that is completely under your control

Reporting and Data analysis are the areas with the highest potential for automation

No dependency on just one supplier – Microsoft solutions used (Azure, Power BI, Power Automate)

Easy takeover of the automation tools: Power Automate, Power Apps and Power BI

Additionally – tools for data quality and consistency analysis – Master Data Health Checks

In Short – Business Process Automation (BPA)

  • Continuous improvement is a must for successful enterprises. Business Process Automation (BPA) and Robotization is an effective part of continuous improvement philosophy
  • Effective BPA can be defined as cost decrease, human error elimination, standardization and faster decision making.
  • Power BI, Power Apps, and Power Automate, together with other Business Intelligence services are tools that provide astonishing effects in automation and robotization. It is worth to mention, that there is no technological barrier, the tools can work also on “on-premises” data. Almost every company can take advantage of easy automation at a fair cost.
  • BPA should be introduced with respect to the idea of „self-service” – The automated processes should remain under the customer’s control. Having the possibility to take over the automation process and gain the appropriate knowledge should be the priority during the implementation project.
  • The time and effort of specialists and analysts should be consumed on data analysis and ideas creation, rather than a tedious and monotonous process of data preparation
  • Automation with the aforementioned Microsoft services is a first and easy step, which is a great foundation for future digitalization of enterprise reporting.

Business Process Automation – more information

he range of services and products provided by Antdata, such as MS Power BI implementation, customed in-depth reportsPowerApps, or MS Azure dataflow architecture solutions, enable businesses to significantly and at a low cost increase workflow automation. In this article, we would like to take a closer look at the benefits of Business Process Automation (BPA) and give you the guidelines on how to bring it to your company.

One of the most important factors that reduce operational costs and therefore influence business growth is the effective execution of the business processes. Business Process Automation is a today’s must if you want to remain competitive in the market.

What is Business Process Automation?

Business Process Automation uses technology and software to automate repetitive manual time-consuming tasks. The main advantages of BPA are:

  • Reduction of process cost
  • Elimination of human error
  • Systematization and standardization of processes
  • Improved effectiveness and speed of the decision-making process

Business Process Automation is an essential step towards the Digital Transformation of organizations.

Which business area should you automate first?

Business Process Automation can be initiated at a low cost and does not require many of the company’s resources. An adequate choice of the primary focus area in the automation process can considerably enhance further transformation. There are certain types of processes that would indicate a good starting point:

  • Processes that consist of many steps and tasks
  • Processes that require cooperation on many levels
  • Processes that are highly time-sensitive
  • Processes that impact other operational areas or resources
  • Processes that are the frequent subjects to an audit or quality control

Business Process Automation can play a significant role in implementing the process improvement methodologies such as:

  • Lean Manufacturing
  • 6Sigma
  • The Theory Of Constraints (TOC)

The successful automation of the company’s pivotal areas can boost the effectiveness and pace of the entire implementation process.

Business Intelligence and Power BI in the BPA

Business Intelligence solutions and in particular, Power BIPower Apps, and Power Automate, contribute vastly to achieving the desired level of automation.

The possibility of connecting to different data sources with a scheduled refresh minimizes the need for additional manual tasks such as creating data exports, writing VBA macros, verifying errors, or manually integrating many different reports.

The data quality at the core of the successful automation

We most certainly appreciate the fact that Power BI allows us to analyse data from different sources in one central place (we have provided a comprehensive description of how to integrate data from different sources, e.g., Microsoft Excel, databases, SharePoint, etc. into one cohesive Power BI data model – more information here) but it is worth mentioning that it comes with its risks. The Achilles’ heel of this solution is data integrity.

Each company stores part of data in several systems – e.g. product codes together with sales data are stored in one place whereas product codes and its components in another. If we want to forecast the resources consumption we need to combine these two sources. To our surprise, it may happen that the combined data do not have many common values. Typically it is the result of the small inconsistencies in notation, capitalization, use of special or language-specific characters. As a consequence, we lose much crucial information. The process of retrieving data is very challenging and in some cases unworkable.

Being aware of the problem, we decided to bring the solution – we have specialized in executing Master Data Health Checks that check the correctness, completeness, and consistency of data. We created an easy to use tool (in the form of a report) that enables comparing both sources to show data discrepancies and its causes. The Master Data Health Check tool works automatically and continuously allowing not only to eliminate errors but also to monitor them in the future.

Time-consuming analyses and the lack of resources on taking action

In the case of complex disperse, and incohesive data, the process of analysis itself consumes a lot of resources. Therefore, the execution is delayed and due to the exploitation of resources – underdelivered as there is not enough time, money, or human resources to take appropriate action. To improve the transparency and speed up the decision-making process we can use cloud-based solutions together with BI reporting systems. As a result, we can allocate employees to the tasks that require human judgment and leave the repetitive mundane tasks to computers. Cloud-based solutions, such as SharePoint, Microsoft Azure, Data Flows, provide continuous insight into company’s data from anywhere and anytime.

How does Business Process Automation help in achieving goals?

1. Cost reduction

Business Process Automation helps in reducing tedious time-consuming tasks as well as enables carrying them out simultaneously which releases valuable company resources. It brings benefits not only to organizations but to the staff too. Employees are more productive and feel more empowered.

2. Elimination of human error

Automated business processes come with much better results reproducibility and much fewer mistakes thanks to eliminating human error. Even if the error occurs, the enhanced transparency of the process and gained analytical capabilities let us find it quicker and understand its root cause.

3. Systematization and standardization of processes

Successfully performed Business Process Automation will be producing repeatable well-defined results. Prior to BPA implementation, we need to clearly define its parameters:

  • The expected result of BPA
  • Measures of BPA success (to check if BPA meets expectations)
  • Resources used in the process
  • Responsibilities of human resources taking part in the process
  • The way of supervising the process effectiveness
  • Improvement of processes effectiveness

Efficiently automated processes replace the tasks that normally would take weeks to accomplish and instead they deliver results in a couple of minutes. A great example is a monthly report for the board of directors. In the scenario where all the information is gathered manually from different departments, putting it all together in a cohesive, straightforward, and multi-layered report is overly resource-consuming and prone to mistakes. Reporting with Power BI and within Office 365 environment drastically reduces the number of people that need to be involved in its preparation – instead of preparing data they can focus on analysing them.

Business Process Automation can become a strong foundation for the digital transformation of an organization. With time, the consecutively automated processes will create a coherent easier to manage system.

As we all know the first step is the most difficult one but at the same time the most important. Thoroughly implemented Business Process Automation brings the tools, builds awareness among employees, helps identify the company’s expectations towards technology, and facilitates introducing further enhancements to the business operations.

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