Monthly Archives

March 2022

Meet our New Automated Processing Bots!

By | Automation Initiation | No Comments

Having been secretly working hard over the past 12 months, Talos is excited to finally announce our new bots for 2022! We are pleased to present to you CASSIE, ROBBIE & CORRIE, our newest additions in the automated processing space. In this post we will introduce each bot, highlighting their expertise, abilities and why you need to hire them as part of your team.

automated processing

CASSIE

One of the most popular areas for automation is in the customer service space – in fact, most of our work in 2021 was focused on this key area. Therefore, to help businesses increase their efficiency in customer-related processes, Talos is proud to present CASSIE – our Customer Assisted Intelligent Expert.

Like all our bots, CASSIE is built on the UiPath platform, and has been rigorously trained using RPA best practices and real-world business process lessons. Her specialty is in delivering efficiency in customer processes such as:

  • Customer on-boarding
  • Customer cleansing
  • Mail triage & customer communications
  • Customer reporting

CASSIE can be trained to follow any customer-related process, as she can learn processes quickly and follow them reliably. At a high-level, her abilities include:

  • Extracting and validating customer data from any data source
  • Leveraging Machine Learning to classify mail and customers
  • Reading and writing data to CRM and ERP systems

With CASSIE as part of your team, you can expect:

  • Increased speed in customer processing
  • Increase in staff time to focus on more valuable tasks
  • Increase in data quality and reduction in process errors

Some businesses that are already using CASSIE include:

Deploying CASSIE is no different to hiring staff, except CASSIE can learn much quicker, works 24/7 and will not make mistakes. You just need to teach her the process once and she will begin work immediately. Better yet, you can teach her as many processes as you want to – she loves to work and help out!

Automated Customer Processing

ROBBIE

Invoice processing is a pillar of every business and is one of the key areas where automated processing can deliver demonstrable value. For that reason, Talos is excited to introduce ROBBIE – our Robotic Invoicing Expert. ROBBIE is dedicated to delivering efficiency in invoice-related processes such as:

  • Accounts payable processing
  • Accounts receivable processing
  • Statements & Reconciliations
  • Ad-hoc & customer financial reporting

ROBBIE can be trained to follow detailed invoice processing logic including 3-way matching, data validation and document verification. At a high-level, his abilities include:

  • Extracting invoice data from any document or file
  • Matching and validating invoice data based on defined logic
  • Reading and writing data to ERP systems

With ROBBIE as part of your team, you can expect:

  • Increased speed in invoice processing
  • Increase in staff time to focus on more valuable tasks
  • Increase in data quality and reduction in process errors

Some businesses that are already using ROBBIE include:

ROBBIE is not constrained by system and can be implemented on any system or application. Just like a regular staff member, all ROBBIE requires is access and he can do the rest!

automated invoice processing

CORRIE

Compliance processing is a specific and crucial area for businesses. If your process is inefficient or prone to error, your business is at risk of non-compliance which can be very costly. For that reason, Talos is pleased to introduce CORRIE – our Compliance, Regulatory & Reporting Information Expert. CORRIE is skilled in delivering efficiency in compliance-related processes such as:

  • Form data extraction & validation
  • Data cleansing & migration
  • Ad-hoc & custom alerting
  • Document filing & metadata management

CORRIE is our best learning bot – she has been skilled to learn any process very quickly. This is useful in the context of compliance processing where regulatory requirements can change and processes must be updated to ensure compliance. At a high-level, her abilities include:

  • Extracting & verifying data from any document, file or system
  • Easy retraining capabilities for document understanding
  • Reading and writing data to case management systems or document management systems

With CORRIE as part of your team, you can expect:

  • Increase speed in compliance processing
  • Increase in staff time to focus on more valuable tasks
  • Reduction in process errors and the risk of non-compliance

Some businesses that are already using CORRIE include:

CORRIE can easily learn and adapt to processes as they evolve over time, greatly reducing the risk of non-compliance. Much like your best staff, she can be relied on to ensure that your business does not fail in meeting your compliance requirements, whatever they may be.

automated compliance processing

With these new bots available, businesses can easily adopt automated processing and quickly obtain the accompanying benefits. Whether it be automated customer processing, automated invoice processing or automated compliance processing, Talos will continue to train and deliver our bots to any business wanting to achieve their goals of increased efficiency and optimum performance. With CASSIE, ROBBIE & CORRIE on your team, we know you can.

If you would like to meet our bots, please contact us.

PowerBI governance

The need for good PowerBI Governance

By | Enterprise PowerBI | No Comments
What do we need PowerBI Governance for? Well, PowerBI has come a long way in the past decade – and yes, it has been a decade. It was released way back in July 2011! What was a humble reporting tool is now a complex ecosystem of self service analytics, data management and artificial intelligence. While the advancements in themselves are great, with greater complexity comes a greater need to understand and manage it through PowerBI Governance, especially at the Enterprise scale.

What needs governing?

In my experience across a range of implementations there are 4 key areas that need formal management:

  • Data
  • Security
  • Platform
  • Users

I’ll run through each of these below in more detail.

PowerBI Governance – Data

PowerBI governance data

Depending on the size and maturity of the organisation, data governance may already be in place. If so, this part of the design of the PowerBI governance model is simple. The existing policy can directly inform your approach.

However if it is absent, then part of designing the governance model includes creating it. In the early part of a deployment lifecycle, where PowerBI reports are simple and departmental, accountability for data is often pretty simple; the department that creates the report knows data owners and can manage issues as they arise. However once the reach of PowerBI scales these links become less clear.

If you are managing PowerBI centrally in an organisation, and a data item is suspect, how does it the investigation process work? How does the organisation decide on where to allocates its limited development resources if demands from different areas are in contention? How do we prevent disparate teams duplicating efforts? Who is accountable for maintaining the data catalog that makes assets discoverable? Who decides who can see what data when it is discovered?

All these questions fall under Data Governance and answering them is critical to ensure a well managed self service analytics environment.

PowerBI Governance – Security

Security

It is becoming cliché to say it, but data is a valuable asset. I’ve written before about the security risk associated with PowerBI desktop but like all data stores it has many attack surfaces and holes to leak from. Managing them correctly and actively is essential to prevent embarrassing and potentially expensive data leaks. As with all issues to do with governing technology risks, there are a mix of hard (technical) and soft (policy) tools you can bring to bear to the problem.

On the “hard” front are the platform level controls you can put in place. Some of these sit at a purely PowerBI level, such as the ability to limit insecure external sharing via publish to web. Other controls need the engagement of Azure administrators through deploying tools such as Azure information protection to keep an eye or lock on sensitive data.

On the “soft” front, giving education on the risks of data loss, costs of data leakage and how it happens is effective. It is not reasonable to expect untrained users to foresee the unexpected consequences of downloading and emailing a copy of a report. Most data breaches are caused by human error rather than any malicious activity. Education is key to this issue.

Thus the PowerBI platform needs to have basic guidelines established for its use, and then communicated around the organisation. It’s not a set and forget activity either – the technical environment and the business it serves changes. Once again, good ongoing governance is essential to keeping your platform and data secure.

PowerBI Governance – Platform

Platform

PowerBI is a complex beast. The admin portal overview page alone is now a half hour read! There are controls over the use of capacity, what is able to be shared and how, what visuals can be used and even how the portal can be customised to match your organisational branding. Then there are the requirements to monitor the platform for usage and capacity. This includes on-premise data gateways – which aren’t part of the services management capability.

On top of this is decisions to make around the usage and administration of Workspaces. End users should be given flexibility to self serve, but designing controls around data access is vital. Preventing scenarios like someone accidentally sharing HR reports with everyone’s salary details in them requires planning.

While it is IT’s role to administrate the platform, the data on it is a business asset and so the governance process needs to be a joint effort.

PowerBI Governance – Users

Users

Last – but definitely not least – are the users of all this capability. Rolling out PowerBI across the enterprise means you need to support and enable the users through a managed program. How are you establishing your Centre of Excellence to ensure quality content gets built and delivered to stakeholders? How can you drive an internal PowerBI community to support the growing capability of self sufficient analysts? Who will design and manage the training program to the different audience types that need to be catered to?

Plus of course is the balance of how to licence everyone. Is PowerBI premium the right option, or can you get by on PowerBI Pro licences for now? What is the trigger to make the change?

Driving the platform to deliver value to the business is not something that will happen by accident. Data literacy is not a native skill to many workers. The process of infusing that in your business needs to be managed.

Summary

This article aims to highlight some of the key concerns in governing PowerBI across the four dimensions of Data, Platform, Security & Users. As you have undoubtedly been gathering there has been a growth in complexity of the ecosystem. This has led to a similar complexity in terms of how the platform and its use needs managing.

If you need to hit the fast forward button on all this, we can help. All this complexity falls under the first step in our PEBBLE Enterprise PowerBI methodology – Plan. Our PowerBI Governance framework addresses these concerns – and more. Please reach out if you would appreciate some help.