When organizations generate, acquire, and store a large amount of data on a regular basis, it becomes critical to find ways to keep things running smoothly without creating data silos. However, manually functioning on such massive data piles can lead to increased in efficiencies. With such massive volumes of data, employees squander time deciding what to do next, and managers have no way of knowing how things are progressing. From taking more time to becoming error-prone, the drawbacks can be substantial for an organization in the long run. In addition, these inefficiencies cost money over time.
Workflows provide a streamlined structure to corporate data, ensuring easier acquisition, processing, and storing. This enables employees to be more productive, efficient and focused on important tasks instead of chasing colleagues for particular data or looking for outdated papers and documents.
Read on to understand the nitty-gritty of workflow automation, explain what they are, why businesses should employ them and how AI platform automated workflows can benefit your business.
What is Workflow Automation?
Workflow automation is the process of developing, simplifying, executing, and automating a set of tasks that are routed automatically between humans, technology, and data according to pre-defined business rules.
Workflow automation uses digital tools to replace paper-based and manual processes, usually through a single work platform that connects with the existing business systems. The tactical goal is to ensure that the right employee is working on the right task at the right time and have everything required to timely finish their task.
In addition, businesses can:
- Standardize work
- Ensure that established business standards and compliance requirements are followed
- Reduce human error
- Provide accountability at every level of the automated process
The data-driven business world that organizations function in requires them to work on massive amounts of data every other minute. With unstructured data becoming equally or at times more important than structured data, it becomes of utmost significance for business managers, team leaders, and each employee within an organization to follow a set of simplified steps of actions. These simplified, automated, repeatable steps enable them to complete a particular task as per the pre-defined procedural rules.
Why Does Your Organization Need Workflow Automation?
We operate in a world where email, telephone, spreadsheets, whiteboards, and Post-it notes dominate task and work management. Hence, modern firms grapple with the digital transformation dilemma of harmonizing internal and external business communications. Unfortunately, these task management solutions rely heavily on human memory and are ineffective at facilitating collaboration and providing visibility when a worker or decision-maker is in need.
There is far less reliance on human memory or task tracking spreadsheets that may or may not have been shared after being modified by a worker elsewhere in the firm. Instead, AI platform automated workflows store this data in a centralized repository that anybody can share or view with the necessary permissions (usually using role-based permissions).
Benefits of employing AI platform automated workflows
In essence, a workflow automation system is necessary since it continuously provides a great experience for your stakeholders, both external and internal, for the finished work product. As a result, work is completed more quickly, and individuals can accomplish more with their resources. In addition to these, AI platform automated workflows have several advantages over manual processes.
- Proper adherence to the procedure
- Shorter approval times
- Reduced manual interference
- Enhanced transparency
- Better productivity
How Does Workflow Automation Work?
Let's understand the working of an automated workflow by considering the followingexample.What happens when you manually retrieve a set of files or data generated by a differentdepartment in the vertical hierarchy over the last quarter?
You can either spread the word and ask each team member to share all the relevantfiles and documents they own or follow the formal chain of communication within theorganization. Both the processes will take a considerable amount of time. In addition, itwould still not ensure that all team members have shared the required data. Once youreceive all the data, you will then have to sift through each file to find the data pointsrelevant to you and compile them in a separate document.
Such manual workflows are inefficient. Moreover, manually working with such afragmented information load can be tricky and error-prone. For instance, when datacomes from multiple sources, you may miss out on collating the data points from somesources, make a mistake in compiling and analyzing them, and so on. Also, suchmanual knowledge sharing and collaboration systems not only demand time investmentbut also leads to low overall productivity.
However, if your business follows an automated workflow system, you can completesuch tasks and collaborate without any hassles.
With an integrated data management platform, you can create a unified repository of data from various sources like emails, browser histories, meeting memos, etc. Insteadof dealing with paperwork or multiple files and documents, you can share access to fileswith the relevant department and team members. Such systems allow you to focus bycreating seamless workflows that amplify information signals and eliminate noise. Theyredefine the way you work and collaborate by enabling you to share data with theconcerned stakeholders for further processing without needing you to chase down teammembers or send constant reminders.
Therefore, you can boost productivity and reduce processing costs if workflowautomation is implemented appropriately.
Having understood the need and importance of AI platform automated workflows,you must consider implementing them in your organization. However, this would requireyou to:
- Identify repetitive processes.
- Define the objective prudently.
- Train the team to employ the new system.
- Design the workflow and communicate the same throughout the organization.
- Measure the KPIs and ROI
Though this process is doable, it would demand a considerable time, energy, and costinvestment. However, an easier means would be to employ a workflow automation toollike Needl.Ai. Our AI platform automated workflow system helps knowledge workersby offering a collaboration solution that makes knowledge sharing across departmentsconvenient. In addition, with a single data repository for unstructured data across privateand public sources, data workers do not have to juggle multiple documents andapplications. So, almost all of the value we can provide to our customers stems from ourproduct's ability to facilitate seamless data and information management workflows.
We help our customers with not only data integration but also workflows, procedures, information exchange, and collaboration issues related to integrated data in their enterprises.