Over the last ten years or so, the focus of technological leaders has been on cloud computing. Now, the cloud is becoming robust and mature.
“Big data” may be what we think of when we look at trends now — big data certainly has the chance to touch everything we do, from marketing and advertising to the humble expense report.
Hot on its heels, however, is automation.
Automation Will Be What We “Do” When Big Data Is Manageable
“Big data” is that massive influx of information about your enterprise, your markets, your competitors, and your customers that has been realised through cloud computing. For most enterprises, it seems unwieldy and unmanageable.
Soon, however, it will represent a true pipeline between the outside world and your business: One you are empowered to sort through and use for deep insight. If it seems like that time is still far away, start small.
“Big data” is made up of a huge amount of “small data.”
What is small data? Let’s take your business travel expense report as an example.
In the past, this single “package” of data represented a huge amount of human effort. Your business traveler had to deal with plenty of manual work involved in gathering records and reporting them.
Then, your compliance experts had to double-check and look through every aspect of the reporting document to find anything that might be amiss.
Although the individual data points might be small — vanishingly so, in fact — they have huge potential impact on your business. After all, reports are the building blocks of many compliance issues.
If every step of the process is automated, however, that “small data” becomes key business intelligence.
How Automation Might Capture An Expense Report
A fully automated process turns data that you might not be able to capture, verify, or archive into a tool you can use to better your business.
If every aspect of your travel expense report was automated, your business traveler would be able to capture each transaction in a precise way as it happens — instantly reporting details to your enterprise.
Your software would then run each of these transactions through compliance checking in real time, saving hours of work for your compliance team. If, and only if, an issue was discovered would it be necessary to alert the traveler.
Automation will transform challenging problems, such as reporting, into solutions. When you think of “big data,” look for ways to make small bits of data into a clear and automated part of your business intelligence.