Anything that doesn’t require creativity can be automated. A century ago, human resources were used to assemble cars, then the concept of conveyor belt automated how parts were assembled. Robotic arms took it one notch up by manufacturing car parts by themselves.
Similarly, a few years ago we had typists for writing documents, telephone operators for dialing phone numbers, now all these tasks are repetitive. We used to have customer support teams working 24 hours to satisfy customers. Now, we only have live chatbots. Customer support agents only come to the front when the query can’t be solved by a live support bot.
This is automation. It increases output, business bottom-lines, and decreases costs. Automation is still in its infancy, but it is evolving fast.
Similarly, until the last decade, ETL teams were responsible for preparing data for the business analysts and the top-level executives. They had to create connectors, integrate data programmatically, and clean it so that it becomes ready for OLAP. Now, all this can be automated as well especially if the tasks are repetitive and performed regularly.
Let’s learn how data automation can help improve business efficiency.
Four Benefits of Data Automation
Data automation is made possible due to GUI-based data integration software. These software allow job scheduling and automation through the use of data maps. Users can use these data mapping tools to create visualizations of how data will be moved from source to destination. The data mapping tools also allow various transformations that can be applied to the data during the process.
1. Improves System performance
In the late 90s, Business Process Automation was a new concept introduced in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). It brought a revolution to multiple sectors and organizations adopted it. The only catch was BPA is costly. It requires millions of dollars to restructure departments and improve business efficiency. Moreover, it takes months and sometimes years to complete. Departments are rigid and don’t easily adopt changes.
Data automation is not costly, and it doesn’t require restructuring. Instead, it focuses on removing the repetition within the processes and reducing the number of workers working on data extraction tasks.
Where ETL teams were working on extracting data from a few dozen legacy systems, data automation tools with the right connectors can achieve the feat in minutes.
2. Enhances Workflow & Decreases Resources
Workflows are there for a purpose. They help improve business efficiency. However, business efficiency is only possible when the tasks are done within the given deadline and with an optimum number of resources. However, that’s not the case in the real world. Data automation fixes this problem by offering data integration teams to create workflows and schedule jobs. The integration jobs run as per schedule without human intervention.
3. Cut Costs and Increases Efficiency
Data automation is not about firing your current ETL teams. It is about making them move to the next level through learning and promotions.
Think about it. Before data automation was available through data mapping software, companies had to hire more ETL workers. Each ETL expert has a salary package between $70,000 to $90,000 per year. Now with a team of three workers, a company is shedding over $250,000 per year.
Data integration software with data automation features changes this for good. These software cost less than $30,000 depending on your business requirements and they do a better and faster job.
4. Helps with Business Analysis
Data automation makes tasks easier. Manual data integration can take days at an end. C-level executives can’t wait that long, they want the data to be ready for visualizations before the board meetings. This is something not possible through manual data integration because sorting errors and unnecessary delays can hinder processes. Automating data integration takes all the unnecessary delays out of the equation. ETL teams simply have to schedule processes and they are notified when the automation process gets stuck so that they can manually overwrite the problem and the process starts again.
When to Use Data Automation?
Most business analysts and data experts are confused about how data automation is going to benefit them. Here is a list of scenarios where data automation tasks can help improve their processes.
1. Repetitive Tasks
Monotonous data integration tasks that are done regularly can be easily automated. These repetitive tasks usually include extracting data from multiple sources, source to destination migration, and loading data to a data warehouse.
2. Tasks Requiring Excessive Resources
Menial tasks that require excessive resources to get the job done. For example, creating connectors to extract data from legacy applications for OLAP. Data automation tools come with pre-built data connectors to move data easily to a data warehouse or a data mart without worry.
3. Regular Backups
Regular data backups to a DR site is another repetitive task that often consumes excessive resources. Data backup teams can use data mapping tools to easily create data backups of data from both modern and legacy sources.
Ready for Data Automation?
Now that you are familiar with how data automation can improve bottom-lines, are you ready to implement data automation in your business?
Astera Centerprise is a data automation tool that allows businesses to easily integrate data from modern and legacy applications to their data warehouse for business analysis. It supports workflow automation, data mapping, job scheduling, and comes with 40+ pre-built data connectors. Get started with Astera Centerprise today!