Automation, AI and Analytics: The Power Tools for Today’s SMEs

Process Automation, AI and Analytics are technologies that have grown up together. They often work hand in hand and they are each revolutionising the workplace as we know it. However, there is some confusion about what they are and how they work. Moreover, what they’re capable of in the hands of savvy business leaders. Let’s simplify things.

What is Business Process Automation?

Automations are processes that you define and create with software. They are sequences — electronic protocols — that replace manual processes. In the same way, electronic documents replace paper. To give you an example, you can scan business receipts on a mobile phone and send fr approval via an electronic form. This might alert the approver who can look at the document, review the item and trigger the next part of the process.

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

By continually processing huge volumes of data at speed, we can train AI to learn. It can respond to questions in a human-like, intelligent way. For example, understanding language and sentiment, and recognising patterns that influence the decisions it makes. AI can work in partnership with automation and BI tools to enable machines to learn from data, take decisions and perform tasks they were not programmed to do. In fact, AI is developing at a rapid rate and we will be using it widely in the workplace in the next few years. Business leaders are beginning to supercharge their automations and data analysis.

What is Analytics, or Advanced Business Intelligence (BI)?

When people talk about Business Intelligence (BI) they’re usually mean sophisticated technologies that collect, analyse, and interpret large volumes of complex business data. Being able to gather, process and visualise data at speed gives us valuable business insights and helps us make faster and better decisions. It builds on traditional BI techniques by incorporating advanced analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and data visualisations.

Business reporting tools such as Microsoft’s Power BI are developing at a rapid rate. The businesses that will thrive are those whose strategies and decisions are grounded in the data. For example, businesses generally use only 10% of the data they gather because they struggle to process it all. What if your smart BI tools could process all the data and serve you the 10% that really mattered?

How Can Business Leaders Get Started with Automation, AI and Analytics?

We developed a handy guide to Getting Started with Process Automation for business leaders of Small and Mid-Sized Enterprises. You’re welcome to download your copy here.

If you’re ready to take a deeper dive into the opportunities today’s automation, AI and analytics power tools hold for your business, get in touch and we can arrange for you to attend one of our half-day sessions on the topic that we run at the London School of Economics.

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