Business Process Automation as a Data Source for Analytics

Automating Business Processes for Enhanced Business Intelligence Analysis

Marketing Team - Sunday, July 12, 2015

An often overlooked benefit of automating business processes is the ability to collect more data points during a process.  In the past, process improvement projects relied on employees to put tick marks on data gathering forms or write down information, which impacted productivity and just didn’t get done consistently and reliably.  No one was really sure how much better “something” was; there were really only anecdotal stories. 

If your company is looking to improve a process, such as Accounts Payable automation, take full advantage of the available technology.  Turn on the features that will capture information about the lifecycle of the document.  For instance, when an invoice was received, the actual date on the invoice, when it was approved for payment, when it was actually paid – all of this information can be captured in the background, without employee action.  It can tell you how long it takes to actual get a task done, objectively, and show where the bottlenecks are.  You can see who your best performers are and document how they do the job and improve others without slowing down the best. 

Other data that can be gathered in automated processes is who is getting it right the first time and who is having problems, so the problems can be addressed, or, an employee can be retrained or reassigned.  Suspect phrases (“I’m going to sue”) in incoming mail or email can be automatically recognized and the document sent for immediate attention instead of languishing in an inbox. 

Plan for a few workshops to brainstorm about what lifecycle data would be great to have for in-depth analysis of your processes as part of your automation project.  It’s time well-spent and will provide many benefits beyond process improvement.

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