Connect – Automate – Analyze – Present

Here is a typical scenario that we frequently encounter. A company X generates lots of data, such as sales, marketing, HR, accounting, inventory, etc. The company uses a mixed system to enable the workflows. A few tasks may be automated (especially if they are located within a CRM platform). Most tasks are manual. Some processes were established 10-20 years ago and changed little. Company X performs the following every day, week, and month:

  • - Download CSV files with reports from different platforms
  • - Copy data from reports to other Excel spreadsheets
  • - Modify the data and formatting manually
  • - Send the data files over email
  • - Figure out which file has the latest data
  • - Make graphs in Excel and copy-paste to Powerpoint reports
  • - Update the dashboards with the latest data files

As a result, Company X has regular errors, the data does not reflect the reality accurately, there is a lot of time and resources spent to maintain the old and inefficient processes.


Does this sounds like what your company may be doing?


Here is how we go about making your business efficient by automating your business processes.

Research your business processes and workflows

The first step is to create a detail flowchart of your business processes. I mapping out your business we do the following:

  • - Identify all data sources
  • - Identify all data recipients, such as units, departments, and platforms
  • - Map all information/data flows
  • - Identify events/actions that trigger further workflow processes
  • - Build a comprehensive flowchart that describes your complete business model
Blueprint of new business model

After we gathered all the information, we analyze the flowchart and identify processes that can be automated. For example, if manual download and e-mailing takes place for a periodic report, this part can be automated via a script on a virtual server that will perform the data extraction, transformation, and loading to a database or emailing to recipients. The result is a new flowchart that is the architectural blueprint of the workflows and the processes that will be built to automate your business.

Building a server

A server is the engine is most automations. It is a Linux virtual machine that hosts various scripts (typically Python) and it is the place where the database is deployed. Based on the architectural blueprint, we know what functions the server should perform as the automation hub. If the server will house a database, we create a relational database (such as MySQL) that will be your central data storage facility.

Extract, transform, and load the data

Once the main server is ready, we write scripts that will connect to your data source platforms (typically via their APIs or webhooks, but other solutions can be employed as well). The scripts will extract the data, transform as necessary, perform computations of new fields as needed, and load all the data to the database on the server. After testing the server is ready to be a data source and the origin of the automations.

Completing automations

In this step, new scripts will communicate to the data recipient platforms via their APIs. The scripts will send the data or the request for an action to a platform (or a person), triggering further action inside that platform. If a response from the platform is needed, the scripts will receive this response and record it in the database.For example, you sell something online and physically ship your products. The server will track your online orders, send the shipping request to your warehouse (your own or third-party), receive updated inventory from the warehouse, and when the inventory drops below certain point, the script will send a purchase order to your supplier. while sending notifications via emails or sms to the employees who oversea these processes.

Developing a robust reporting system

Another important part in setting up new automation is to automate your business reporting since there is no need to download and copy-paste anymore. The database on the virtual server will also be the data hub for your reporting. We set up a dashboard on a platform such as PowerBI, Tableau, or Google Looker that is connected to the database. As needed new scripts can transform and generate fields necessary for your KPIs. Based on your business model and the available data we suggest the KPIs that can be effective at tracking your company's performance.

Scaling up & future expansion

Once you have your system automated, it can be expanded to add new platforms, services, or processes. The system can also be increased in size to handle larger volumes of the data transfer/transactions.

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