The world produces quintessentially vast amounts of data—more than it can consume. Statista report dated September 08, 2022, states that the total amounts of data created, captured, copied, and consumed globally had reached 64.2 zettabytes in 2020. Furthermore, data creation is projected to grow by more than 180 zettabytes by 2025.
Companies need to collect huge volumes of data produced to extract valuable insights via data analysis to survive, let alone thrive in the competitive marketplace. It is the lifeblood of most business decisions, functions, and processes. But the process of data collection can be highly challenging for many organizations.
For instance, a company today generates customer data across various platforms on average. Whether it is ERP software for streamlining production, email software for tracking communication, advertising software used for marketing (Google ads, Meta ads, LinkedIn ads, Bing ads, etc.), CRM software for sales tracking, or other third-party apps for operationalizing business workflows—organizations have heaps of customer data dispersed across multiple platforms. And keeping track of all the differences and extracting useful information from them is time-consuming.
Growth-focused business players understand that data collection is a means to an end, and they acknowledge that automated data capture solutions can help them accelerate their time to insights.
Leveraging The Automation Advantage
Tasks like web-based data collection, data capture, data entry, etc., are time-consuming and resource-intensive. Managing such tasks along with core business competencies becomes challenging for many companies. So, these are the optimal candidates for automation. Doing so enables businesses to redirect their efforts and investments to opportunities with the most significant potential for success.
Smart data transformation services combine new-gen technologies like Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning (ML) with human intelligence. As a result, companies can easily transform raw and unstructured data into schema-compliant, tagged XML for data products, analysis, and AI/ML applications. Be it public or proprietary data, you can turn it into normalized and structured data to experience improved efficiency and better decision-making.
According to Statista report Global Automation Market dated Feb 24, 2022, the automation industry generated around 214 billion U.S. Dollars worldwide in 2021. At the same time, the process automation segment was projected to increase by 83 billion U.S. Dollars. A thought worth a while here is—if this was the value in the past year, imagine what potential process automation holds currently and what wonders it can do for businesses!
Real Benefits of Automated Data Collection
Automatic data collection has been paramount in shifting away from manual workflows and stepping into more sustainable digital processes. This has also helped businesses streamline their document management, among the list of all the other benefits. They can make improvements to their business processes, such as:
Faster Turnaround Times
Processing paper forms such as vehicle insurance documents and medical claims can take significant time—one has to wait for documents to be processed, scanned, proofread, and mailed out to the appropriate parties, only to go through further steps at the other end. With the help of automatic data capture software, businesses can cut down the days to minutes required to process paper claims.
The time saved on mundane, slow processes can instead be used strategically. The cognitive bandwidth of employees can be increased, getting more work done, and redirecting focus to data quality assurance and other critical tasks.
Businesses can easily eliminate outdated manual processes with automated data collection processes. Due to continuous technological improvement, paper forms and documents seem to be fading away, though not wholly. Besides, the manual processing of paper documents is old news.
Automation reduces the time required to process data manually. It also reduces the storage space needed to keep hardcopy files and paper documents. Thanks to automatic data capture, all these files can be digitized and kept securely for years while easily accessible/retrievable.
Reduction in Errors
Along with manual data entry comes the much higher risk of inevitable human error. Despite expertise and diligent training, mistakes can still happen. But with automated data processing, the latest technologies like OCR, ICR, OMR, IDP, etc., can help alleviate these errors.
Modern data collection software can quickly read through documents. Besides, they can also compare them to other files and templates to ascertain all data is complete—things like names and date of birth, for example, match up on sensitive documents. OCR technology can even read handwritten forms and translate them to correct digital formats.
Other tangible advantages of automatic data collection systems are that they simplify complex tasks into fewer steps, increasing their efficiency. So, when the need for extra steps during manual processes is eliminated, organizations can easily dedicate more time to other workflows, thereby maximizing productivity.
Integrating automation in various workflows can help your business eliminate costs related to system updates, equipment maintenance, extra labor, ongoing training, document storage, etc. hence, stakeholders can reallocate their funds to other departments for enhancing internal processes, upgrading computers, and so on.
Automation today is no more optional but a necessity that most modern-day businesses are built on. Through smart data transformation, stakeholders can harness the power of the vast data available at their fingertips and leverage it to scale the business. Furthermore, the team’s productivity can be enhanced by removing monotonous paperwork from their schedule, thus enabling them to contribute more effectively.
In a nutshell, when you harness the power of data and automation, you can uncover hidden relationships and gain insights from vast amounts of data. Implementing the right strategy and technology will balance cost, quality, and speed to deliver measurable business value.