Automation in Finance – Government departments typically conduct the same core finance processes as private-sector companies: They manage month- and year-end finances, disperse cash, budget, plan, and analyze. Some even use the same enterprise resource planning (ERP) and financial systems as their private counterparts.
According to research, about 80 percent of tasks performed in private-sector financial firms are fully or partially automatable – these figures can be assumed for government departments that perform similar functions.
Generalized accounting, cash disbursement, and financial planning are obvious contenders for automation. Paired with data science, financial departments can use AI-based systems to identify successes and failures of past budgetary decisions, more accurately track fraudulent activity, and more.
Automation in HR – In many countries, the government is the single largest employer. In the US, the Office of Personnel Management alone employs over 5,000 people – a figure that doesn’t include the individual HR staff in other departments and agencies that manage the federal government’s 2.8 million-strong workforce.
Approximately 80 percent of HR processes are thought to be automatable, with things like payroll and benefits administration, recruitment, and record-keeping being standout candidates.
Recruitment, in particular, lends itself to data-driven automation. Departments can use big data technologies to automatically screen applicants, identify talent trends, eliminate those that are unsuitable for the position, and escalate those that are.
Automation in Application Processing – Governments process applications for a whole range of services and payments, such as visas, welfare benefits, and tax returns. Over the past few years, the government has enhanced the front-end, citizen-facing experience. But, because clunky back offices are still grappling with legacy IT systems and siloed databases, there is still significant room for improvement.
Automated processes backed by data science can assist by interpreting and writing data between applications and checking for consistency, bridging the gap between innovative front-ends and legacy back-ends.
Harnessing the Power of Data Science in Automation
The potential of data science is huge in the public sector. Governments are tasked with recording, storing, tracking, interpreting, and responding to more data than ever before – and the data pool is only going to expand as the population grows and more and more services become digitized.
Intelligent analytics can inform automated processes that save time, reduce wasted resources, improve accuracy and consistency, and enhance the workplace experience for government employees. Further, many data-backed automations can be implemented using existing infrastructure.