How Automation Adds Agility to Campus Service Delivery
As colleges continue to seek opportunities to increase agility while reducing costs, automation may be a solution that helps them achieve both objectives.
Automation uses artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to complete processes without human input or guidance. One application, robotic process automation, is designed to add speed and efficiency to tedious, repetitive processes. Administrative departments, for instance, handle the bulk work of sorting student applications and responding to requests. During COVID-19, especially, students and their families have had an abundance of questions about colleges’ responses to the pandemic.
RPA allows for application sorting to happen automatically, in an instant. Machine learning enables algorithms to learn as they go and to categorize, with increasing accuracy, applications into groups such as regular decision or early decision.
Doris Celian, the controller at Eastern Michigan University, emphasizes efficiency gains when discussing how automation has helped the college transition during COVID-19. For example, her office needed to track costs that arose when faculty and other staff transitioned to remote work — a job that would have been burdensome to perform manually.
“By integrating automated expense and invoice tools to relieve back-office chaos, we were able to continue focusing our efforts on providing faculty and students with the support they need,” she says.