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HOW CAN ELECTRONIC WORKFLOW ENHANCE BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE? The Information Age has provided enterprises with new ways to gain actionable data from various sources and use them to stay ahead of the consumer market. Business intelligence is an environment suited for electronic workflow, meaning that the knowledge residing in tangible documents may not be effectively processed into analytics programs. Unbeknown to them, employees may possess a hidden gem in the bowels of their filing cabinets. Yes, machines are smarter than you In the event that a company does come across information on a tangible document, whether or not they'll be able to correlate the newfound intelligence with all applicable business operations as quickly as analytics tools would is up for serious debate. Parker Hansen, a contributor to Firmology, claimed that many small business employees cannot efficiently handle the incredible amount of paper that enters the workflow. It's not that humans are inept, it's that they've created computing technology for the express purpose of making their lives easier. According to a Q&A released by The Traffic Directors Guild of America, a good number of large enterprises have turned to document management systems to give them a better idea on how the actions of separate departments affect comprehensive business operations. Aside from an influx of actionable data derived from electronic records, many of those interviewed by TDGA claimed that it was easier to act upon customer inquiries or client concerns. The following tasks became simpler:  Billing service subscribers and tracking payment records  Identifying market trends based on employee reports on consumer activity  Finding important documents when coworkers or clients requested them  Sharing information with department heads and their subsidiaries  Collaboratively reading and editing files in real-time What to look for in a paperless document management system As with anything else in life, there's not necessarily a one-size-fits-all electronic workflow solution. Depending on the actions of each company interested in making such an investment, the needs of each one could vary considerably. There's no doubt of the usefulness of the

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software, it just depends on how organizations plan on utilizing it. Hansen described five characteristics companies should look for when considering switching to electronic workflow:   

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Those using a data analytics program should invest in document management software that integrates itself well with the operations of the former technology. Invest in a program that has concise, accurate file search capabilities. If locating basic records comes as a challenge, then it's time to move on to the next option. A basic level of protection should be provided. For organizations handling particularly sensitive information, such as client account numbers or employee Social Security numbers, authorization tools should be at your disposal. In order to transfer several filing cabinets' worth of documents to the digital sphere, a useable scanning feature should be available. As if it needed to be mentioned, if the interface is difficult to use, then it's not worth investing in. Many employees used to outdated paper-based processing may not be able to effectively operate the program if it's too complicated for them to work with.

There's no reason to suffer through endless piles of paperwork, nor is it worth it to miss out on the business-changing data within such documents. It's in the best interest of many companies to consider the return on investment and step into the 21st century. _________________________________ Ready to kick your paper habit? Register for an upcoming webcast! Learn More about PaperSave: Case Studies | Demo | News and Events | WhitePapers | Webinars | Videos | Contact Us Tags: electronic workflow

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How can electronic workflow enhance business intelligence?