Form Automation? Are you Kidding Me?
Let me get one point across to you before you go further, ‘Automation is just one step’ in a grand scheme called Business Process.
Now that it is out of the way, I would like to peek into your head when you made the decision to opt for forms, because that is why you’re here reading this.
I agree that collecting data is a priority to any business, but understanding how to act upon that data is also critical. Otherwise, it is like asking your girlfriend what she wants for dinner, some of us know where that would end.
When you opt for Form Automation Software, it’s like complicating the situation.
There are other measures you can take, like decoding the data yourself (no you’re not Zuckerberg), or a more sane way to deal with it is Workflow Automation software, where form automation is a part of it.
I’m going to emphasize 5 reasons on why form is not the way you need to head.
1 — Information Overload
Sometimes when you look at that spreadsheet and go ‘Sigh’, that is the moment of realization. Yes, it is good to have all data in one place, it is good to look at all those numbers (because our bank account never seems to be like this), but it is bad for the system.
For example, the admission office at a university uses a hosted Google Form to collect data for potential students. But as the applications grow, it can be harder and harder to sort out which students have been called, which are coming for campus visits, and which are not eligible.
Forms are good but they can’t keep up with an overwhelming Business Process. That’s their capability and we can’t blame it. It is fine with me if you like to have ‘Scroll War’ with your colleague to find that data in a spreadsheet that as is fangs spread out to the great wall of China. But you have to keep in mind that, while you’re indulging in your ‘Scroll War’, there are processes which are delayed, data which is lost.
2 — Tracking? What the hell is that?
Even if you employ Batman to track your data in your automated forms, he would give up (just kidding, he would find it before you could ask). Try creating a spreadsheet and let your entire organization use it and then let me know if you could track that customer who called you 2 weeks back.
They lack important features such as ‘Notification’, you know the pop-up you receive when someone makes a change, yeah and some more features like that. This is where a Workflow Automation Software does a pretty good job.
3 — Why do you always leave me out?
Now, forms don’t send out individual notifications to every one of them that is involved. There’s always one person, in this case me, who gets left out (Fine no one wants to include me). Now the point is, to close down on a big sale you need everyone involved to be notified. So, yeah please don’t leave anyone like me out (pretty please).
4 — The toy you don’t need but end up buying it:
So, you’ve set up the forms and the data has been flowing, but the only trouble is, form acts like a dam collecting all the data and nothing happens unless you open the gates. You need Hoo-mans to manually initiate and drive the workflows. Move it Hoo-Man.
5 — The Hide and Seek you don’t wanna play:
It’s either an open house or a shutdown, when it comes to forms. You don’t want Dave from admin to look at your sales data, (dammit Dave stop peeking). So, role based access controls would be a good feature to keep Dave out. But nah! You just want forms. Didn’t you?
So, look forms are great indispensable asset to any business, but they’re such a pain to move along with the process. So, stop looking for a form automation tool, instead always go for the whole package such as a Workflow Automation Software, that would actually do something with your data.