The amount of data generated, consumed and handled on a day-to-day basis is bigger than ever before. ‘Big data’ has transformed business practices, to the point where a company’s use and collection of data can be integral to its success.
More data of course means more processing, which can significantly add to your company’s workload. That’s where data automation comes in.
With a reliable automation system, mundane data handling tasks can run effortlessly in the background, freeing up your workforce to work on other things and increasing overall results.
What is Data Automation?
Data automation can be achieved using business applications such as Excel and Power BI. It is implemented to take over general ongoing data-related tasks that would usually require a lot of time and energy.
Types of data automation include:
- Data capture automation (making it easier to collect, store and organise large amounts of data at once)
- Business process or workflow automation (saves time and reduces room for error) e.g Automating the flow of data between two systems. If one system doesn’t talk to the other, it creates a bridge that will allow it to export, translate and import to a new system
- Automating data uploads (the process of uploading data on your data portal programmatically rather than manually, leading to increased accuracy and saved time).
Examples of data automation
Data automation can be used in various departments within businesses from a variety of sectors. Some of the most common can include:
- IT: Automation can help reduce time spent on help desk ticket entry; password resets; data scraping and extraction; GUI automation; file transfers; user provision and much, much more.
- Human Resources: Typical HR workflows like managing payroll, processing job applications and taking care of data streams for different employees can all be made light work of with automation.
- Finance: Automation is often used in banking to streamline processes such as setting up new accounts, payments and billing, service desk requests, credit card applications, data backup and more.
5 Reasons to Use Data Automation
1. Save precious time
Perhaps least surprisingly, data automation saves a tremendous amount of time. Not only can it take care of multiple processes at once, but it also saves staff from having to perform arduous, time-consuming tasks, such as data collection, filing, analysing and processing. This frees up your workforce for more important projects, thus boosting overall productivity in other parts of the business.
Data automation also leads to increased visibility. Imagine clusters of filing cabinets in different places, all stuffed full of important data that was a chore to sift through. Thanks to cloud-based storage, data can be made available to anybody who needs it from wherever they are. Saving precious time and streamlining workflows.
2. Increase your profits
Many manually processed documents like invoices will pass through several hands before finally being approved and paid. In fact, research firm Gartner found that the cost of processing invoices in the UK was on average anywhere between £4 and £25, with some businesses even spending £50 per invoice.
Meanwhile, data capture automation has been found to cost up to 20 times less than manual data capture. Providing a seriously lucrative opportunity for businesses to shave pounds off their processing costs (and take pressure off finance teams!).
Many accounts-payable departments have numerous hidden costs and expenses. Not to mention that manually storing data requires added labour, organisation and office space costs. Imagine how much you could save…just by automating your data processes.
3. Make more space for innovation
Because automated data systems can process many datasets or documents per minute. This helps to increase output massively, leading to faster turnaround times, more relaxed staff and inevitably, happier clients.
As well as encouraging more satisfied staff (who will surely appreciate not having to spend endless hours on mundane data entry tasks), it also frees up space in the business for growth, creativity and innovation. It can be said that a company is only as good as its data. Continuously monitoring, refining and modifying one’s business strategy requires access to accurate and relevant data, all of which will contribute to sustained business success.
4. Enjoy extra peace of mind
Data automation doesn’t just make it easy to collect and access data; it also provides extra security too. Most automated data management systems continuously create back-ups of your data in the cloud, so your data is always available and always preserved.
5. Increase data accuracy
As mentioned earlier, data capture and processing can be difficult, time-consuming tasks – ones that very few people can do for hours on end without making a mistake.
Natural human error and eventual fatigue will undoubtedly lead to errors somewhere along the line. Meaning lost time and more costs for your business to put right. Remembering the 1-10-100 rule, a company could spare far more money by ensuring they have all their data processes properly automated, in order to prevent as many errors as possible and be able to detect and address issues quickly when they do come up.
This will in turn lead to a smoother, more improved service for your clients and set your company apart from its competitors.
Convinced data automation is for you?
Bespoke can help you find an effortless automated data solution that fits seamlessly into your business.