Take a minute and look around you. Automation is all around you; whether you see it or not processes are automated on all levels of life.
One thing that I’ve noticed among professionals is that “change” is very difficult; while others do not know what to automate.
Time and Value
In today’s day and age time is an important factor for many. It is the vehicle for efficiency. If you are responsible for a process and it fails; would you want to know before someone else tells you? I would hope the answer is yes. Sure there are caveats to processes all around, but the majority of the time automation of daily processes is a key component to being a successful data professional.
What Should I Automate?
This is not a comprehensive list, but more or less some ideas to get one to think. You can add to your list; it should be considered a living list or document (there is that nasty word “document”; yes I am a firm believer in documentation being important, but will save that for a later post).
Some potential items to review for automating:
- Monitoring concepts
- Maintenance procedures
- Disaster Recovery
- Ticket generation
- ETL processing
- Creation of dashboards
The list can continue to grow, but under each point can be several other bullet points to specific items.
Every person, shop, and entity have their own views on automation. Understanding how best to utilize ones time can dictate what is automated versus what is not. Doing a gap analysis also provides some light into what may or may not be working efficiently.
For me doing nothing and continuing manual processes is not the way to survive.
I recently ran into a situation where business units were working as hard as they could not knowing that some of the processes could be streamlined which would free them up to do the work on projects that they needed to get done but couldn’t. These types of situations are everywhere; look at your own shop; what can you improve?
As my good friend John Morehouse (B|T) says, “Don’t just sweep items under the rug.” If you see an issue or a process that could be fixed take that initiative and start righting the ship. If your recommendation is not one that is approved that’s okay just keep being that voice; it takes one to make a difference.
Take a look around you, what can you automate to help streamline or become more efficient? What obstacle(s) are you facing that has a solution ready to be had, but no one has taken the initiative yet?