Data Automation Benefits for Business: When Custom Software Is Cheaper than Manual Work
The humble days of manual data entry are long gone. Data automation is now the name of the game. Today we are living in a digital age. Almost any kind of tedious work and mundane, recurring processes are often performed by computers and software as opposed to humans.
You can start from the smallest companies and go up to multi-billion dollar organizations like Google, Apple, and Microsoft, however, one thing that remains certain is all kinds of businesses are using data automation in one way or another.
In the past data used to be collected and analyzed manually. This in turn resulted in slow operations, bottlenecks, delayed decisions, and ultimately stunted business growth. It seems only yesterday that we had data entry personnel copy/pasting or typing numbers, customer names, prices, and other details feeding them onto the computer for later use. This whole process was incredibly time-consuming and prone to errors.
Fast forward to 2022 and data automation has taken the world by storm. In this article, we’ll discuss it in detail and look at specifically how data automation can benefit businesses in a fast-paced dynamic world.
What is Data Automation?
Data automation is defined as the use of automated tools in order to collect, handle, process, and analyze data instead of doing it manually. Simply put, data automation replaces manual labor with custom software for managing the entirety of the data of a particular business. It is a practice very commonly used in today’s world and is highly beneficial to business in a wide variety of aspects which will be discussed in detail later.
The term “automation” first came on the scene in 1946, a time during which the increased use of automated machinery in automobile assembly lines became quite common. While times have changed quite a lot since then the idea behind automation and the way businesses use it in the collection and analysis of data remains the same.
Using intelligently developed custom software, businesses are able to automate their data handling and management, leaving the more daunting and mind-consuming tasks to the human workforce they have on board.
What is the Process of Data Automation?
The data automation process consists of 3 main steps to extract, transform and load data, also known as the ETL process:
- Extract: The first step of the ETL process is extraction. In this step data from various sources and databases is collected by the software
- Transform: The next important step is transforming the raw data into a meaningful format that is able to be easily comprehended and analyzed. This step, therefore, consists of the cleaning, filtering, and sorting of data and converting it into a single, familiar format.
- Load: The final step is the loading of the data. Once the data has been cleaned and processed, it is loaded into the businesses’ database or data warehouse.
Benefits of Data Automation for Businesses
Businesses can reap a multitude of benefits by using data automation instead of using manual labor for data entry or data analysis. Below are some of the important benefits of data automation for businesses:
- Saves time
- Reduces operational costs
- Fewer chances of errors
- More effective use of workforce
- Better decision making
These are only some of the major benefits that data automation has to offer for businesses. Now let’s look at these benefits in detail to find out exactly how data automation plays its role in the betterment of the business and growth.
1. Data Automation is Time Saving
One of the biggest advantages of using data automation tools is that saves a huge chunk of your valuable time. In the business world time is crucial and it’s limited. You don’t want to waste it on sifting through layers and layers of raw data by hand. Data automation lets a custom software do this task for you so you have ample amounts of time to cater to other, more important things.
2. It Reduces Operational Costs
This one is a no-brainer. The process of manually collecting, refining, and analyzing data can waste a lot of your resources and isn’t cost-effective. On the other hand, data automation does all these things in a much better and faster way, at a reduced cost.
3. Less Prone to Errors
Let’s face it, we all make mistakes. It is what defines us and makes us humans. While humans are more prone to errors, data automation software is anything but. Hence, it makes it possible to collect, manipulate, upload, and analyze huge amounts of data at a very high level of precision and accuracy.
4. Better Use of the Workforce
You don’t want your talented employees to spend their time doing boring and repetitive data entry tasks. It is not good for your business as well as their personal growth. Data automation helps you put your workforce to better use by having custom software perform the arduous data entry tasks for you.
Therefore with automation, you’ll be able to use your workforce in positions that demand a higher degree of intellect, creativity, and innovation. This will not only make your employees feel valued and satisfied with their jobs but will also lead to better business scalability and improved performance.
5. Better Decision Making
Carefully calculated and timely decisions can make or break a business. Think of it this way, would you want to base your decisions on manual data entry and reporting? Or would you want more pinpoint and accurate reporting of data that is much closer to the ground realities?
Manual data analysis and reporting can be misleading and may lead to flawed decisions that come back to haunt you. You are quickly presented with refined, and trustworthy numbers and figures with data automation. You can then use them to make well-timed, fact-based decisions that are bound to pay off big in the long run.
Some Examples of How Businesses Use Data Automation
Businesses are using data automation in remarkable ways to achieve higher performance, save costs and keep their customers satisfied. Data automation benefits businesses in the following ways:
Although humans understand and relate to other humans in a much better way than software or machines do, it is not feasible to hire thousands of people to work as your customer support staff.
Especially if you are a big firm receiving tons of customer queries and support requests every second it can be much more beneficial and cost-effective to let your automation software handle customer requests based on previously collected data and FAQs.
You can achieve increased customer satisfaction by answering support queries faster. Automated chatbots can also help satisfy multiple online customers in a much quicker way as compared to humans.
For businesses dealing with several clients and vendors at the same time invoice automation can be really valuable. The data warehouse stores all the customer data. Custom automation tools or software can easily parse the data and even automatically pay vendor invoices.
Data analytics is one of the prime examples of businesses using data automation. It allows businesses to analyze and present huge amounts of data into meaningful trends, graphs, and charts that can help businesses evaluate where they stand and set better targets that lead to favorable outcomes in the future.
For Measuring Employee Performance
Data automation can also help gauge how well your workforce is performing, and find out the outliers. You can reward, promote, or counsel the outliers, whatever is necessary.
This can help make way for talented people to make their way to the top. It can also help you identify weak or underperforming employees. Moreover, you can help out low performers in order to bring them up to par with the rest.
It is also incredibly powerful as it ensures workers climb up the ranks based on their own performance and merit instead of human judgment that is more often than not based on some sort of prejudice or bias.
Ready to Use Data Automation for Your Business?
It’s not too late for your business to start using data automation. As explained earlier, custom automation software is a lot cheaper than manual work. It will save you valuable resources including time and money. Not only that, it will help you make timely, informed decisions based on accurate reporting. Moreover, it will help your employees excel at jobs better suited for their talents. This enables you to use their abilities elsewhere instead of data entry.
The time to start using data automation is now! So start today and you’ll be surprised how much you’ll be able to achieve with it. It will benefit you as well as your workforce.
So where should you start if you’re just a beginner? You don’t need to develop your own software if you don’t have the expertise to do it. Let an experienced third party like a Custom Software Development Company in Houston do it for you. Data automation is easy once you get a hang of it. It will help you achieve new milestones and will enable you to take your business to new heights.