The world produces more data now than ever before and for organizations looking to get ahead of their competitors, this provides many opportunities. To make strategic, data-driven decisions, organizations need to collect and analyze a substantial amount of data. But data collection can be significantly challenging—and certainly is for businesses that still rely on manual processes, even though they lose 20-30% of revenue every year on these inefficiencies.
Whether tracking data from advertising, targeting marketing campaigns, sales prospecting, or communicating with customers, data is continuously flowing. For any organization looking to maximize data insights or turn to sustainable digital solutions, relying on paper-based manual workflows is simply no longer an option. Smart organizations understand that having automation tools to cleanly collect data is paramount for achieving accurate insights and making data-driven decisions.
In this blog post, we’ll cover the reasons why automating data collection workflows helps ensure your organization is capturing clean, high-quality data for better reporting, analysis, and insights.
The limitations of manual processes
Organizations dealing with manually collecting and managing high volumes of data already understand the challenges and limitations of these processes. For one, manual processes are expensive, not only in terms of labor costs, but paper resources, employee unproductivity, compliance risks, and human error as well. Repetitive, manual tasks make it difficult for organizations to streamline workflows and scale effectively while keeping costs at a minimum. All these limitations hinder organizations from experiencing a full digital transformation and staying relevant in today’s competitive business environment. For many organizations, the answer to these data collection challenges is workflow automation.
How workflow automation benefits data collection
Automating data collection workflows provides several key advantages, many of which can lead to long-term organizational growth. Here are the top five benefits of workflow automation for clean, high-quality data collection:
Reduced human error
Manual data capture processes, such as entering data into a spreadsheet, have a probable error rate of up to 40%. Even if an employee is trained in data entry processes, the likelihood of errors is always present and can leave you with spreadsheets or databases full of dirty data. These errors not only negatively affect data analysis and decision-making, but can be expensive and time-consuming to fix.
Automating data collection workflows has circular benefits. Employees tasked with repetitive manual data entry are prone to making errors and becoming less engaged in their work, increasing the likelihood of more inaccuracies. Automation frees employees from these tedious manual tasks while also eliminating data entry errors and the additional time needed to fix them. Minimizing human involvement in data collection workflows means that data is automatically more high-quality and error-free.
Manual data entry processes increase data entry errors, but the issues do not end there. Illegible handwriting on paper forms can be difficult to interpret and can lead to input errors. Similarly, with manual data entry, different employees may enter data, such as states or phone numbers, in different formats. This lack of standardization makes it challenging to cleanly collect data or gather quality insights for reporting and analysis.
With an automated data collection system, your team can ensure standardization and quality control over these processes. Setting up an automated workflow means that data collected from web forms is consistently and cleanly transferred to a CRM like Salesforce. Not only does this reduce human error, but it also improves the accuracy of data capture and formatting. You can feel confident that using automated software will collect data the same way every time!
A small staff manually entering data may work with limited form submissions. However, if submissions spike, these processes will be impossible to scale without hiring extra labor. Similarly, physical paperwork can quickly become cluttered and lost, slowing down data collection workflows and increasing the likelihood of errors during data entry. Administrative staff required to process many types of documents can also easily be burdened with the complexity of these workflows.
Workflow automation for more complex or large data collection needs helps ensure these processes remain efficient. Regardless of submission numbers or form complexity, an automated data collection software can easily process large amounts of data quickly and correctly. As a result, organizations can expect more predictable workflows and cleaner data, without extra work from administration or IT staff.
Pro Tip: FormAssembly helps organizations increase workplace productivity and efficiency by automating data collection processes, improving collaboration, and more.
Form processing speed is directly related to the amount your organization can scale form submissions. Lengthy processing times due to manual processes can quickly lead to data silos, input errors, and poor data quality. Without having clean data in the right format and easily accessible, productivity bottlenecks become more common and cause strained vendor relationships and a loss of customer satisfaction.
Automating data capture workflows can accelerate these processes without speed constraints that occur with staff manually entering data. This speed and accuracy help organizations minimize the time and effort spent on capturing, storing, and managing high volumes of data. Not only does this automation accelerate data processing, but it also provides real-time insights and more accurate analytics. With this clean data at hand, organizations can better focus their productivity and resources on revenue-generating opportunities.
Manual data collection tasks may seem less costly than implementing expensive data collection tools. But there is a greater cost to not improving outdated processes. It is difficult to accelerate manual processes, making it challenging to scale these workflows without increasing labor and resource costs. Additionally, manual data entry tasks increase the chance of human error and compliance risks. Not only does this affect the quality of data, but also creates more risk for data breaches, which can cost organizations both their reputation and revenue due to hefty fines.
Did you know? FormAssembly’s data collection platform helps customers improve data accuracy and security while saving them $94,974 on average each year. Learn more in our Economic Impact Report.
Implementing new automated data collection software, while an investment, can quickly pay for itself. Along with improving workflows, automating data collection improves the quality and security of information being captured. This ensures that the data entered into a CRM is free from errors and compliance concerns, both of which reduce costly fixes or fines in the event of a data breach.
Start collecting high-quality data
Clearly, automation workflows have a big impact on the quality of data collected as well as on productivity, costs, and processing speed. Implementing a powerful and flexible data collection solution like FormAssembly and our visual process builder, Workflow, streamlines and automates these processes even further. With FormAssembly Workflow, your team will have the necessary insights to collaborate on projects, make informed decisions, and maximize productivity—all while saving time, money, and resources. Learn more about the features and benefits of Workflow in our webinar at the link below.