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Robotic process automation: prevent mistakes with accurate data
Blog //27-09-2022

Robotic process automation: prevent mistakes with accurate data

by Steve Britton, Client Director

Robotic process automation (RPA) is an innovative technology – but its performance depends heavily on the quality of the data it receives. Advanced Data Automation can integrate with your RPA system to provide perfect data, every time.

What is data?

Whatever industry you work in, you will almost certainly have come across a story about how data, particularly big data, is changing the face of our world.

Although the term is used in a wide variety of contexts – for example, as part of a study to cure a disease, making a building more energy efficient, or even boosting a company’s revenue – data is simply another word for information.

In computing and business, ‘data’ specifically refers to information that is machine-readable, instead of human-readable.

The data access problem

Businesses receive masses of human-readable data such as contracts, invoices, orders and HR records. To use this data, these files need to be converted to a machine-readable format.

Traditionally, this process has been completely manual, with accounts payable (AP) staff keying in data. This is time-consuming and prone to errors – and when document processing capabilities are tied to staff numbers and availability, it can be hard for businesses to scale up.

Realising your business’ potential

RPA uses intelligent technology to perform previously manual tasks swiftly and accurately. However, the performance of RPA robots is dependent on the quality of the data they receive.

Our Advanced Data Automation solution can integrate with RPA technology. Our system captures, processes and matches 100% accurate data from your business documents, in near-real-time, and then provides that data to your RPA robots.

Advanced Data Automation processes data-rich documents including PDFs, Microsoft Word files, Microsoft Excel files, and HTML files like emails, which are both human- and machine-readable. Because these files are generated by an application, they have a ‘data layer’, where all the information is stored. Advanced Data Automation extracts data directly from this data layer, guaranteeing precise information, every time.

Ensuring data quality

Of course, if you scan in paper invoices, or your suppliers send you image-based invoices, you’ll need to capture data from image files as well. These files have no data layer, so Advanced Data Automation uses optical character recognition (OCR) technology, which recognises characters, rather than extracting them. This means that accuracy levels can vary from 80% to 90%, and a small amount of manual correction may be required.

As image-based documents are likely to account for a small percentage of your inbound document volume, and data accuracy is dependent on the quality of the image, we recommend asking your suppliers to send digital documents.

To remove any barriers for your suppliers, we make sure they won’t have to change their infrastructure, applications or processes. Almost all accounting software is capable of generating PDF files – and even if theirs isn’t, they can simply download a PDF driver for free online. That’s how we achieve high supplier adoption rates and fast onboarding.

Gear up for the future

Bad data can cause big problems. It’s easy to misread a measurement or value. A momentary lapse in a team member’s concentration could cause an order to be processed with the incorrect amount, leading to payment errors.

As more of the world’s business processes move online, the need to process data at scale accurately has never been more important. Businesses that can’t trust their own data to help them make decisions, create strategies, improve productivity and gain insights will be held back from success.

Automating your data capture and document processing can save time, cut costs and free up your employees to focus on more value-added tasks.

Talk to Advanced

In the world of shared services, deploying RPA for invoice and order processing can increase automation, drive efficiencies, and boost revenue. However, unless the right technology is deployed to convert human-readable documents into machine-readable formats, the data will contain errors.

Advanced Data Automation overcomes this issue by capturing, augmenting and validating 100% accurate data in minutes, which it then supplies to your RPA robots. To discover how we can help you achieve your goals, visit our Advanced Data Automation hub.

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Steve Britton

Steve Britton


Client Director

For over 20 years, Steve has worked with global corporates to digitise and automate their Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable business processes. With a professional background in software sales, Steve has worked with tech industry & BPO giants across Europe & the USA. Steve maintains a hands-on interest in technology, an endless energy for entrepreneurial innovation and a passion for delivery of the best customer service.

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