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From a Kai Laamanen comment in the recent automating processes discussion where he wrote, "All data driven processes can and will be automated sooner or later." What do you think?
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Not until data will be able to analyze itself!
CEO, Co-founder, Profluo
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 1
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I'm behind on the conversations here, so I had to go back two discussions to get the full story! From my experience, data driven processes are generally the easiest to implement but I agree with points made on knowing the requirements up front and heavy QA on the back end. I think it's also important to include error handling that sends the process task to a human for intervention. In fact, if you don't have this in place, I think most customers will reject an automated solution. Even if you repeatedly show an automated process executing without fail, they still want a fail safe and honestly, all solutions should have them. It may only get used .001% of the time but if you don't have those in place, that .001% will come back to haunt you.
Managing Director
ClearCadence, LLC
http://www.clearcadence.com
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 2
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I agree with Kai's sentence. Given the notorious advance in RPA and application integration (using Web Services or IFTTT tools), and the ease of using them in cloud BPM Suites, it sounds very feasible to fully automate data-driven processes in the near future. This automation doesn't include data analysis to make decisions, this is a human exclusive task :)
CEO at Flokzu Cloud BPM Suite
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  1. more than a month ago
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I believe that there is a natural occurring undercurrent in business that translates into the necessary interplay of mechanization (then: automation) and diversification, at the other side of the spectrum (process dualism?). When data provides the needed insights to automate, automation will (must) occur, as a natural consequence. However, automation will by default also have the effect of freeing up the resources and the potential to develop the long tails of the product and services distribution curve. For both opposites, data would be the current in that analogy. Playing out that scenario, you will observe that with increased automation not only from the provider side of things will there be a tendency of an enlarged long tail distribution, but also from the market demand point of view: There would be an increased demand for diversification, converting said long-tails into their own, heavy-tailed curves, later on.
NSI Soluciones - ABPMP PTY
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  1. more than a month ago
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Yes, all data-driven processes will be automated. But the rate at which this happens "depends" . . .

What is a data-driven process? It's a process where all (give or take) of the contents of the process, including data, process model and decision rules, can execute autonomously, i.e. without human intervention. This statement is almost a tautology though -- because one can imagine that some error conditions will trigger a request for human intervention. That's OK -- we just define the "automated data-driven process" as the part that doesn't require human intervention.

More interestingly, under what conditions will the decisions be made to automate "all data-driven processes"? This is an investment question for corporations and an economic question for society. Is the return on investment for automating a data-driven process (or any process) greater than the ROI of the status quo?

What changes the investment equation to support @Kai's proposition?

1) Wages of process operators, including wages paid by BPO service providers.
2) BPM software technological advances that reduce the cost of constructing a new business process.

World-wide wages are going up. And world-wide software technology keeps improving. Therefore, over time, all data-driven processes will be automated.

But this transition doesn't happen overnight and it happens unevenly. So market participants can win by surfing the evolution of process automation. The impacts can be rather substantial and sometimes unexpected. For example, RPA (a related case) makes new process automation business cases possible. Specifically RPA changes changes the calculations associated with the kinds of contracts which have been the bread and butter of BPO service providers. International BPO organizations are therefore pioneering RPA, in effect cannibalizing their own businesses. And they are doing this to survive. In some cases, corporates are repatriating some business functions because with RPA, the work of that function is no longer tied as closely to head count.

Can you surf the trend?
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  1. more than a month ago
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As usual, any automation, including data-driven processes, must follow some principles. I like ones from [1]

Thanks,
AS
References
  1. https://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.com/2011/01/automation-and-intelligent-systems.html
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  1. more than a month ago
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Yes to ""All data driven processes can and will be automated sooner or later.",

With two provisos . . . .

1. There is a big red "Stop" button that the "person in charge" can press
2. Others (locally or remotely) periodically check to make sure the person in charge is monitoring the process.
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That's definitely the 'nirvana' state which every enterprise is thriving to achieve. Data Driven approach will be a key lever for organizations to realize the potential of Self-serviceability & Self-healing processes.
But, the question is, will every data-driven process be eligible for automation sooner or later?
The answer is 'maybe not'. What's more important is Quality of Data!
Even if we have tons of data that are not interlinked or just provide discrete info - it does not meet the purpose.

A simple scenario:
A leading financial institution that wants to automate the Customer Service operations (as it has tons of data collected over the years w.r.t its Customers) may not succeed if the data in store are just siloed/half baked info or mere transactional notes.
Quality of Conversation is critical than just providing pointed transactions which have white spaces in Customer Engagement (it's like a trade-off between AHT- average handling time & conversation time or simply put speed vs time)

A data driven approach with a wish list of automation should ensure the Quality of Data is not compromised. Else it will show unexpected behaviour which can turn out to be a costly affair.
To put it in one word- "Data Driven Automation approach should preach Quality of Data"
If organizations do not have clean/qualified data, that should be the prerequisite exercise(as data discovery) for smooth & uninterrupted automation to follow.
Comment
  1. John Morris
  2. 4 months ago
  3. #5567
+1 @Pritiman regarding "data before automation". Especially interesting is your reference to "Quality of Conversation". Imagine that -- "QA on narrative"!
  1. more than a month ago
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I think yes in recognition that always must be under scrutiny of business people and that includes the creation of such data driven processes. They will be designed to support people indeed enable empowerment by removing many routine manipulation of data requirements and supplying real time feed back of activity of both.

Much of the capability already exists but with many complex legacy systems will be seen as bringing complexity.....really needs a Greenfield approach to surround the brownfield of legacy where RPA as discussed will be important along side the other required capabilities such as adaptive UIs,rules, state etc. May not be so far away as some may think and BPM is a powerful driver in getting it right with Business understanding and input.
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  1. more than a month ago
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I fully agree with comment of data quality... garbage in garbage out. Anyway I can easily imagine an AI-solution to identify the possible erroneous data and of course then we may need human corrective.... and there are some other risks or challenges to think about such as cyber security, criminal activity and ethics... Any way the trend is clear towards automation and digitalization.... it means less error, less cost, faster response...

It looks that present generation (culture) still trust in human more than robotics. This might change in future e.g. people are not allowed drive car in public roads, because it is too dangerous for other people.... this means a new business opportunity to establish restricted areas, where people may drive themselves :))

An interesting case is stock market, where there are a lot of automated processes and still stock market experts trying to beat the market (..with not very convincing results).

br. Kai
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 10
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Data is an indispensable part of any business process. It is simply impossible to imagine a process, which operates without certain input as a starting condition and without an output representing its results. In one or another form, these inputs and outputs are always associated with certain business data. A process is a flow (in business terms, a workflow) transforming the data.

On another hand, data is amorphous and shapeless without a process behind. Data is always a result of certain process and always have a reservation of consumption by one or another process sooner or later. Rarely somebody stores the data, especially, business data, entirely without an intent for subsequent usage.

Business process is a fundamental foundation, which shapes the data and gives it a business sense. Data with an undefined or lost business context become a silos. Synthesis of the data and its associated processes in a business model is the cornerstone for consistent storage of the data and its effective usage in successful process automation.
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