Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

What is RPA?

RPA is a piece of software which performs a series of simple, manual, and highly repetitive tasks. These laborious and monotonous tasks, which are usually completed manually by unfortunate staff, can be handled by RPA much faster and without human error. Implementing RPA increases productivity by reducing human error and improving the turnaround time for repetitive manual tasks.

What does RPA mean for ANU Staff?

RPA is simply another tool in your toolbox that will support you in your daily work. It will free up some of your time currently spent on highly manual and repetitive tasks and allow you to undertake more value added functions in your role.

The RPA tool is “supervised” as it runs through its tasks, either by you or one of our RPA programmers. While it cannot make complex decisions on its own. It can simply be programmed to tackle your high-volume routine tasks.

One of the benefits of  RPA is it can generate reports by taking on the time consuming process of gathing data from multiple sources. Once the report has been configured, it can be completed periodically and in a fraction of the time it would normally take you to complete.

Does the ANU have RPA yet?

Yes, the ANU has already automated a few processes with the help of UIPath software. These processes mainly involved extracting data from external websites and compiling this information into a pre-defined format in an Excel spreadsheet. This was previously completed by ANU Staff who copied and pasted thousands of pieces of information into Excel. Additionally, automating these processes assisted in pushing this information into ANU Systems. This further reduced the human workload while ensuring accuracy.

What tasks and processes are ideal for automation?

How will I know if there are processes or tasks in my own role or in my team that could be a candidate for RPA? The processes ideal for automation include simple, repetitive and predictable tasks. When looking at your processes, find any which have:

  • High transaction volume: processes where a large amount of data has to be processed is ideal for RPA
  • Manual processes: involving human action to complete every step
  • Repetitive: routine tasks run periodically
  • Rule-based: standardised process based on predictive rules
  • High ROI potential: processes that can provide significant savings and work effort

Where do I start?

If you have a process which may be improved by using RPA please contact Director IDTC to discuss your options.