A robotic process automation (RPA) bot is a software robot or application that automates repetitive and rule-based tasks within business processes. Its design lets it mimic human interactions with various software, such as entering data, manipulating applications, triggering responses, and communicating with other systems.
RPA bots typically operate at the user interface (UI) level, interacting with applications and systems like human users. They can navigate through different screens, extract data from documents, perform calculations, make decisions based on predefined rules, and even communicate with other bots or systems through application programming interfaces (APIs).
Read More about an RPA Bot
Users can train RPA bots to handle tasks across multiple domains and industries, such as data entry, validation, and extraction; invoice processing; report generation; and more. They can work 24 x 7 without breaks, significantly improving business process efficiency, accuracy, and speed. Take a look at their benefits in greater detail below.
What Tasks Can RPA Bots Do?
RPA bots can perform various tasks across different sectors. Here are some common examples.
- Data entry and validation: RPA bots can enter data from one system or application to another, eliminating the need for manual data entry. They can also validate data against predefined rules or databases to ensure accuracy.
- Report generation: They can extract data from multiple sources, perform calculations, and generate reports automatically, which can be helpful in finance, sales, and other departments that require regular reporting.
- Data migration and integration: RPA bots can transfer data from one system to another, ensuring seamless integration and consistency. They can also synchronize data between different applications or databases.
- Invoice processing: They can extract relevant information from invoices, such as vendor details, invoice numbers, and amounts, and update accounting systems accordingly, streamlining the accounts payable process.
- Customer support and inquiry handling: RPA bots can handle customer inquiries, provide automated responses, and escalate complex issues to human agents if needed. They can also perform tasks like account verification or customer information updating.
- Data extraction from documents: They can scan documents like invoices, receipts, or contracts; extract relevant information using optical character recognition (OCR); and populate data into appropriate systems or databases.
- Data reconciliation: RPA bots can automatically compare data across different systems or databases, identify discrepancies or inconsistencies, and take corrective actions.
- Human resource (HR) onboarding and offboarding: They can assist in employee onboarding by automating tasks like creating employee profiles, setting up accounts, generating welcome emails, and initiating background checks. They can also handle offboarding tasks like account deactivation and exit interviews.
- Regulatory compliance: RPA bots can help ensure regulatory compliance by automatically performing checks, validating data against regulatory requirements, and generating compliance reports.
- Data backup and archiving: They can perform regular data backups, archive files, and manage data storage efficiently.
These are just a few examples, of course. The potential use cases for RPA bots are extensive. Even better, they can be customized and trained to automate tasks specific to an individual organization’s needs and processes.
What Are the Types of RPA Bots?
There are three types of RPA bots based on their functionality and deployment. They are:
- Attended RPA bots: They work in collaboration with humans. Their design lets them assist and support employees in completing tasks. Typically installed on individual workstations or devices and triggered by specific actions or events initiated by users, they can perform tasks like data entry and validation and report generation while working alongside humans. They help improve productivity and accuracy by automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks.
- Unattended RPA bots: They are fully automated and operate independently without human intervention. They are deployed on dedicated servers or virtual machines (VMs) and can execute tasks in the background, typically scheduled at specific times or triggered by predefined events. They commonly perform batch processing, large-scale data handling, and tasks that don’t require human interaction. They can handle tasks 24 x 7, increasing efficiency and freeing up human resources for more complex work.
- Hybrid RPA bots: They combine the features of attended and unattended RPA bots. They can operate autonomously like unattended bots and interact with humans if needed. They can execute tasks independently and switch to attended mode when they require human intervention or decision-making. This flexibility lets organizations automate many processes while maintaining human oversight if required.
Selecting the appropriate RPA bot type depends on the nature of the tasks they will do, the level of human involvement they will require, and the automation goals the organization desires. Some processes may require attended RPA bots to work with employees, while others can be fully automated using unattended RPA bots. Hybrid RPA bots strike a balance between automation and human interaction, offering greater versatility in handling complex workflows.
RPA bots are often deployed with workflow automation tools or integrated into larger automation platforms to streamline end-to-end processes. They help organizations reduce manual effort, minimize errors, improve productivity, and free up employees so they can focus on more strategic and complex tasks.
- An RPA bot automates repetitive and rule-based tasks within business processes. It mimics human interactions with various software.
- Users can train RPA bots to handle various tasks, including data entry, validation, and extraction; invoice processing; and report generation. They can work 24 x 7 without breaks.
- RPA bots, often deployed with workflow automation tools or integrated into larger automation platforms, streamline end-to-end processes. They help organizations reduce manual effort, minimize errors, improve productivity, and free up employees so they can focus on more strategic and complex tasks.