If you want your organization to thrive in the face of constant change, you need to invest in a solution that ensures your data is accurate and usable. And this is where data automation can help.
What is Data Automation?
Data automation is defined as the process of leveraging technology to upload, handle, and store data instead of performing such tasks manually.
Any data that is manually updated runs the risk of being delayed because it’s an additional step that an individual has to take, alongside their other responsibilities. In the data ecosystem, data automation replaces manual labor with certain systems that essentially do the work for you.
Without the need for human intervention, you can collect and analyze information using machines, software, or other artificial intelligence applications. This enables business users to focus on data analysis instead of data preparation.
Key elements of data automation include:
- Extraction: The method you use to extract data from a single or several source systems.
- Transformation: The process of modifying your data to fit into its required structure.
- Loading: The act of transferring data from one system to another.
Each of these steps is crucial for fully automating and successfully completing your data uploads.
Benefits of Data Automation
Organizations that make the shift toward data capture systems will reap the benefits of automated data collection.
Here are just a few reasons why automation is good for your business:
Quicker Turnaround Times
Processing paper forms takes up a considerable amount of time. You have to wait for those documents to be processed, edited, scanned, and mailed out to the appropriate parties. Automation can cut down the time it takes to process these claims from days to hours, or in some cases, even minutes.
Fewer Manual Processes
Automated data collection means you no longer have to resort to outdated manual processes to fulfill certain duties. Data processing is best suited for technology that doesn’t leave you open to the risk of human error.
With automation, you save on space required to file and store paper documents. And once those files are converted into digital ones, they can be kept securely for years while being easily accessible.
Reduction in Errors
Despite ongoing training and expertise, mistakes are inevitable. Automated data processing, however, can help alleviate these errors.
Data automation software can quickly scan documents and compare them to other files and templates to verify that your data is correct and complete.
Improved Customer Experience
Offering a first-rate product or service isn’t enough. Customer expectations are rising, and they anticipate having a positive experience with your brand. From your accounting team to your customer support department, data automation arms your staff with relevant data at their fingertips so they can more easily satisfy the demands of your prospects and customers.
Aside from helping companies become more agile and efficient, another unintended benefit of automation is making employees happier.
Since they don’t have to wrestle with data to fulfill their job duties, they have the opportunity to focus on more meaningful endeavors. Using data automation tools allows them to focus on the work that adds value to the business as a whole and take on more strategic projects and build on their existing skill set.
It goes without saying that data automation solutions can exponentially reduce costs across your entire business. Automation not only rids companies of expenses related to labor, training, equipment maintenance, and document storage, but it also allows funds to be reallocated to other departments or to streamline internal processes.
Ultimately, better data translates to better decision-making, optimized experiences, and fewer compliance issues.
Leverage Your Automated Data
When it comes to figuring out how to automate data collection, you need a clear strategy to help guide your decision-making. Here are the steps you need to take to automate your data processes the right way:
Ask yourself how your business can benefit from automation.
Where are your employees spending most of their time doing manual work? Which aspects of your data operations are breaking down?
From there, you can start to pinpoint any potential processes for improvement.
Consider how long it takes to automate a single process. After all, the more time spent on manual labor, the bigger the impact data automation will have on your company’s bottom line.
Now it’s time to implement your solution. This is arguably the hardest step, as it can go one of three ways. You can either focus your efforts on improving reporting, the engineering pipeline, or the machine-learning process.
Data Automation Challenges
As you progress through your journey, different challenges may arise and curb your ability to scale automation successfully.
The following are some of the major automation challenges we see organizations facing today:
The path to operational efficiency isn’t an easy one, and barriers to adoption exist. The top factors are often related to change management.
Before you can implement the necessary changes, you need to secure executive buy-in for any digital transformation project. Earning and maintaining their support will help align process improvements and retain the focus on long-term goals.
Taking a One-Size-Fits-All Approach
Although the word “automation” is typically used as a catch-all term for various technologies, the reality is that automation spans everything from intelligent workflows to content services.
With a variety of tools at your disposal, it’s important to match the right technology to the right need.
Infrastructure and Systems Integration
Effectively growing your automation initiatives requires a flexible, scalable infrastructure.
Likewise, integration and automation go hand-in-hand, which means connecting systems in your intelligent workflows is non-negotiable.
Because of this, you should keep an eye out for cloud solutions that make integrations easy and maintenance low.
Implementing Your Solution
As you can see, data automation can help transform your business from the inside out.
When you’re equipped with digital agility, you can tackle whatever challenges come your way while offering experiences to customers and employees that set you apart from the competition.
At 5P Consulting, we will analyze your data goals and needs to help you find the right products and platforms to take your business to the next level.