HERE’S WHY INTEGRATING RPA AND BIG DATA IS A GREAT IDEA!

Data entry. Copying and pasting. Organizing data. Maintaining records. Assisting in customer service. Yes, we’re talking about the various skills your software bot possesses. Robotic Process Automation is certainly your ticket to a more organized workforce. But…hang on. Providing movie suggestions based on your watch history, predicting consumer behavior and preferences, querying, predictive analytics…you got it! We’re talking about the world of BIG data. Now…consider the two distinct ideas we just offered you and merge them in your mind. Congratulations! You have just unearthed a world of new possibilities.

RPA and big data are the two emerging terms in the 21st Century world. In their own ways, both of these are contributing to a technically advanced world. And integrating the two ideas can transport this world to even newer realms. We’re back with a blog; and today, let’s consider a combination of RPA and big data in the modern world:

1. HANDLING DATA THE RPA WAY!

The most important premise on which RPA functions is automating rule-based tasks at the workplace. And some of the most tedious and repetitive tasks employees perform on a regular basis relates to handling of data. Large organizations often generate massive amounts of data that has to be organized and updated frequently. And RPA can collect, store and retrieve data on software systems, thus saving employee effort and time.

2. IS COLLECTING AND SAVING DATA ENOUGH?

Enter big data! Big data helps one draw key conclusions about the data and make logical predictions based on its patterns. According to UiPath, “Big Data can be evaluated to gain information about customer needs and desires, but it can also provide an understanding of internal business activities, both in the back office and the front office.” Such extensive information can help businesses elevate to new levels.

3. AMALGAMATING BIG DATA WITH RPA…

It has been found that big data combined with RPA can bring about great results. With big data, the raw data procured by RPA can be evaluated to generate logical patterns and draw inferences. It also helps one make predictions based on these patterns. Big data can contribute significantly to the organization by providing valuable insights on consumer behavior, latest trends in the global market and so on. Such information can help companies plan and invest in the right direction. Companies can also update themselves on latest trends in the industry and take decisions accordingly.

While big data and RPA are two distinct fields with separate features, integrating the two can do a world of good to the global market. Both these technologies are still establishing themselves in the modern world. However, their combined power can positively impact organizations in the years to come.

SOURCE:

UiPath

4 TYPES OF AI YOU TOTALLY NEED TO KNOW ABOUT!

The next time you ask Siri to set a reminder or Cortana to assist you with checking your mails, pause and think about this. Both Siri and Cortana are mere software systems created by human-beings like you and me. Yet, they can not only understand and assist you in your tasks, but also promptly change the flow of their conversations based on your commands! Over the years, we have successfully managed to create applications that can not only satisfy the user’s immediate demands, but also display innate emotional intelligence and the ability to independently adapt themselves to new situations and information.
We’ve already discussed the key differences between Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Deep Learning. But can Artificial Intelligence by itself consist of further bifurcations? We’re back with a blog; and today, let’s have a look at the further classifications of AI:

1. REACTIVE MACHINES: LIVING. IN. THE. PRESENT. MOMENT.

Living in the present is definitely a positive attribute. But does that mean one forgets every event or action that occurred in the past? Well, reactive technology functions somewhat like that. Yes, these machines can adapt to the situations at hand and react accordingly. However, they do not have the ability to learn from previous experiences, let alone apply such knowledge to the present.
An interesting example of a reactive AI machine is Google’s AlphaGo. This game is the online version of the popular board-game Go, and it applies a neural network system to evaluate each player’s move. This game has managed to defeat Go experts by reacting to their moves with its ‘intellect’. But it cannot predict further moves of the player by his/her previous actions, or based on general inferences drawn from the various games played earlier. Another very popular instance of reactive machines is Deep Blue, the supercomputer by IBM that is an expert at chess.

2. LIMITED MEMORY: ‘CAUSE SHORT-TERM MEMORY ALSO GOES A LONG WAY SOMETIMES!

And then there’s another category of AI machines – limited memory. As the name suggests, these machines do have memory, but it’s rather limited. They can base their actions on immediate previous learning, but cannot store learned information to utilize in future. For instance, self-driving vehicles have the ability to read sign-posts, traffic signals etc. and navigate accordingly. They can also convey their decisions to change lanes and follow traffic rules. However, these machines do not have a ‘long-term’ memory and function merely on the basis of their perceptions of very recent instances.

3. IT’S ALL IN THE MIND – THE THEORY OF MIND IN AI

Undoubtedly, the human mind still reigns supreme over all advancements in science and technology. And rightly so, because the human brain is the ultimate source of all inventions and discoveries we so heavily rely on. But…what if we manage to produce technology that can recognize human emotions and predict behavior? While we still have a long way to go in terms of manufacturing such ‘sensitive’ machines, we are definitely on the way. The sentiment analyzer, for instance, is an important feature in chatbots and virtual assistants. With this feature, it is possible for these software systems to recognize the user’s emotional state by his/her tone of speech, and react accordingly. This stage in AI transcends the popular definitions of ‘machine’, thus bringing it (somewhat eerily) closer to human perceptions and behavior.

4. SELF-AWARENESS: WHAT IF TECHNOLOGY INDULGES IN SELF-REFLECTION?

Think about it: What if technology begins to think for itself? Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is an early description of the chaos that may take place if technology begins to dominate over its own creators. At this stage, technology dons the cloak of consciousness, realizing not only that another being is acting a certain way, but also analyzing the reason behind this behavior. It’s not only about what one does, but also the whys and the hows of the same. And yes, you guessed right. Mankind hasn’t been able to device such types of technology yet. But…never say never, right?

CONCLUSION

So that was all about the 4 major types of AI technology. While the last 2 types of Artificial Intelligence have not yet been actively initiated on a large scale, technology is rapidly advancing to meet the ever-rising (and never-ending!) human needs. AI technology is definitely taking the world to places – but as always, we know one thing for sure: a proper balance between the two types of intelligence is the sure fire way to go!

OUR OTHER BLOGS ON AI:

1. AI versus Human Intelligence: The Basic Differences
2. AI in Cybersecurity
3. AI in Education

REFERENCES

1. Zeolearn
2. GovTech
3. Analytics Training

AI IN FORENSIC SCIENCE: 5 Ways in Which AI is a Success in Criminal Investigation

Fingerprints and evidences. Crimes and investigations. Magnifying glasses and test reports. Detectives and forensic experts. Sidney Sheldon and Goodfellas and Catch Me If You Can…you get the point. We’re definitely referring to crime thrillers and all the paraphernalia we can associate this genre with.

Think about the last time you heard or read about a criminal investigation being carried out. Was it only the cops or the CBI or any such equivalent investigation body typically dealing with the entire case? While it is often people from these domains who ostensibly handle such investigations, another very prominent branch is the forensic department. Whether it’s matching fingerprints, conducting postmortem or producing forensic reports, this department does it all. With rapid technical advancement in all the fields, particularly in the domain of investigation and forensic science, Artificial Intelligence has successfully made its grand entry into this domain as well! How is AI being implemented in the field of forensic science?
Last time, we spoke to you about the role of RPA in law. Well, we’re back with a blog; and today, let’s have a look at the role of AI in forensics:

1.  INVESTIGATION IS FUN, BUT CAN WE SAY THE SAME ABOUT CONSOLIDATING DATA?

Forensic investigation involves extensive research collecting of evidence from different sources and then consolidating the same in order to arrive at logical conclusions. While the process of vigilantly deriving such data from ‘mysterious’ sources can certainly be a productive and interesting job, handling large chunks of data can often be confusing and chaotic. AI can help forensic experts with handling data effectively and performing meta-analysis at various levels during the investigation. This can save a considerable amount of time and also ensure that forensic investigators have enough time and inclination to work on other important tasks!

2. OKAY…BUT WILL AI ALSO ENSURE THAT ALL THIS DATA IS ACCESSIBLE? YES!

AI understands that it’s not sufficient to merely collect and analyse information. The collected data must also be easily accessible to the concerned parties, so that it may be retrieved at any point of time when it’s required. And so, AI technology can be effectively applied to prepare repositories of data. It can be systematically stored in your systems and retrieved as and when required.

3. “EVENTUALLY, EVERYTHING CONNECTS…” AND AI CAN HELP YOU RECOGNIZE THESE PATTERNS!

“Eventually, everything connects…” is a statement by Charles Eames. And as an investigator, it is important to recognize these intricate connections. This helps one to connect two and two together and complete the whole picture. However, a lot of times, patterns can be very specific and complex and thus difficult to keep track of. This is why investigators often take the help of modern technology to recognize such patterns. AI technology can help with patterns such as identifying different elements of one image; detecting patterns in emails and messages; and matching new information with different types of existing data in the system databases. It can also help with matching suspect information with the existing criminal records and intimating investigators of any previous criminal activity that the concerned suspect may have been involved in.

4. “BUT…WHERE’S THE EVIDENCE?” ASKED EVERY INVESTIGATOR EVER.

Yes, we’re talking evidence – the most crucial aspect of every criminal investigation. Without sufficient evidence, every hypothesis and argument may be rightly negated, however relevant or evident it may intuitively appear. And AI technology can contribute significantly to the investigator’s constant quest for evidence. For example, it can produce case stories and graphics of hypothetical scenarios which can help investigators analyze the given premise in the right direction. Moreover, the various statistical tools offered by AI help to formulate logical evidences that aid successful investigations of criminal cases.

5. IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT GATHERING AND STORING DATA…AI CAN BE QUITE AN ANALYST, TOO!

We know that non-AI computational techniques also exist in analyzing information. However, these methods may often not cater to large volumes of data. And that’s where AI technology steps in. Artificial Intelligence can help investigators analyze large chunks of data by applying statistical and probability-based principles. Here’s where data mining comes in handy. This process involves the discovery of patterns in data with the help of machine learning and statistical tools. Data mining can be of considerable assistance to the crime branch.

So there! That was our list of contributions that AI can make to the field of forensic science and criminal investigation. Criminology and forensics is not only about applying various techniques and analyzing evidences to reach logical inferences – it also involves intuition, keen observation skills and sensitivity. And technology is a poor substitute when it comes to these typically human qualities. So, as long as criminal investigation exists, humans will be extensively required in this challenging field. Let us leave you with a quote from “The Boscombe Valley Mystery”, a story from the renowned Sherlock Holmes collection:

“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.”

SOURCES:

  1. News-Medical
  2. SAS-Space

AI IN EDUCATION: 5 Reasons Why Artificial Intelligence is the Way to Go in Education

Think of the days you were in school – a phase of learning, playing and growing that remains etched in our minds for the rest of our lives. While one often completes his/her formal education during one’s youth, can we so rigidly restrict learning and education based on one’s chronological age?
Pause your reading for a moment and look around you. Chances are you learnt something new even within this one moment of reflection! Learning is always a continuous process and education certainly extends beyond the four walls of one’s school and university. And as the world progresses and develops, it is also extremely crucial for each of us to update ourselves in accordance with the ongoing changes. This is where Artificial Intelligence steps in. As the world is increasingly transitioning into a global village, why not let AI contribute in its big little way to globalizing education and introducing innovative learning tools?
We’re back with a blog; and today, it’s time to take a look at the integral role of AI in the education sector:

1. ‘CAUSE TEACHERS ALSO NEED ASSISTANCE IN ASSESSMENTS…

A substantial amount of time is invested by teachers every semester on correcting exam papers and assigning grades. This monotonous and hectic task increases their workload. It also leaves very less time for other primary activities such as lesson planning and thinking of innovative teaching strategies. Enter AI! Yes, there may be certain limitations to the domains AI can cover to assist grading. However, grading tools including Gradoscope are now being adapted in order to help tutors and instructors with grading exams and even homework on the AI platform. Moreover, it also ensures that students receive their results faster and with increased accuracy. Gradecam is another platform that can be used by students to simply write down answers to multiple-choice questions. Following this, the technology compares the student’s answer to the correct one provided in the answer key and assigns grades accordingly.

2. THE ADMISSION PROCEDURE IS AS TIME-CONSUMING AS IT’S CRUCIAL!

Every academic year, the admission procedures are nothing short of an elaborate ceremony for schools and universities across the globe. Whether it is enrolling new students on board or promoting existing students to higher grades, the process is definitely time-consuming and often repetitive. With AI, bots can easily carry out tabulation of admission data such as student details and grades. This frees the non-teaching staff of schools and universities from engaging in monotonous processes.

3. SMART LESSONS ON SMARTPHONES – FOR SMART LEARNING!

Smart is the new cool today, whether it’s phones or learning techniques. While hard-work and determination are still extremely relevant and important virtues, working smart is also a significant attribute. And that’s where AI contributes to ensure a smart learning environment for all learners!
Traditional classrooms often tend to uphold the notion that all pupils belonging to a certain grade or level possess more or less the same grasping and comprehension levels. However, every individual is a different entity, independent of his/her educational level. And education, as a powerful medium of imparting knowledge and learning, must realize this fact.
With AI-powered educational apps, it is possible for tutors to look beyond the mid-point of the ‘normal distribution curve’ and instead offer customized recommendation to each student. Tutors can also consider learning preferences of individual students. Based on this, they can adapt to varying techniques such as flashcards, audios etc. Such AI apps can also provide quick study and revision material and last minute exam prep notes to students at the click of a button!

4. NOW APPLY TECHNOLOGY TO IDENTIFY YOUR PUPIL’S GRASPING SPEED AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE…

More often than not, classrooms with large pupil strengths are unable to keep track of individual students’ performances. Some students in the classroom are quick learners who don’t require micro-management. Yet others may lag behind due to their slower processing speed and may require personalized attention. As a continuation to our previous point on smart lessons, AI can also contribute to assessing individual students’ learning speed and academic performance. Such micro-level understanding of each student’s academic status can help the tutor cater to individual pupils’ needs with ease.

5. e-LEARNING: YOUR ‘WINDOW’ TO THE WORLD!

Yeah, we already gave you a lengthy heads-up on how the ‘world is becoming a global village’ and so on. And in such a scenario, can the education sector stay untouched by the modernization? Certainly not! With e-learning platforms offering innovative and engaging learning techniques for learners across the globe, the world is not only a global village, but a global classroom consisting of towns, cities and villages and connecting students and teachers. We all know the buzz that platforms like Udemy and Coursera have rightly generated. There are also a number of other platforms under the hood of Learning Management System, which focus on interactive and innovative learning between learners and tutors, as well as between individual learners.

This was our list of top 5 benefits AI can bring about in the education sector. But education is not always about academics – the infrastructure in educational campuses also plays a very important role in effective learning. AI can also help with planning of expenditures during extra-curricular events. Deep learning technologies can be applied to make data-driven predictions pertaining to seating arrangements, food orders etc. This can help to reduce costs significantly. So, is AI the genie all set to take over the education industry? More importantly, will it replace humans? The answer is a ‘no’. Rather, AI only provides a platform that efficiently facilitates more human interactions. So, as long as education exists as a medium of learning, human interactions can never go out of fashion.

SOURCES
1. TeachThought
2. Forbes
3. elearning Industry

HERE’S WHY THE TRAVEL AND TOURISM SECTOR SHOULD OPT FOR RPA!

“If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet,” said Rachel Wolchin.

As the world spreads its vast expanse before us, the sky is really the limit when it comes to travelling. Owing to this tremendous diversity, it seems quite an idea to leave our mundane existence behind and retreat on travel sprees every once in a while – ‘detoxing’ from the stress levied on us by our otherwise fast-paced lives.

While this idea certainly sounds exciting, there are certain industries that exert tremendous efforts to ensure that our travel plans are a resounding success. Last time, we spoke about one of these industries – namely, hospitality. We shared with you some of the ways in which RPA and AI can help this industry ascend in its journey by doing away with repetitive and rule-based tasks. We’re back with a blog; and this time, let’s look at some ways in which RPA can help the broader domain of travel and tourism:

1. DIFFICULTIES IN REGULATING THE REGULATORY COMPLIANCE? ALLOW RPA TO STEP IN!

As more and more previously untouched places are now being explored, it is also very important for any nation to ensure the safety and security of its citizens, and make sure that its tourists comply with the requirements pertaining to the same. However, organizing and maintaining a systematic record of thousands of tourists can become cumbersome and time-consuming. While it is natural for humans to commit errors, it is not advisable to risk security by not keeping track of the validity statuses of passports, visas and other legal documents. That’s where RPA steps in. With automation, it is now possible for software bots to organize all security-related documents and information. Moreover, this stored data is also easily accessible and can be easily updated in case of any changes in regulations. Why worry, when your software bots can act as your guards and ensure security?

2. DO WE HAVE AN EFFICIENT PROCESS TO PROCESS THOSE PAYMENTS?

With the expansion of any industry comes the massive responsibility of processing payments and orders at a large scale. While this process is important in any domain, it can become very tedious for employees to carry out the processing. Allow RPA to run its magic wand over this business process and ensure an error-free processing of your payments and orders!

3. MEET YOUR AWESOME CHATBOT BUDDIES, AGAIN!

Chatbots or virtual assistants represent today’s intelligent and efficient digital world. As in many other domains, they play an extremely important role in the travel industry, too. Today, with several travel websites and online booking portals, not only the ease of travel by itself, but also the process of  planning and organizing of the trips has become truly efficient and unbelievably quick. Now, with virtual assistants entering the picture, you can now receive suggestions pertaining to the best plans and modes of travel right at your fingertips. Plus, these virtual assistants also come with exciting features such as the sentiment analyzer, which identifies the customer’s emotional states based on their calls or messages, and intimates the customer care department accordingly.

Wait…that’s not it! Virtual assistants are also capable of much more. Take Hello Hipmunk for example – the official smartie virtual assistant of Hipmunk, the reputed travel website. Try adding Hello Hipmunk on CC in your emails concerning travel, and sit back as this virtual assistant derives all the key details about your excursion and provides you with relevant suggestions!

4. UPDATING PNR STATUS HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER!

Passenger Name Record or PNR is one of the most important documentations in the domain of travel and transport. It is stored in a repository called Computer Reservation System (CRS). It consists of important passenger details including his/her name and contact and ticket details. With thousands of passengers booking their tickets to different locations on a daily basis, it becomes very time-consuming for the staff at the back-end to document such data. And so, RPA enters the picture to help out. Software bots can enter and store the PNR information of more number of passengers in a day than humans manually can. The bot can also easily update any changes in this information. What’s more, automation makes this process quicker and error-free!

5. CANCELLATIONS CANNOT BE AVOIDED, BUT MONOTONY CAN!

Plans change, unexpected events occur, change is the only constant. Okay…the bottom line is that ticket cancellations are bound to happen. And on a daily basis, they happen in large numbers, especially in airways and railways. Manually documenting these cancellations can be unproductive for the staff to whom this task has been assigned. You guessed it…RPA is our solution! Process bots can easily update ticket cancellations on the system and automatically declare the vacancy of these seats in the transport. Automation software can also carry out refund transactions efficiently.

Research has proven that travel leads to a number of health benefits, including lowered stress levels and reduced risk of heart disease. However, without proper amenities, the travel experience can turn out to be disastrous. So, we owe it to the travel industry to help it get rid of monotony and ascend in its journey. Let’s welcome automation today!

Sources:

  1. UiPath
  2. NIIT Technologies
  3. WNS

HERE ARE 6 BENEFITS OF RPA AND AI IN THE HOTEL INDUSTRY!

“True hospitality consists of giving the best of yourself to your guests,” said Eleanor Roosevelt.

Travelling and exploring new cultures and cuisines certainly unfolds an exciting world before us. With massive diversity in this planet , there’s plenty of room for discovering the world around us. However, while exploring new places and cultures, have we thought about the efforts involved in creating a world conducive to our adventures? The hospitality industry leaves no stone unturned to ensure that this process of exploration is made comfortable for every tourist. From accommodation and transportation to food and luxury facilities, the hospitality industry works around the clock to ensure we make good memories.

In such situations, it often becomes tedious for humans to be everywhere. And that’s where AI steps in! We’re back with a blog; and today, it’s time to consider some ways in which AI can work wonders in the hotel and hospitality sector. Before we go, check out our previous blog on RPA in travel if you haven’t yet!

1. NEW GUESTS? ALLOW AUTOMATION TO LAY THE RED CARPET…

Welcoming new guests and ensuring their comfortable stay is every hotel’s responsibility. However, the more luxurious the hotel, the more the number of clients; and more the efforts exerted by the staff. That’s where automation and AI step in to make life more efficient. With guestroom automation, hotel rooms can now be automated to adjust temperature in accordance with the ‘occupied’ or ‘vacant’ status of a room. Moreover, with the Guest Automation System being applied in leading five-star hotels today, guests can operate all electrical appliances (including the A.C., fan and lights) using the ‘master switch’. The Shangri-La hotel in UAE famously applies guestroom automation in providing day-to-day hospitality services to its guests.

2. ENTER, GUESTS! SO…ENTER MORE DATA?

The entry and exit of your guests translates into a lot of data entry. And this task induces monotony for the hotel staff. The good news is that this data entry task is very much ‘automable’! With automation, all your data pertaining to the occupancy status of the rooms as well as crucial information to promote sustainable living – such as data on energy saving and staff responses to guest calls – can now be taken care of.

3. BECAUSE THE ENVIRONMENT HOSTS US EVERYDAY…

Just like a hotel hosts its guests on a daily basis, the environment around us also hosts us every single day, providing the necessary resources and space. And so, it follows that we, as a society, owe it back to nature. A report by Energy Star states that 47,000 hotels across America incur an annual expenditure of $2,196 per available room, which amounts to 6% of all operating costs.

This alarming statistic is reason enough for the hotel industry to begin to consider environment-friendly alternatives on priority. AI is here to help you out in your journey towards a sustainable living. It does so by enabling all electrical appliances in a room to be automatically switched off when the occupancy status of the room changes to ‘vacant’. What’s more, the electricity automatically switches to standby mode when the guest is not in the room, but still somewhere in the vicinity (for e.g. at the balcony).

4. KNOCK, KNOCK! CHAT-BOT SERVICE…

Like in many other domains, chat-bots and virtual assistants are very important in the hospitality industry, too. They are available to your guests 24/7, answering questions and providing assistance. These allow for more efficient customer service, preventing any delays in attending to your guests while also providing a much-needed respite to the hotel staff.

5. NOW, YOUR MOBILE PHONE IS LITERALLY THE ‘KEY’…

No, the word ‘key’ isn’t just a metaphor. With the digital transformation attaining unimaginable heights, your phone can literally act as the key to your hotel-room! Now, some five-star hotels have enabled digital check-in for their guests. Here, the guests can check into their hotel rooms using the hotel app instead of queuing up at the reception to collect the room keys. This is not only a major time-saver for the guests, but also allows the hotel staff to engage in more productive tasks within hospitality.

6. “HOW DID WE FARE?” NOW, YOUR HOTEL GUESTS CAN FEEL FREE TO SHARE…

Guest reviews are very important sources of constructive feedback for any hotel; however, it often happens that this feedback is not very comprehensive due to lack of time on part of the guest. Moreover, hotels are often apprehensive to directly approach guests for their feedback. Automating the guest review process ensures that guests who have recently checked out of the hotel receive custom emails requesting their feedback. This allows guests to fill up the feedback forms in a relaxed manner while also increasing the possibility of a more in-depth feedback.

CONCLUSION

While digitization is the way to go for any hotel to increase its efficiency, it cannot replace the personal touch provided by human staff. The key to successful automation in this industry is to identify the processes that are indeed monotonous and to automate them in order to increase overall efficiency and promote employee growth.

SOURCES:

1. HospitalityTech
2. Revfine
3. Energy Star
4. Pacific Controls

RPA IN RETAIL: The Integral Role of Automation in the Retail Sector

Charles Dunstone once said: “The future of retail is the integration of internet and digital services with the retail network.”

The retail industry is growing and expanding globally at a rapid rate today. With increasing demand comes increased supply; and as a result, our online world is now brimming with retail websites for consumers across the world. One of the major aims of today’s retail industry is to attain global reach and satisfy the growing needs and demands of modern consumers. And like every other constantly expanding sector, the burden of monotonous and rule-based tasks also needs to be taken off the able shoulders of the retail industry. Enter, RPA.
You can check out our earlier blogs on the role of RPA in the related domains of supply chain and manufacturing. So, right now, we’re back with a blog; and today, let’s look at some of the processes that the retail sector can automate:

1. TOO MANY ‘RETURNS’ OF THE DAY?

All of us, at some point or the other, have been dissatisfied with the product purchased and returned it to the retail store with the demand for a refund. But have you wondered what processes take place on the other side? The lengthy process of processing returns can not only be extremely hectic, but also typically incur costs to the company. No, that doesn’t mean we stop returning products to the retail stores. It just means it’s time to bring in RPA! RPA not only registers all the returns effectively, but also enters the changes in the inventory database without any errors and in record time.

2. ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER!

Without a doubt, ERP is one of the most important aspects of the retail sector. Consisting of a number of tasks ranging from billing and keeping track of price fluctuations to developing and organizing account payables and other reports, the employees working in this department have their plates full. So why not assign some of these processes to our champ bots? RPA can automate all of these monotonous processes, in order to pave way for increased efficiency and employee resource utilization.

3. WHICH PRODUCT GOES WHERE? REARRANGING THE ONLINE SHELVES…

Yes, you read right – ‘online shelves.’ When one opens an online retail website, it’s usually a list of broad categories we look for before we take our pick from a variety of related products. While this categorization makes life easier for consumers, it can be a tedious and time-consuming task at the backend. And installing a software bot ensures that this task is performed efficiently and quickly, relieving employees of monotonous manual work!

4. “YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE MY PRIMARY CONCERN,” SAYS YOUR PROCESS BOT

The customer is not only the ultimate goal of the entire retail process, but also a means of continuing successful business. And so, it follows that customer care is an extremely integral aspect of any such sector. While customer care requires a sensitive approach and cannot be totally governed by software bots, one can automate a number of rule-based processes even within this area – including enabling real-time product tracking, customized replies on online retail portals, and installing chatbots for answering basic customer queries.

5. IS THERE ANY DEMAND FOR THE PRODUCT I SUPPLY?

Demand is to supply as fuel to a car – one cannot function without the other. And so, it is extremely important that the demand and supply dynamics be carefully studied and analyzed in order to understand consumer preferences and then decide on the supply to be produced accordingly. However, this process also involves a number of tedious and time-consuming tasks, including gathering and organizing information, considering exceptions and carrying out simulations. All of these tasks can bog down an employee and impede growth. With RPA, all of these tasks can be automated in order to pave way to increased productivity and prevent stagnation.

A recent report by UiPath revealed the rising significance of RPA in the retail world. As per the report, automation is extremely beneficial to retailers at three different levels –
a) Back-office tasks, including bill-checking, payments and invoices;
b) Front-office tasks in areas including HR and legal, as well as chat-bot and other customer-care facilities; and
c) Shop-floor tasks such as trade promotions and optimization of the workforce.

While a number of veteran retailers are still skeptical about the constantly fluctuating nature of the digital revolution, it is important to embrace the world of RPA alongside the human workforce in order to ensure significant leaps in retail in terms of cost reduction, increased productivity and speeding up of processes.

 

Sources:
1. UiPath
2. Unlock Insights

RPA IN TELECOM: 5 Ways in Which Automation Can Benefit Telecommunications

Gone are the times when people would post lengthy letters and anxiously await lengthier replies. Also, gone are those days when emergency messages would be crammed into tiny telegrams to be sent to relatives and friends living hundreds of miles away. Here we are, in the 21st Century world, with WhatsApp doing the honours for us. With technology connecting each of us universally, we are now closer than we had ever been before. But…hang on. Have we ever thought about the industry that works behind the scenes to ensure this global integration? Yes, we’re referring to the telecom industry.

The telecom sector at work even as you read this blog, ensuring that you have sound internet connectivity. The telecom industry is one of the leading sectors in today’s world. And so, it is important to ensure that the telecom employees can think out of the box and ascend in their careers.

We’re back with a blog, and today, let’s look at the role of RPA in the telecom industry:

1. DATA DATA EVERYWHERE, NOT A PAPER FOUND?

Does this sound familiar? The telecom industry receives a constant inflow of data from various sources, including customers, engineers, network providers etc. More often than not, it gets difficult for the telecom companies to keep track of so much information. This can impede the quality of services provided by the company to the clients. Tracking its own activities can also become a difficult task for the company.
Now for the good news. With RPA, software bots can organize large amounts of information with ease. They can also retrieve this data easily when required. RPA can also help to integrate different pieces of information and bridge any discrepancies in data across different departments.

2. NOW PLACE ‘BACK OFFICE’ TASKS ON THE BACK BURNER!

Telecom tends to consist of IT-related back-office tasks including order processing, generating customer IDs, updating customer information etc. But these have adverse effects for the employees and the organization. Employees engaged in these back-office tasks cannot think beyond the monotonous processes that they are expected to carry out on a regular basis. Enter RPA! With automation, employees can now focus on the more productive organizational tasks.

3. ARE YOUR DATA SYSTEMS CLUTTER-FREE?

With such massive amounts of data comes the responsibility of ensuring that irrelevant and incomplete data is eliminated and/or replaced. When performed manually, detecting the inaccurate information from so much of data can be time-consuming and prone to human errors. RPA bots can detect such incorrect information and ensure that there are no discrepancies in the data systems.

4. DOES SYSTEM INTEGRATION IMPEDE UPGRADES?

System integration is an important part of telecom. However, with multiple systems functioning together, it becomes difficult for organizations to manually ensure that all the systems function in tandem with one another. RPA can step in and make things easier for you. It ensures the integration of the different software systems, and bridges any gaps between the same. And delegating such work to your bots allows you to grow and ascend in your career!

5. NOW, YOUR BOTS CAN WELCOME YOUR CUSTOMERS ON BOARD!

While new customers and clients are always good news, the on-boarding process, which consists of repeatedly documenting the same data, can be monotonous. RPA can help with documenting customer details and enabling the employees to focus on ensuring customer satisfaction in more dynamic ways.

CONCLUSION

So, here we are with 5 ways in which your software bots can help out in the telecom industry. Communication is the most basic tool to healthy interaction, and RPA helps the telecom industry ascend in its journey.

SOURCES:

Thoughtonomy

UiPath

DATA SCIENCE IN YOUR DAILY LIFE: There’s a data scientist behind those movie recommendations!

Do you remember the last time you watched a Netflix crime thriller movie like “The Departed”, and in turn, received recommendations for other amazing movies such as “The Godfather”? Welcome to the world of data science and Machine Learning!

In the 21st Century postmodern world, every nook and cranny of the world is in the process of becoming connected through virtual reality. CDs, DVD players and even cable television are now being considered “worn out” and “old technology” in order to pave way for more upcoming and happening ones such as Netflix, Prime and YouTube. However, what’s even more upcoming is that this technology seems to understand our unique preferences. Not only, this, it also suggests other relevant TV shows and web series based on one’s viewing habits. The same applies to online shopping as well. It may have happened scores of times that Amazon suggested other cool Apple products based on your previous iPhone 6 purchase.

The question that now arises is how these websites can be so omniscient as to recognize multiple unique viewing and purchasing habits so efficiently and accurately. Moreover, they can even crawl the database for other similar items and present it to the respective Internet users. We’re back with a blog, and today, let’s venture into the upcoming and exciting world of data science! This domain has been popularly termed by Turing Award winner Jim Gray as “the sexiest job of the 21st Century”. Let’s have a sneak peek into the world where data scientists are busy with their numerous algorithms. These allow machines to independently carry out these prediction tasks with ease:

1. SO WHAT’S SO SCIENTIFIC IN DATA SCIENCE?

While science and technology have ensured that machines and technical equipment make our lives unbelievably efficient and quicker every single day, there is still a severe direct dependence of technological equipment on humans if the traditional sources of science and technology be relied upon alone. It is also important to ensure that technology work by itself for a major part of its functioning, instead of depending on constant human intervention. Moreover, with the inception of modern-day software and myriad online platforms to ensure that the world is well-connected, there is a massive explosion of data produced every single day. Just as it is essential to ensure less clutter and more clarity in our external worlds, the online world also needs to be maintained and de-cluttered on a regular basis.

And in order to ensure that the technology of Machine Learning and organization of data may be incorporated to software systems, it is important to move one step beyond traditional science and technology, and embrace the world of ‘data science’.
Data scientists perform a world of algorithms – incorporating scientific techniques and systems in order to organize and store massive amounts of online information. If the internet world is a cobweb of information, data scientists are the spiders – venturing through the silk-threads efficiently.

2.WHOA! SO DOES A DATA SCIENTIST PERFORM THAT HERCULEAN TASK?

The job of a data scientist is seeped into statistics and algorithms. Data scientists apply predictive modeling, machine learning and inferential statistics in the course of their work. Applying these different tools and techniques, a data scientist then traces certain unique patterns that are characteristic of specific internet users; and systematically stores this information in the database.
However, the task of a data scientist does not end here. A data scientist also uses the technology of Machine Learning, and allows your software to become independent enough to implement these algorithms effectively, so that the machines do not have to depend on humans every time such predictions need to be carried out.
And that, my friends, is the mystery behind all those Amazon and Netflix recommendations that you receive when you’re on an online shopping spree, or when you binge-watch your favourite web series on that lazy weekend!

The ROLE OF A SOLUTION ARCHITECT: Here’s How an RPA Solutions Architect Plays an Integral Role in the Automation Process

“A good design will actually design the company,” says Donald Norman.

Especially so, when a company desires the company of bots. All along, we have been telling you how RPA is the need of the hour, and the various processes and trivia involved in the project framework delivery. It is no surprise that the actual development and deployment process in RPA forms an extremely integral part of the entire project; and any errors in these processes can result in the creation of faulty bots. However, are processes directly handed over to the developers in order for them to bestow life on the process robots? Just as a home needs an architect to design its various chambers, automation also requires one to carefully construct a systematic framework to be implemented in the project. Let’s welcome the architects of automation, solution architects! In our earlier blog, we’ve already discussed, in a nutshell, 5 different job profiles in the RPA domain. We’re back with a blog, and today, it’s time to dedicate a few minutes and paragraphs to the persons who form the pillars of automation.

1. HAVE WE PLANNED OUT OUR PLAN ADEQUATELY?

While planning is a crucial step, one must ensure that the plan addresses all important and intricate phases and aspects of the venture, so that the implementation can be smooth and hassle-free. It is the responsibility of a Business Analyst to study the various processes of a business and then decide which of these processes may be automated. It is here that the Solution Architect steps in. The role of a Solution Architect begins when this automation idea needs to be put into practice, but requires a systematic approach for this implementation to be carried out.

2.CAPTURING THE AUTOMATION PROCESS FOR YOUR BUSINESS PROCESS

The Solution Architect devices effective process maps and comes up with relevant solutions that can boost the automation process to a great extent, and act as a framework for the RPA developers to easily step into their roles. The solution architect essentially designs two types of process maps or designs – PDD or Process Design Document; and TDD, or Technical Design Document. While the former design is aimed at addressing the ‘as-is process’ of the RPA project, the latter one attempts at capturing the ‘to-be process’.
Once the processes to be automated have been earmarked by the Business Analyst, the Solution Architect then carefully studies these processes, and determines how the automation can be carried out in order to meet the requirements of the company as evaluated by the Business Analyst. The Solution Architect has to constantly keep in mind the aims and objectives of the automation process that have already been agreed upon by the clients as well as the automation providers; while also presenting a tangible and plausible solution for automating the rule-based task in question.

3.PROCESS DESIGN DOCUMENT

The Process Design Document focuses on the overall automation process, from data gathering, process standardization and recommendations, to development, testing and deployment of the process robots. The solution architect constantly communicates with the Business Analysts and Project Managers in order to ensure that there is no disagreement between the persons involved in the process; and to bridge any discrepancies in the process.
It is after the development of the Process Design Document capturing the as-is process, that the Standard Operating Procedure or SOP may be devised in order to break down the complex processes and sequences of the plan and ensure easy programming. One also needs to design the process capture template, modeling standards and process maps, before the actual development procedures commence.

4.LET’S GET TECHNICAL!

Now, we have successfully completed the as-is process, and received a thumbs-up for the same from the clients, as well as the various other persons involved in the project. We have also successfully completed the recommendations phase, wherein the specific RPA processes to be carried out are earmarked, and the unnecessary ones are eliminated, with detailed analyses of cost benefits and feasibility. Now, our RPA developers are almost all set to take the RPA project to the next level by actually creating our bots. But…are we missing out on something?
The role of the solution architect does not simply end at producing the Process Design Document. While the PDD helps in identifying the various stages and phases of the project, this document is not sufficient in itself for the RPA developers to take over their herculean task. The Solution Architect now has to create and document another design specially dedicated to the RPA developers; namely, the Technical Design Document or TDD. The Technical Design Document focuses specifically on the guidelines to be followed by the RPA developers while developing the bot; as well as the technical specifications to be employed in the software. This document enables our able RPA developers to follow the plan through with ease, and with a systematic framework to fall back on during times of confusion or doubt. Along with the TDD, a Target Operating Model is also designed in order to chalk out the vision or aim of the RPA development project.

CONCLUSION

In this way, the Solution Architect acts as the backbone of the RPA development process; carefully setting up the foundation of the RPA project so that the construction may become easier and hassle-free. The solution architects ensure that the plan does not simply remain a shallow idea, but is made viable, plausible and accessible to all the persons involved in the project.

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