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Back to Basics – Business Automation: Algorithms Simplified

  • June 20, 2021
  • 474 Views

Business Automation: Algorithms Simplified

#Backtobasics

SmartenUp - Algorithms simplified blog1

“Algorithms”. No, it’s not a kind of fungus or a type of tiny shrimp found in the vast ocean. Simplified, Algorithms are a set of step-by-step instructions and detailed directions to follow, in order to complete a specific task at hand… Or tasks even.

When we talk about Algorithms, we’re not talking about directions to follow on the back of a macaroni and cheese box in order to make a quick dinner tonight. But specifically referring to technology, it funnily enough works similarly. 

As the user, we only see the front-end of websites, applications, programs and more. But in reality on the back-end there are thousands, if not millions, of instructions or “rules” in place that connect each action you take to a certain outcome. This is the basis of an algorithm. 

When you think of it that way, it may seem overwhelmingly complicated. We get it. But that’s what’s so incredible about it too! The possibilities start becoming endless when you realize just how much more you can do when you have the power to mould a system that follows rules applicable to your business. Above that, it can pave the way for the necessary outcomes needed in order to make a tremendous success for your front-facing business.

Algorithms open the door to personalize the experience for the user in such a way that you can truly stand out above the rest.

When we simplify the essence of algorithms, it’s funny to think that without them – our computers wouldn’t be “smart”. Algorithms pave the way for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and many fundamental aspects of the technological world.

When we bring Algorithms together with the Salesforce platform and the Artificial Intelligence used to make the system the mega success that it is, magic happens. We call it “deep learning”. As Salesforce states, “deep-learning algorithms, review large amounts of information and can better handle messy or “unstructured” data, including human language.

But before we get ahead of ourselves… 

Let’s Talk About Business Process Automation first.

Business Process Automation (BPA) is what happens when algorithms are put into practice. BPA (in a time before computers), was always managed manually by an individual or teams. These teams’ focus were solely on capturing data, filing important documents, copy and transfer of information and more. Some teams’ focus was solely on one business process alone. Yikes.

A disadvantage of applying so many resources to manual tasks, meant that there would always be a ceiling on how fast a company could process it’s fundamental functions and means to operate their business to the core. It was limited by the fact there are only so many hours in a day, and a company can employ only so many people to do all of the abovementioned.

Fast-forward to the glorious boom of technology. When we could start performing these tedious tasks, that once took ages to complete, by the push of a button. 

As computers started to get smarter over the years, the tech-world started exploring the possibilities of computer automation. In the earlier stages of these discoveries, these technological advancements were extremely pricey to get your hands on for your business. As the years passed by and with the making of fundamental strides forward in the realm of cloud-technology and artificial intelligence, it opened the door for all industries to share in this golden-age of technology, all the while being affordable and highly adaptable to whichever business it encountered.

This lifted the standard of doing business globally. Suddenly, turn-around times became faster, the level of customer service reached a new high, and instantly you had all this extra man-power to take your company to the next level.

This all has happened over the course of quite a few years, but what’s even more remarkable is that 90% of the world’s data has been created within only the last two years, according to Salesforce. You can just imagine the magnitude of the impact that computer automation has made, to make its mark in the world of business. Looking at it that way, it’s eye opening to see why the future of business is technology. 

In the past there was a need for code-heavy software, but with all the advancements of today, there are now more than ever, ways to simplify the process of all these complicated algorithms, and produce the same quality of outcome.

Let’s look at a practical example of an application we use in Salesforce. We have an extremely handy product called Salesforce Flow. Broken down into tools, it comprises the Flow Builder and the Process Builder.

But before we get to that; what makes the Salesforce Flow even more advantageous is that you don’t need to be an I.T. boffen to understand and even use this tool. It’s a point-and-click interface that reduces the coding to a minimum; or it may even remove the need for a single line of coding at all.

This gives you, the user, the ability to read and understand those ‘algorithms’ like never before. When you establish your company’s unique set of practices that meet your various business requirements and understand how many of the finer details can in actuality be automated, you can even go into the Flows yourself and refine and tailor this out-of-the-box solution to your organization in a way that may even give you goosebumps, it’s that good

As Salesforce themselves put it so eloquently, “Save your users’ time and make sure required tasks are being done. Improve the quality of your data. Be the superhero that your company deserves!”

SmartenUp - Algorithms simplified blog2

 

The Flow Builder at a glance:

SmartenUp - Salesforce Flow Builder

 

And the Process Builder:

SmartenUp - Salesforce Process Builder

Before we reach dangerous information-overload territory, we thought we’d wrap this blog post up with a summary of what the Flow Builder and Process Builder do, and how it all comes together.

In short: they create guided tutorials for your users, they set up automated tasks and processes, they create the opportunity to connect with external systems and applications, and add a flavour of automation to your pages and applications so that when clients click on certain buttons the processes that need to start, start on the back-end and translate through to your relevant departments, and more.

These flows and processes can be perfected in such a way that those that are successful can be duplicated and modified to keep the company’s process performance level at its best, no matter the department. In the end, it’s all connected.

We understand that making changes to a business is a big deal, and we know just what needs to go into it all in order to make this shift and utter success. We also know that one of the most important factors to keep in mind is that a computer is only as good as the data, or information, that you feed it. Having professionals set it up in a way that truly benefits your organization is a craft, and luckily one we’ve mastered.

Get in touch today if you’d like to learn more; we’d love to help.

We’ll get into more technical detail of these exciting tools at a later stage. Remember to stay tuned to find out more!

 

Source(s):

https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/algorithms-explained-what-they-are-and-common-sorting-algorithms/

https://www.salesforce.com/blog/ai-deep-learning-productivity-blog/ 

https://www.salesforce.com/products/platform/best-practices/business-process-automation/

https://trailhead.salesforce.com/en/content/learn/modules/business_process_automation/process_whichtool

https://trailhead.salesforce.com/en/content/learn/modules/flow-basics/get-started-with-flows

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