Breaking Down Silos: The Game-Changing Power of Data Automation
How many hours does it take to pull, consolidate, cleanse and analyze your data? It’s a mind-boggling question. In 2022, a study by NewVantage Partners found that 97% of organizations are investing in data initiatives, but only 26.5% said they had already created a data-driven culture. That means most businesses still have a long way to go when it comes to leveraging strategic data.
Businesses invest hundreds of work hours on data management. Despite these efforts, many companies still have to deal with lengthy, error-prone processes, stale data, systems that can’t talk to each other, and lack of synergy between departments. Inefficiencies and lack of data visibility results in lost time, resources, productivity, and ROI.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
How Data Automation Bridges the Gap
The solution to these problems is better data management through automation. Data automation empowers companies to eliminate time-consuming manual processes and disparate systems. This allows for the improved data quality you need to make proactive business decisions. It also gives you real-time insights you can use to improve forecasts and strategic initiatives.
How important is it for businesses to invest in data automation technology? In 2019, Gartner predicted that AI would create $2.9 trillion of business value and 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity globally in 2021. As technology has evolved and new tools continue to enter the market, we can expect AI and data automation to continue delivering critical business value in 2023 and beyond.
Here’s how your organization can benefit from data automation:
- Access Real Time Data Insights – The key to making critical business decisions is to have quality data you can access when you need it. Data automation helps to capture the right data, standardize, analyze, and create accurate reports so you can make informed decisions and course corrections before your bottom line is affected.
- Improve Forecasting – In addition to seeing what’s taking place across your business, data automation gives you the depth of information to plan for the future. By integrating data automation across disparate systems and teams, you have more accurate visibility into your cash flow, bank reconciliations, supply chain, inventory, sales, operations, and other systems, giving you the insights you need to create more accurate forecasts.
- Create Cohesion Among Teams – In many organizations, disparate tools and systems across departments have created data silos. Executives may be operating with different numbers than the finance and operations teams, which means reports will be unreliable and it will be harder for teams to work together. Ultimately, this results in inefficiency, wasted time and money, loss of productivity, and inability to collaborate across departments. Data automation resolves these issues by bringing all data together into a single system of record so teams can make decisions using the same on-demand information. In turn, this creates cohesion among departments so that executives, finance teams, and operations teams can work together in harmony to maximize value across the organization.
- Boost ROI – If your best people are stuck doing data entry and reconciliation, they won’t be able to leverage their skills and create strategic value. Data automation frees these employees from spending their time on repetitive, inefficient tasks and makes them available to invest their talent in value-add activities that deliver greater ROI.
Data automation develops invaluable cohesion between teams so that everyone is working in unison. As departments collaborate with real-time, actionable data insights, organizations can optimize efficiency, improve accuracy, and implement data-driven decision-making.
Better Data, Better Outcomes
Data automation isn’t a new technology, but it has improved in efficiency, speed, and functionality over time. Today’s tools have more sophisticated infrastructure and security, making them practical for enterprise-wide applications. According to McKinsey, more than 75% of general accounting operations, cash disbursement tasks, and revenue management responsibilities are fully automatable, and that’s just in the finance department.
With the right tools, you can leverage data automation across departments to improve both strategy and operations. For example:
- Finance – Your finance department lives and breathes numbers. To meet your financial targets each month, it’s critical that those numbers be accurate, current, and visible. If they aren’t, you won’t know when things are off track until you have already experienced negative financial impacts. Monthly closings, order-to-cash, procure-to-pay, cash flow management, financial planning and analysis, and treasury operations are just a few of the areas where you can automate functions and tasks for improved outcomes.
- Operations – Process automation removes the potential for human error from manual, repetitive processes like data collection, storage, retrieval, and analysis. This is one of the best ways to improve efficiency and productivity across business operations, because it frees your team members to focus their attention on value-add tasks. At the same time, teams can also improve the accuracy and speed of data handling and processing.
- Executive Functions – Your executive team relies on data to make strategic decisions about company direction, revenue streams, talent management, and much more. Dashboards and visualization tools make it easier to drill down into critical KPIs for better decision-making and forecasting.
Ultimately, data automation brings all three of these business functions together so that data can flow freely, and leaders can focus on analysis and insights rather than data management and accuracy.
4 Ways to Get Started
How do you know when and where to invest in data automation? Here are four areas that can benefit from automation right away:
- Manual, Repetitive Processes – Manual data entry, reporting, accounts reconciliation, and other repetitive processes require many hours of work from your team members. Automate these processes to improve efficiency and productivity across the organization.
- Data Silos – Do different departments use different data systems? Do you have key data marooned in Excel or PDF files? These data silos make it difficult for teams to collaborate and for executives to gain an accurate picture of performance across the organization.
- Process Inefficiencies – The more manual touchpoints a process has, the more opportunity to introduce error and inefficiency, and the more time it takes to access the data you need. Automating these processes can improve accuracy and help teams get work done faster.
- Improvement Opportunities – Look for opportunities to reduce friction and improve speed, accuracy, and efficiency across your organization. This may include data consolidation, visualization, consolidation, reconciliation, and other key opportunities to streamline functionality.
Ready to get more from your data? At Atlantix, we help companies like yours reconcile these friction points so teams and departments can collaborate and leverage data more efficiently. EdgeVu, our data automation and transformation technology platform, uses Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and AI to eliminate data silos, harness data across departments, and drive faster, more accurate, business decisions.
Contact us today to learn how we can help you add value and create competitive advantage.