Like terminologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) a few years ago, new terms like Business Process Automation (BPA) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) have started to appear often in the IT and corporate technology debate. Organizations worldwide are simultaneously understanding the advantages of automation and working to incorporate it into their operations to improve time and cost efficiency.
What BPA or RPA can do for your company may pique your interest. However, there is no need to become baffled by technical terms and acronyms. We have compiled an automation glossary or an automation dictionary of words and definitions to help you understand some of this automation jargon.
Here’s the ABC of automation that your business should explore to avoid misunderstanding the automation terms and definitions and to future-proofing your business.
Automation refers to using technology to perform tasks that usually require human intervention. Automation aims to reduce the need for manual labour, increase efficiency, and improve the accuracy of tasks. Automation can be used in various industries, from manufacturing to finance, to streamline processes and increase productivity. Examples of automation include automated assembly lines in manufacturing, automatic bill payment systems in finance and self-driving cars in transportation.
A bot is a software program that performs automated tasks, such as responding to customer inquiries or processing data. Bots can be used to automate repetitive tasks, reduce response times, and improve the overall customer experience. There are several types of bots, including chatbots, which use natural language processing (NLP) to communicate with customers, and web scraping bots, which extract information from websites.
Code is a set of instructions written in a programming language that a computer can understand and execute. Code is used to create software applications, automate processes, and perform other tasks requiring a computer to follow instructions. There are many programming languages, each with its syntax and structure, but they all serve the same basic purpose of allowing humans to write code that computers can execute.
Data refers to information that a computer can process and analyze. Data can be in many forms, including text, images, videos, and audio. The growth of data in recent years, driven by the rise of the internet and connected devices, has led to the development of new technologies and techniques for managing and analyzing data, such as big data and data science.
Electronic Workflow refers to using electronic systems to manage tasks and processes, such as approvals or document routing. Electronic workflows aim to streamline operations, reduce manual labour, and improve overall efficiency. Electronic workflows can automate claims processing, loan approvals, and tax returns in many industries, including healthcare, finance, and government.
A flowchart is a diagram visually representing a process or system used for documentation and communication. Flowcharts use shapes and arrows to describe the different steps in a circle, making it easier to understand and communicate complex systems and processes. Flowcharts are commonly used in software development, project management, and business process modelling.
A Graphical User Interface (GUI) enables users to interact with a computer using visual elements, icons and buttons instead of text-based commands. GUIs are designed to make it easier for users to interact with computers, reducing the need to learn complex commands and making it easier to use computer systems. Many popular software applications have graphical user interfaces, such as web browsers, word processors, and image editors.
Home Automation refers to using technology to control and automate various systems in a home, such as lighting, heating, and security. Home automation systems can be controlled remotely through a smartphone app or web interface. They can be programmed to turn lights on and off, adjust the thermostat, and unlock doors. Home automation aims to make it easier to control and manage various systems in a home, improving comfort and convenience.
Integration refers to combining different systems or components and working together as a cohesive whole. Integration can involve connecting other systems and databases, such as ERP and customer relationship management (CRM), to create a seamless and unified experience. Integration can also refer to the process of combining different software components, such as libraries and frameworks, to build a complete application.
Job Scheduling refers to automatically executing repetitive or routine tasks at predetermined times without human intervention. This can be achieved through scheduling software or scheduling tools integrated into an operating system. For example, data backups can be designed to run every night, or system updates can be scheduled to run every week. Job scheduling helps to streamline and automate tasks, freeing up human resources for other tasks and reducing the risk of manual errors.
A knowledge-based system is an expert system that uses a database of knowledge to make decisions or provide recommendations. The system works by drawing on facts, rules, and heuristics, which can be used to solve problems, provide answers to questions, or make recommendations. The knowledge-based system is designed to act as an expert in a specific domain, mimicking human expertise. It is commonly used in finance, healthcare, and customer service industries, where the ability to make decisions based on a large amount of data can be beneficial.
Logic is another important automation term which refers to the set of rules or guidelines that govern the behaviour of an automated system. This can include decision-making processes, conditions for triggering specific actions, and data flow within a system. Logic is a fundamental part of any automated system, as it determines how it responds to various inputs and events. In programming, logic is typically implemented using if-then statements, loops, and other control structures.
Machine Learning (a subfield of AI) focuses on developing algorithms that enable a computer to learn and improve from experience. These algorithms are designed to identify patterns in data, make predictions, and make decisions based on that data. It has many applications, including NLP, image recognition, speech recognition, etc. With machine learning, computers can learn to recognize patterns in data and improve their accuracy over time without the need for explicit programming.
No-Code Platform is a recent but super popular entry in the list of automation glossary. It is a platform that allows users to create and deploy applications and systems without writing code. Instead, business users and those without a technical background can use visual interfaces and drag-and-drop functionality to create and configure their systems.
Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) uses objects containing data and behaviour. In OOP, things are created from classes and interact with each other to carry out tasks. The main benefits of OOP include modularity, reusability, and improved organization of code.
Pattern recognition is a technique used in machine learning and data analysis to identify patterns or regularities in data. It is often used for tasks such as an image or speech recognition or to detect anomalies or outliers in data.
A query requests information from a database or other data source. Queries can be written in various programming languages, such as SQL, to retrieve data that matches specific criteria.
Robotics is a branch of engineering that comprises the design, construction, and use of robots – designed to perform tasks that are either dangerous, repetitive, or require a high level of precision, such as manufacturing, exploration, or medical procedures.
Another popular automation term is a simulation, which is the imitation of a real-world system’s behaviour using a computer model. Simulations are used in various fields, such as engineering, finance, and medicine, to test and predict the behaviour of systems before they are built or deployed.
Test automation uses software to perform automated tests on a system or application to verify its behaviour and functionality. Test automation can be used for various tests, such as unit tests, integration tests, and acceptance tests, and is often used to reduce the time and cost associated with manual testing.
User experience, or UX, refers to a user’s overall experience when interacting with a product or system. This can include aspects such as usability, functionality, and design and is often used to evaluate a product’s or system’s quality and success.
Virtual reality, or VR, is a simulated environment that can be experienced and interacted with through a computer. VR is often used for gaming, training, or entertainment purposes and requires a headset or other device to immerse the user in the virtual environment.
Workflow management refers to coordinating and automating organizational tasks, processes, and information flows. Workflow management can help organizations to streamline and optimize their processes, improve collaboration and communication, and increase efficiency and productivity.
Extensible Markup Language is a markup language used to encode data for storage and exchange. It is often used for web services and data interchange, as it allows for data representation in a structured format that computers can easily process and analyze.
YAML (Yet Another Markup Language) – YAML, or Yet Another Markup Language, is a human-readable data serialization format. It is often used for configuration files and data exchange, as its simple and readable syntax makes it easy to write and understand.
Zero Downtime is a state of operations where all the systems or processes work without interruptions. The goal is to ensure that a system or processes are meeting the demands of users, customers, and stakeholders without causing delays or loss in productivity. Organizations need to invest in robust and resilient infrastructure, automated monitoring and management systems, and redundant backup and recovery mechanisms to achieve zero downtime.
We have explored the ABC of automation through this automation glossary. Automation has become essential for businesses to remain competitive and efficient today. It’s no longer a luxury that only big companies can afford but a necessity for all organizations. By adopting the A to Z of automation, companies can improve their operations and boost their productivity, resulting in higher-quality products and services for their customers.
Businesses can foster a culture of innovation and continuous improvement by adopting no-code automation as part of their A to Z of automation strategy.
Quixy is a no-code workflow automation platform that enables businesses to adopt their automation strategy. With its easy-to-use interface and pre-built templates, anyone can create custom workflows and automate tasks without coding skills. By incorporating Quixy into their A to Z of automation strategy, businesses can future-proof their operations and stay ahead of the competition.
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