoing monitoring of the model’s performance, data drift, and operational health to ensure it continues to meet enterprise needs.

8. Feedback loop and iteration

  • Performance feedback: Collect and analyze feedback from users and stakeholders to identify areas for improvement or expansion.
  • Iterative improvement: Continuously refine and update the model based on feedback, new data, and evolving business requirements.

9. Compliance and ethical considerations

  • Regulatory compliance: Ensure that the model adheres to all relevant laws and regulations, including those related to data protection and AI ethics.
  • Bias mitigation: Implement strategies to identify and mitigate biases in the model to ensure fairness and ethical use.

Implementing a top-down strategy for building an enterprise-grade LLM requires a coordinated effort across the organization, from executive leadership to technical teams and operational units. Success depends on clear strategic alignment, meticulous planning, and continuous adaptation to technological advancements and business needs. Let’s have an in-depth discussion of these steps in the next section.

How to apply AI strategically for building enterprise-grade proprietary LLMs? A top-down approach

AI strategically for building enterprise-grade proprietary LLMs

To build an enterprise-grade proprietary LLM, we can take up the below top-down enterprise strategy:

Assessing and establishing AI readiness

Establishing AI readiness is a foundational step for organizations aiming to build enterprise-grade proprietary LLMs. This process involves several critical components, including the establishment of strategic AI leadership and talent, and the identification of advanced AI platforms, data engineering capabilities, LLM frameworks, and domain-specific models. Each component ensures the organization can successfully develop, deploy, and maintain LLMs that deliver tangible business value. Let’s delve into each aspect in detail:

Building strategic AI leadership

Strategic AI leadership is essential for guiding the organization’s AI vision, aligning it with business objectives, and navigating the complexities of AI adoption. This includes:

  • AI strategists and leaders: Individuals who can envision how AI can transform the organization and lead the initiative at a strategic level. They are responsible for aligning AI projects with business goals, securing investments, and ensuring cross-functional collaboration. 
  • Project managers: Skilled in managing AI projects, including setting timelines, coordinating teams, and ensuring projects meet business objectives and technical specifications.

Talent acquisition and development

Building a proprietary LLM requires a diverse team of experts, including:

  • AI engineers and data scientists: Responsible for the technical development of LLMs, including algorithm selection, model training, and optimization. They possess deep expertise in machine learning, natural language processing, and computational linguistics.
  • Domain experts: Specialists in the organization’s operational fields who provide insights into industry-specific requirements, data interpretation, and validation of the model’s outputs. Their expertise ensures the LLM is aligned with domain-specific nuances and use cases.
  • Data engineers: Essential for designing, building, and managing the data infrastructure required to support LLM training and operation. They ensure data is collected, stored, and processed efficiently, maintaining data quality and accessibility.
  • Ethical AI and compliance experts: Compliance experts focus on ensuring the LLM adheres to ethical guidelines, privacy regulations, and compliance standards. They are crucial for navigating the legal and social implications of AI deployment.

Identifying advanced AI platforms and tools

Selecting the right AI platforms and tools is critical for developing and scaling LLMs:

  • AI development platforms: Comprehensive environments that offer tools and resources for AI model development, training, and testing. These platforms should support large-scale data processing, advanced machine learning algorithms, and integration with existing tech stacks.
  • Model training and deployment infrastructure: Hardware and software infrastructure capable of handling the computational demands of training LLMs. This includes high-performance computing resources, cloud services, and specialized AI accelerators.

Data engineering and management

Robust data engineering practices are essential for the success of LLM projects:

  • Data collection and curation: Processes for gathering diverse, high-quality datasets used for the training of the tasks the LLM will perform. This includes both structured and unstructured data relevant to the domain.
  • Data pipelines: Automated workflows that preprocess, clean, and enrich data before it’s used for training, ensuring it’s in the right format and quality for optimal model performance.

LLM frameworks and domain-specific models

  • LLM frameworks: Advanced machine learning and NLP frameworks that provide the foundational architecture for building proprietary LLMs. These frameworks should be flexible, scalable, and support customization to meet specific business needs.
  • Domain-specific models: Pre-trained models or modules that can be fine-tuned with organization-specific data. These are crucial for enhancing the LLM’s understanding of industry-specific terminologies, processes, and contexts, providing a baseline that accelerates the development process.

Establishing AI readiness for building enterprise-grade proprietary LLMs is a multifaceted endeavor that requires strategic leadership, a skilled and diverse team, advanced technological platforms, robust data engineering capabilities, and a deep understanding of domain-specific needs. By carefully addressing each of these components, organizations can position themselves to leverage LLMs’ full potential, driving innovation and achieving competitive advantages in their respective industries.

Strategic application of AI

Building an enterprise-grade proprietary LLM necessitates a strategic approach to the application of AI within the organization. This process involves several key phases: ideation or AI consulting, AI solution incubation and validation, and maintaining AI governance throughout the initiative. Each phase is critical to ensuring that the AI solutions developed are not only technically viable but also align with the organization’s strategic objectives and ethical standards. Let’s explore each of these phases in detail:

Ideation or AI consulting

The ideation phase is foundational and involves brainstorming and consulting activities to identify potential AI use cases within the organization. This phase typically covers:

  • Identifying use cases: Collaborating with stakeholders across the organization to uncover areas where AI, specifically LLMs, can add value. This involves understanding various departmental challenges, workflow inefficiencies, and opportunities for innovation.
  • Selecting top 3 use cases: Prioritizing identified use cases based on criteria such as potential impact, feasibility, alignment with business goals, and resource availability. The aim is to focus on applications that offer the most significant benefits in terms of efficiency, cost savings, or competitive advantage.
  • Preparation for implementation: For the selected use cases, detailed planning is conducted, which includes defining the scope of each project, setting objectives, identifying required resources (data, talent, technology), and establishing timelines. This phase ensures that the projects are set up for success from the start.

AI solution incubation and validation

Once strategic use cases have been identified and prioritized, the next step is to incubate and validate the AI solutions:

  • Prototype development: Building initial prototypes of the LLM solutions for the chosen use cases. This involves technical tasks such as data collection, model training, and integration with existing systems.
  • Demonstrating impactful results: Through iterative development and testing, refine the prototypes to demonstrate their value in real-world settings. This phase focuses on measuring the prototypes’ effectiveness against predefined success criteria, such as improved operational efficiency, cost reduction, or enhanced customer satisfaction.
  • Optimize and prioritize initiatives: Based on the validation results, further optimize the AI solutions for performance and scalability. This may involve additional training, fine-tuning, or technical adjustments. Prioritization involves deciding which solutions to scale up based on their impact, strategic value, and resource requirements.

Maintaining AI governance

Throughout the ideation, incubation, and validation phases, maintaining robust AI governance is crucial to ensure that the initiatives align with ethical, legal, and operational standards:

  • Ethical standards and compliance: Establishing guidelines and practices to ensure that AI solutions are developed and used used ethically, respecting privacy, avoiding bias, and ensuring transparency. Compliance with relevant regulations (e.g., GDPR for data protection) is also critical.
  • Operational governance: Implementing frameworks for the oversight and management of AI projects, including roles and responsibilities, decision-making processes, and performance monitoring. This ensures that AI initiatives remain aligned with strategic objectives and are managed efficiently.
  • Risk management: Identifying and mitigating risks associated with AI projects, including technical risks (e.g., data quality, model accuracy), operational risks (e.g., integration challenges, scalability), and reputational risks (e.g., ethical concerns, public perception).
  • Continuous learning and improvement: Establishing mechanisms for ongoing learning and adaptation of AI models and governance practices based on new insights, feedback, and evolving regulatory landscapes. This includes updating models with new data, refining governance frameworks, and staying abreast of advancements in AI ethics and regulation.

By systematically addressing each of these phases—ideation, solution incubation and validation, and governance—organizations can effectively harness the power of enterprise-grade proprietary LLMs. This strategic approach ensures that AI initiatives are not only technically sound but also deliver meaningful business outcomes and adhere to the highest standards of ethical and operational integrity.


Industrializing an enterprise-grade proprietary LLM requires a structured approach that integrates the LLM’s capabilities into the organization’s operational, strategic, and performance frameworks. This process involves evaluating activities at the sub-process level, linking efforts to Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and organizational agreements, setting performance measures that are directly tied to business outcomes, and defining organization-wide goals that reflect the high-level business objectives. Each of these aspects ensures that the deployment and scaling of LLMs are strategically aligned, measurable, and directly contributing to the organization’s success. Let’s delve into each area in detail:

Evaluate at sub-process level

The first step in industrializing an LLM involves a granular evaluation of activities at the sub-process level within the organization. This means:

  • Detailed analysis: Conducting a thorough analysis of existing workflows and processes to identify specific areas where the LLM can be integrated to improve efficiency, accuracy, or scalability. This might involve automating manual data entry tasks, enhancing customer service interactions, or providing more accurate data analysis.
  • Link to SLA & organizational level agreements: Integrating LLM capabilities must be aligned with existing Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and organizational agreements. This ensures that the implementation of LLM technologies does not compromise the quality or delivery of services but instead enhances performance and outcomes in line with agreed standards.

Performance measures

Incorporating LLMs into the business framework requires setting clear performance measures that are linked to business outcomes:

  • Business performance: Establishing metrics and KPIs that directly link the LLM’s performance to tangible business outcomes. This could include metrics like improved customer satisfaction scores, reduced response times for customer inquiries, or increased efficiency in data processing tasks.
  • Business function and activity level measures: Beyond overall business performance, it’s important to define specific measures at the business function and activity level. This involves setting targets for individual departments or teams that use the LLM, ensuring that their use of the technology is aligned with broader business objectives and contributes to their specific goals.

Define organization goals

A critical component of successfully integrating LLM technology into an enterprise is the clear definition of high-level business goals that are supported by the LLM’s deployment:

  • High-level business goals: These goals should reflect the strategic objectives of the organization, such as becoming a market leader in customer satisfaction, achieving operational excellence, or driving innovation in product and service offerings. The implementation of an LLM should be seen as a strategic enabler for achieving these objectives.
  • High business value: The defined goals must be directly linked to business value, meaning that they should have a clear impact on results that matter to the organization. This could include increased revenue, cost savings, market share growth, or other key performance indicators. By establishing this link, organizations can ensure that their investment in LLM technology is justified by measurable improvements in business performance.

Implementation considerations

To effectively achieve these objectives, organizations should consider the following implementation considerations:

  • Cross-functional collaboration: Engaging stakeholders from across the organization in the planning, implementation, and evaluation phases to ensure that the LLM is integrated in a way that benefits all areas of the business.
  • Continuous improvement: Adopting a mindset of continuous improvement, where the use of LLMs is regularly reviewed and optimized based on performance data, feedback from users and stakeholders, and evolving business needs.
  • Change management: Managing the change process effectively to ensure that employees are trained, supported, and incentivized to adopt new workflows and technologies.

To industrialize proprietary LLMs effectively, organizations should assess sub-process activities, establish outcome-linked performance measures, and align LLM initiatives with organization-wide goals. This strategic approach ensures that LLM technologies are not only technically advanced but also fully aligned with the organization’s operational needs and strategic ambitions, driving significant business value.

AI pipeline

The final stage of a top-down enterprise strategy for implementing proprietary LLMs involves establishing an AI pipeline that is capable of operationalizing the model within the organization’s workflows and systems. This stage is critical as it translates strategic objectives and technical preparations into actionable AI solutions that deliver business value. A key decision in this process is choosing the most suitable approach for training and deploying the LLM, which can include techniques such as Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG), fine-tuning, or Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback (RLHF). Each of these methods has distinct advantages and is suited to different types of applications and organizational needs. Let’s explore each approach in detail:

Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG)

  • Overview: RAG combines the generative capabilities of LLMs with a retrieval component that dynamically fetches relevant information from a database or document collection at runtime. This approach allows the model to incorporate the latest, most relevant information into its outputs, making it particularly useful for applications where up-to-date knowledge is critical, such as in customer support or content creation.
  • Implementation considerations: Implementing RAG requires access to a high-quality, regularly updated knowledge base and the ability to integrate this database with the LLM. Organizations must also ensure that the retrieval component is efficient and scalable to support real-time applications.


  • Overview: Fine-tuning involves adjusting the weights of a pre-trained LLM on a smaller, domain-specific dataset to tailor its outputs to specific organizational needs. This method is highly effective for adapting general-purpose LLMs to specialized tasks, such as legal document analysis or technical support, where understanding specific jargon and context is crucial.
  • Implementation considerations: For successful fine-tuning, organizations need access to a robust dataset that accurately reflects the domain-specific nuances and tasks the LLM will perform. Additionally, there must be a process for continuously updating and expanding this dataset to reflect changes in the domain or to improve the model’s performance over time.

Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback (RLHF)

  • Overview: RLHF is a training approach where the model’s outputs are iteratively improved based on feedback from human evaluators. This method is particularly valuable for applications where the model’s decisions have significant implications, such as in ethical decision-making or when generating content that must align with brand values.
  • Implementation considerations: Implementing RLHF requires establishing a mechanism for collecting and integrating human feedback into the training process. This includes setting up a team of evaluators who understand the desired outcomes and can provide consistent, constructive feedback. Organizations must also develop a process for incorporating this feedback into the model’s training loop, which may involve additional fine-tuning or adjustment of the model’s parameters.

Implementing the AI pipeline

After choosing the most suitable training and deployment approach, the organization must implement an AI pipeline that encompasses data collection, model training (using RAG, fine-tuning, or RLHF), evaluation, deployment, and monitoring. This pipeline should be designed with scalability, efficiency, and adaptability in mind, ensuring that the LLM can be continuously improved and adapted to meet evolving business needs. Key components of this pipeline include:

  • Data management: Robust processes for collecting, storing, and managing the data used for training and fine-tuning the LLM, ensuring data quality and relevance.
  • Model management: Tools and systems for managing different versions of the LLM, tracking changes, and facilitating rollback if needed.
  • Performance monitoring: Continuous monitoring of the LLM’s performance in production, including tracking metrics related to accuracy, user satisfaction, and business impact, to identify areas for improvement.
  • Feedback loops: Mechanisms for collecting user and stakeholder feedback and integrating this feedback into the model refinement process.

By carefully selecting the appropriate approach for training and deploying their LLM and implementing a comprehensive AI pipeline, organizations can ensure that their AI initiatives are well-positioned to deliver meaningful, strategic value. This final stage solidifies the top-down enterprise strategy by operationalizing the LLM in a way that aligns with the organization’s goals, capabilities, and operational workflows.

Innovate with Custom LLM Development

See how our expert team can assist in developing powerful, proprietary Large
Language Models for your enterprise.

Building an enterprise-grade proprietary LLM: Core steps

Building an enterprise-grade proprietary LLM

Building an enterprise-grade proprietary LLM is a complex process that can be broadly divided into two core stages: Data Preparation and Engineering, and Model Development. Each stage is critical to the success of the LLM, requiring meticulous planning, execution, and expertise. Here’s a detailed look at each stage:

Stage 1: Data preparation and engineering

This stage lays the foundation for the LLM by ensuring that it has access to high-quality, relevant data. It encompasses several key activities:

Data selection

  • Objective: Identify and select data that is relevant to the model’s intended applications. This involves determining the types of data needed (e.g., text, numbers, images) and the domains or subjects it should cover.
  • Process: Involves reviewing available internal and external data sources, assessing their relevance, quality, and volume. For an LLM, text data from various sources such as company reports, customer interactions, or public datasets may be selected.

Data source selection

  • Objective: Choose the sources from which data will be collected, ensuring a balance between quality, diversity, and representativeness.
  • Process: Involves evaluating data sources for credibility, accuracy, and bias. Sources might include internal databases, publicly available datasets, licensed corpora, or data from partnerships.

Synthesizing and consolidating data

  • Objective: Combine data from various sources into a coherent, unified dataset that can be used for training the LLM.
  • Process: This may involve translating data into a common format, aligning data structures, and consolidating datasets into a single, accessible repository.

Data exploration

  • Objective: Understand the characteristics, quality, and potential biases of the collected data.
  • Process: Examine the data using statistical analyses and visualization tools, identifying trends, patterns, and anomalies that could impact the LLM’s training.

Data cleaning

  • Objective: Remove errors, inconsistencies, and irrelevant information from the data to improve its quality.
  • Process: This involves tasks such as correcting spelling mistakes, removing duplicate entries, and handling missing values.

Feature engineering and cleaning

  • Objective: Transform the data into a format that can be effectively used by the LLM, enhancing its ability to learn from the data.
  • Process: For an LLM, this might include tokenization (breaking text into tokens or words), normalization (standardizing text), and creating embeddings (numerical representations of text).

Stage 2: Model development

Once the data is prepared, the focus shifts to developing the LLM itself. This stage involves critical decision-making about the architecture and training approach.

Decision on fine-tuning vs. custom model

  • Fine-tuning pretrained LLM: Many organizations choose to fine-tune an existing pretrained LLM to their specific needs. This approach leverages the general capabilities of the model and customizes it with a relatively small dataset.
    • Advantages: Reduces the time and computational resources needed for training. It allows organizations to benefit from the advanced capabilities of existing models.
    • Process: Involves selecting a pretrained model, preparing a domain-specific dataset for fine-tuning, and adjusting the model’s parameters based on this dataset.
  • Developing a custom model: Some organizations may opt to develop a custom LLM from scratch. This approach is more resource-intensive but allows for greater control over the model’s design and training.
    • Advantages: Enables the creation of a model that is highly tailored to the organization’s specific requirements and data.
    • Process: Involves designing the model architecture, selecting algorithms, and training the model on a large dataset. This approach requires significant computational resources and expertise in model development.

Both stages of building an enterprise-grade proprietary LLM—data preparation and engineering, and model development—are critical to the success of the initiative. The choice between fine-tuning an existing model or developing a custom model depends on the organization’s specific needs, resources, and strategic objectives. Regardless of the path chosen, the process demands a careful, methodical approach to ensure the development of a robust, effective LLM that meets the organization’s needs.

Choosing the right LLM development technique: RAG, fine-tuning, or RLHF?

Choosing the right LLM development technique

When enterprises embark on building an enterprise-grade Large Language Model (LLM), selecting the right technique for training and optimization is pivotal to achieving the desired level of accuracy and functionality. The choice between Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG), fine-tuning, and Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback (RLHF) hinges on the specific accuracy requirements and the nature of the tasks the LLM is expected to perform. Let’s delve into the details of each technique, including their scopes, examples of technology stacks, and the contexts in which they are best applied.

Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG)

Scope and application: RAG combines the generative capabilities of LLMs with a retrieval mechanism, allowing the model to dynamically pull in relevant information from a database or document collection to enhance its responses. This technique is particularly useful for applications where leveraging up-to-date information or specific knowledge stored in documents is crucial. It’s well-suited for tasks like question answering, where the model can fetch and incorporate the latest facts, or for scenarios requiring detailed explanations based on existing documents. This technique ensures upto 85% accuracy in LLM response.

  • Scopes for RAG: Embeddings, Few-Shot prompting, Recursive prompting.
  • Technology stack:
    • Open source: Tools like LLaMA Index or LangChain allow for the implementation of RAG by providing efficient indexing and retrieval capabilities.
    • Enterprise grade platforms: ZBrain or Azure AI Search are examples of platforms that offer advanced search and retrieval functionalities tailored for enterprise needs, enabling seamless integration of RAG into business applications.

Example platform: ZBrain, designed for enterprise applications, offers robust search and retrieval capabilities that can enhance LLMs with precise, contextually relevant information.


Scope and application: Fine-tuning involves adjusting the parameters of an existing pre-trained LLM on a domain-specific dataset, tailoring its responses to specific use cases. This method is highly effective for achieving high accuracy in specialized tasks, making it ideal for enterprises looking to leverage LLMs for niche applications, such as legal analysis, technical support, or personalized customer interactions.

  • Scope for fine-tuning: Retraining or fine-tuning an LLM using existing pre-trained models to customize them for specific use cases.
  • Technology stack:
    • Models like GPT, LLama, and Mistral serve as the foundation for fine-tuning, offering a broad range of capabilities that can be honed to address particular domain requirements.

Fine-tuning is best for situations where an enterprise has access to high-quality, domain-specific data and aims to achieve around 95% accuracy in their LLM’s outputs.

Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback (RLHF)

Scope and application: RLHF takes model training a step further by incorporating human feedback into the learning loop. This approach allows the model to adjust its outputs based on human evaluations, effectively learning to generate responses that align with human preferences, ethical guidelines, or brand values. RLHF is particularly valuable for applications where the quality of outputs is critical, and there’s a need to fine-tune the model’s responses to reflect nuanced human judgments or preferences.

  • Scope for RLHF: Incorporating human feedback, alongside a reward model and policy, to iteratively improve the model’s outputs.
  • Technology stack: The RLHF process involves creating a feedback loop where human evaluations guide the model’s learning, necessitating a sophisticated setup that can manage feedback collection, evaluation, and integration into training.

RLHF is recommended for scenarios where enterprises aim for accuracy above 95% and when the quality of the model’s output must meet stringent standards, reflecting complex human values or sophisticated decision-making criteria.

Choosing the right technique

The decision on which technique to employ—RAG, fine-tuning, or RLHF—depends on several factors:

  • Desired accuracy: While RAG can boost an LLM’s performance by incorporating external information, fine-tuning is better suited for reaching higher accuracy levels in domain-specific tasks. RLHF, however, is the go-to for achieving the highest standards of accuracy and alignment with human judgment.
  • Use case complexity: The complexity and specificity of the use case can also dictate the choice. RAG is ideal for information retrieval tasks, fine-tuning for domain-specific applications, and RLHF for outputs that require nuanced understanding or adherence to complex guidelines.
  • Resource availability: The resources available for training—including data, computational power, and expertise—will also influence the choice. Fine-tuning and RLHF require significant investment in terms of both data preparation and computational resources.

In summary, selecting the right training and optimization technique is crucial for building an enterprise-grade LLM that meets specific business needs and accuracy requirements. Each method has its strengths and ideal applications, guiding enterprises in tailoring their LLM initiatives to achieve the best possible outcomes.


As we stand at the threshold of the generative AI revolution, the endeavor to build enterprise-grade proprietary LLMs is both a challenge and an opportunity for innovation. This journey, while complex, is underscored by a few critical strategies that have emerged as pillars for success in the development and deployment of these sophisticated AI models.

The first step in this ambitious journey involves identifying a focused problem where AI can provide transformative solutions. By thoughtfully discerning the use cases for AI, enterprises can ensure that their LLM applications are not just technologically advanced but also deliver significant impact and enjoy a faster route to market. This targeted approach is vital, as it aligns the LLM’s capabilities directly with the needs and pain points of its intended users, ensuring relevance and efficacy.

Incorporating experimentation and tight feedback loops into the development process is another cornerstone of building successful LLMs. Given the probabilistic nature of LLM outputs and the evolving understanding of end-users in interacting with AI models, fostering an environment where rapid prototyping, testing, and iteration are embedded in the development cycle is crucial. This not only accelerates the refinement of the LLM but also ensures that it remains adaptable and responsive to user feedback and changing market dynamics.

As the application scales, the importance of leveraging user feedback and prioritizing user needs becomes paramount. This iterative engagement with the user base ensures that the LLM continues to evolve in ways that are most meaningful to its users, thereby solidifying its value proposition. Prioritizing user feedback in the scaling process guarantees that the product not only addresses the immediate needs of its users but also anticipates and adapts to future requirements, thereby ensuring long-term relevance and success.

In conclusion, the journey to building an enterprise-grade proprietary LLM is marked by a strategic approach that prioritizes focused problem-solving, incorporates agile development methodologies, and maintains a steadfast commitment to user feedback. These principles serve as the foundation for not only navigating the complexities of generative AI development but also ensuring that the end product is poised to deliver real-world impact, drive innovation, and secure a competitive edge in the digital era.

Elevate your enterprise with a custom Large Language Model tailored to your unique needs. Contact LeewayHertz AI experts now to harness the power of proprietary AI and set your business apart in the innovation race!e

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Author’s Bio


Akash Takyar

Akash Takyar LinkedIn
CEO LeewayHertz
Akash Takyar is the founder and CEO at LeewayHertz. The experience of building over 100+ platforms for startups and enterprises allows Akash to rapidly architect and design solutions that are scalable and beautiful.
Akash's ability to build enterprise-grade technology solutions has attracted over 30 Fortune 500 companies, including Siemens, 3M, P&G and Hershey’s.
Akash is an early adopter of new technology, a passionate technology enthusiast, and an investor in AI and IoT startups.

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