By Anouk De Meester - Marketeer & Business Analyst - 7 days ago
When you start with workflow automation in the public sector, you might get lost between all the tools and techniques out there. We searched for (and found) a way to bring more clarity and help you make an informed decision.
Our definition of workflow automation is making manual interventions redundant by automating (a part of) your workflow, so you can free up time for other tasks.
In the flowchart below, we guide you to a suitable workflow automation technique for your public service. If you are not familiar with the different techniques, continue reading below the image for a brief lexicon.
In a nutshell: when it is ok to have a fuzzy outcome and you have a lot of data by hand, then AI is worth considering. When you need an answer that is 100% correct, we advise process automation. However, a prerequisite for process automation is to have clear business rules and structured data. RPA and OCR can help you to obtain more structured data.
By analysing a big amount of data, a computer learns to see patterns and builds up a certain level of intelligence. The answer of the computer is an estimation and has a certain error rate. E.g. AI can help you with fraud detection and help you spot possible malicious requests that need more investigation.
With process automation, you are in the driving seat. You set out the steps of your process and model the (objective) business rules. When you enter the data in the correct format, the computer will check the rules you've set up and execute this flow. The outcome is 100% predictable and traceable. E.g. verify if a person owns the property he or she is requesting a premium for.
A robot will copy the behaviour of the employee and execute the manual steps, e.g. open the excel, search a contact, lookup data,.. It allows you to speed up, but there are limitations on its scalability. We see it more as an intermediate step, in anticipation of another technical solution. Where you then review, simplify and smartly digitise the process.
With OCR the computer categorises or recognises text from images, scanned documents,… A great method to extract structured information from unstructured sources. It is often used as an intermediate step to fully going digital (e.g. when an online form replaces a paper submission form).
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