While many entry and junior level positions are billed as “analysts,” few of them involve any real opportunities to do analytical work. More often than not, analysts focus on churning out reports fast enough to hit constantly looming deadlines. In the process, the analysis that could positively impact the business is ignored. The ability to step back and understand why the results of a report are what they are is the reason analyst positions exist, and enabling employees to provide such insights can improve the flow of information up the chain, as well as relieve stress and provide a more valuable and positive work environment.
Enter Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
By automating routine and repetitive administrative tasks, RPA can provide a wide range of benefits. However, most attention is focused on cost reduction, while the opportunity to upskill the workforce involved in doing that routine and repetitive work is rarely highlighted. Specifically, a quantitative business case doesn’t necessarily measure the value people can add when they have more time to think about business issues. Nor does it capture the improved attitude of employees who love what they do after walking away from mundane, mind-numbing tasks.
The cohort filling typical “analyst” roles is hungry for growth and looking to put their education to the test and make a difference to their employers – but it’s also a group that will jump ship relatively quickly when unhappy. RPA can enhance value creation and boost employee retention if communication and organizational redesign are strategically managed, and if the right “analysts” for upskilling are chosen.
While workforce automation often carries a negative connotation, job displacement isn’t inevitable. RPA can be leveraged to avoid future hiring, and when used in conjunction with upskilling, can contribute to a long-tenured, experienced workforce that genuinely enjoys coming to work each day.About the author
James is a Senior Consultant on the Intelligent Process Automation team. He brings more than 12 years of experience in financial modeling, budgeting, supply chain procurement and project management. Before joining, James led the Field Finance team at Pizza Hut, overseeing the financial and operational performance of their 500+ company-owned restaurants. In addition to financial planning and budgeting, he also managed the business analytics for 6,000+ restaurants nationwide and provided thought partnership and financial modeling expertise to their global business units.
Before Pizza Hut, James worked on the Commodity Procurement team at Dean Foods. He created and managed financial models for multiple business segments and commodities, including a direct procurement initiative that continues to be the company’s largest strategic effort.