4 Automation Examples We've Built for Data-Driven Insights

Christopher Pinski
July 11, 2024
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4 Automation Examples We've Built for Data-Driven Insights

We don't want to waste your time. After all, you're wasting enough time with manual processes already (zing!). So let's get right into it: what is automation, who is it for, and what are some automation examples designed to give you better business insights?

Automation, Defined

Our English teachers would hate us for this, but automation is... the process of automating manual tasks! We know you shouldn't use a word to define itself, but it worked, right?

In business, automation is often called:

  • Workflow automation
  • Business process automation
  • Robotic process automation (RPA)

Most forms of automation are built with APIs and native system integrations — except for RPA. It runs on software bots that mimic human actions to interact with other digital systems.

Automation can also include artificial intelligence and machine learning tools. They use natural language processing (NLP) and other forms of human understanding to basically act as substitutes for human involvement. They're commonly used for customer service (chatbots), but can also be harnessed for marketing tasks, inventory management, and other routine tasks.

No matter their form, automated business processes exist to optimize a task or workflow that humans normally waste time on.

So whether it's repetitive, mundane, time-consuming, or error-ridden, these days, automation tools can take it off your hands.

A young Asian male worker sits at his desk in an office setting and smiles with relief as his laptop displays the message "Automation complete," saving him time with workflow automation

Who Benefits from Workflow Automation? Anyone Who's Drowning in Repetitive Tasks

We can harness automation for personal benefit.

For example, we love that our phones can automatically reduce blue light at night to help us wind down! Because let's be honest — who actually stops watching shows or scrolling TikTok long before bed?

But there are also tons of ways to automate business processes, and that's our focus today.

Workflow automation is designed for firms in any industry that struggle with…

  • Human error (e.g., data entry)
  • Loads of repetitive tasks
  • Inefficient manual processes
  • Every task requiring human intervention
  • Low profit margins
  • Difficulty scaling effectively

Sound familiar? Then these real-world automation examples might be just up your alley.

4 Real Examples of Automation That Delivered Better Business Intelligence for Our Clients

These use cases are based on real projects we’ve completed at Crispy Software Solutions. That’s how we know they’re beneficial, applicable to firms like yours, and completely achievable. 

1. No More Lost Customer Data: Automated CRM System Migration and Optimization

The reason your CRM sucks? It's not because you didn't do your research. And it's not because your business model is messed up.

It's just because your firm is unique! No generic software product fits you perfectly.

That's why you need a scalable CRM custom-built for your business — so you never have to switch systems again.

Maybe it's a custom app in Airtable, personalized integrations and automations in Salesforce, or something else.

The key to making the right choice? Work with a team that invests time learning about your business, assessing your business processes, and understanding your dream state — instead of diving straight into the build.

Key Benefits and Features of Expert-Led CRM Migration

  • Automatic, comprehensive data transfer: client records, interactions, and historical data
  • Smooth transition with onboarding and implementation support
  • Minimal downtime to keep employees and clients happy
  • Integrate with existing systems (leave the APIs to us!)
  • Advanced features you've only dreamt of — and nothing you don't need
  • Workflow automations for accurate, efficient customer processes
  • Customizable KPI dashboards to track performance with the metrics you rely on most
  • Enhanced scalability built to last

Is This Right For You? Ask Yourself:

  • What do we hate about our current CRM?
  • What features is it missing?
  • Is it preventing us from providing the best service — and how?
  • Is it hindering our growth? How so?
  • With all this in mind, what's stopping us from changing CRMs, and why is it because we're stubborn? (Gotcha!)
A Black nonbinary person sits at a wooden round table in a coffee shop. They have short natural hair and wear black glasses, a khaki blazer, and a white button-down shirt. They're working on a tablet and look relaxed

2. Scale Your Business with Better Data Organization

How do you capture data on business performance?

If you're still printing out spreadsheets, running multiple reports and trying to Frankenstein them together, looking at the wrong metrics, or just guessing, there's no way you can grow strategically.

And if your goal is to expand in any way, you need to fix this fast! Accurate, trustworthy metrics are essential to strategically expand, take on more clients, or serve new markets.

Luckily, automation systems can deliver the insights you need to confidently forecast your growth. With a robust relational database like Airtable, plus custom apps, dashboards, and automations, you've got customized, real-time business performance data at a glance. So stop the guesswork!

Key Benefits and Features of Scalable Data Storage

  • Organize and manage data centrally — even across multiple regions
  • Simple integrations with existing systems for less hassle and minimal downtime
  • Automatically generate custom reports and updated dashboards for real-time tracking
  • Fine-tune access controls for security and compliance while sharing freely with those who need info
  • Enhance efficiency through automated updates and collaboration
  • Enable data-driven growth plans
  • Maintain healthy client relationships through expansion

Is This Right For You? Ask Yourself:

  • How are we currently storing data, and what are the drawbacks?
  • What workflows do we have for data entry, storage, and management... if any?
  • What data privacy, security, and compliance regulations do we need in place?
  • What are our 5- and 10-year business plans? (Get specific — sorry, but "$$$$$" isn't a plan!)
  • What metrics do we need to feel confident expanding?
  • What metrics do we need to gauge performance, now and as we grow?
A white man in his late 30s stands at the head of a conference room and appears to be presenting a data organization solution using Airtable. One side of the TV screen shows clutter while the other is an organized database. Colleagues sit at the conference table and look engaged.

3. Make Decisions Based in Reality with Custom KPI Dashboards

Does any of this sound familiar?

  • You cycle between layoffs, staff shortages, over-hiring, and back again — you can't seem to get headcount right
  • When you lose some clients, your numbers tank; for others, it hardly seems to matter — it it feels unpredictable
  • You have lots of repeat clients but don't understand why your margins are suffering
  • You've invested a huge amount into certain areas of your business and haven't seen a return

If so, you might not have sufficient business performance insights. The result? You make decisions in the dark and operate reactively, constantly surprised by changes in the business.

Custom KPI dashboards can automatically create personalized reports and pull key metrics in real time, so you'll always know where your business stands.

Key Benefits and Features of Personalized KPI Dashboards

  • Real-time insights into business performance
  • Customizable tracking for the critical metrics you want, without extra noise
  • Highly visual reports improve comprehension and help identify trends — seasonal, annual, market shifts, and more
  • Filter by department, user, or other categories
  • Enable strategic decision-making with more predictable outcomes
  • Share results for transparency and visibility, but customize access for security
  • Get proactive instead of reactive

Is This Right For You? Ask Yourself:

  • What new business insights would help us make more strategic decisions?
  • How has human error affected our business decisions in the past, and what was the impact?
  • Who needs access to business data? How many different types of reports do we need for each location, department, or user?
  • What existing systems do we need a KPI dashboard to pull from, or replace?
  • How have we gotten this far without actual data visibility? Seriously.

4. Check Bookkeeping Off Your List with Automation Software

Paper and email receipts, payroll tools, subscriptions, per diems for travel... as your firm grows, bookkeeping has probably become one of your most complex business processes. Even if you've invested in a platform to try to organize everything, there's still lots of setup and manual categorization.

But automated integrations can save you time, improve accuracy, and reduce stress.

Key Benefits and Features of Integrated Bookkeeping Systems

  • Reduce repetitive tasks like receipt categorization, importing payroll, sharing data from e-commerce tools and payment processors, and more
  • Improve accuracy by reducing manual data entry
  • Sync sales and expense transactions automatically and access real-time data for a clear view of cash flow, margins, and forecasting
  • Generate tailor reports to enable strategic planning and decision-making using all available data

Is This Right For You? Ask Yourself:

  • How much time do we spend on bookkeeping and related tasks (tracking down receipts, troubleshooting reports, trying to sync data)?
  • What other tasks could my team prioritize if we finally got a handle on bookkeeping?
  • Who needs access to our books, and how secure is our access right now? (Hint: the intern shouldn't have your bookkeeping app on their personal phone, so... maybe check on that)
  • What unique bookkeeping requirements does our industry have?

Want to Keep Learning About Business Process Automation?

You're starting to see the possibilities! But it seems like there's a lot more to learn, right?

We've got you covered! Check out these resources for more ideas on how business process automation can help you take your firm to the next level:

How to Improve Business Performance: 6 Essential Strategies

Data Entry Automation Software: Everything You Need to Know

Document Management Workflow in 2024: The Definitive Guide

How Business Application Development Can Rescue Your Firm

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Last updated
November 25, 2023

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