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Big Data Workflow Automation is Closer Than You Think

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, measuring 8.4 meters and boasting a 3.2 giga-pixel (yes, that’s 3.2 billion pixels) camera, is due to break many data-volume records.

The camera will take a photo of the sky every 15 seconds, generating 30TB of astronomical data every night. During its 10-year operational period is expected to create over 60 Petabyte (yes, that’s 60 quadrillion bytes) of data.

Large numbers aside, we are expected to generate more data in 2017 than in the past 5,000 years combined. The good news is that this means organizations are finding it easier than ever to collect all types of data from many different sources.

It seems Big Data—extremely large data sets that can be analyzed to reveal relevant patterns and trends—is only likely to get bigger.

The problem is, organizations are also finding it more difficult to use and interpret such high volumes of data to optimize business processes and outcomes. One main reason for this is the relative shortage of data scientists whose specialized skills are required to sift through this information and generate the insights that can lead to business transformation.

If we don’t know how to leverage the increasing amount of data, Big Data becomes more of a hindrance than a help.

Automation technology is proliferating in the enterprise at a rapid rate, and data analytics may be the next target on its list. Gartner believes that more than 40% of data science tasks will be automated by the year 2020. And at Nintex, we believe big data analytics and workflow process automation, when used in conjunction, have the potential to transform your business.

What are Big Data Workflows?

First, we’ll break down Big Data workflows.

Data is a necessary component of any workflow, whether it’s the creation of a new project, capital expenditure requests or employee onboarding. Workflow processes are task-oriented and so require data collection.

A relatively recent phenomenon in terms of data collection, Big Data refers to the ever-larger sets of data we are now capable of collecting and processing—and the way it can be used to understand anything from patterns in customer behavior to detecting security breaches or streamlining product development and improving business insights to make data-driven decisions.

So, what of Big Data workflows?

In the same way Big Data involves large and complex sets of data, Big Data workflows are bigger, more complex processes which help companies automatically make sense of all that data in a way that would take an individual analyst hours. That includes processes related to data analytics, batch processing, business intelligence, predictive models, etc.

So how might workflow automation and data analytics work together?

A Closer Look at Big Data Workflow Automation

Smartphones are now almost ubiquitous, and the signals these devices send, and the data they create, can be hugely beneficial.

Take the example of one highway maintenance company that has begun a strategic partnership with a number telecommunications firms. These firms can provide anonymized vast amounts of real-time data on where their customers’ smartphones are geo-located. And this information can be used by the highway maintenance company to get a good idea of how many cars are on the roads at any given moment.

By analyzing this data, the company can quickly gauge the predicted impact of a potential road closure, blocking off lances and other similar activities.

The potential for workflow automation software here is compelling.

The large quantity of data collected could be used to trigger automatic workflows using up-to-the-minute updates.

There are countless ways this could be beneficial—the information could be automatically relayed to emergency service vehicles; customers could receive advanced traffic warnings; trucking businesses could use the data to plan routes in real time.

In more general terms, the automation of big data workflows holds similar benefits to the automation of standard workflows:

  • Big Data workflows involve lots of repetitive work which, if performed manually, is a drain on your employees, their working capacity and working hours. Automation speeds the process and allows them to focus their time and energy on the big picture.
  • Much of the human error associated with these repetitive processes can be minimized or removed completely through workflow automation.

Workflow Automation, Wherever You Are

Nintex Workflow Cloud is a new cloud-first platform designed to support your process automation scenarios from any information source.

We will be demonstrating the power and potential of the Nintex Workflow Cloud across Europe this spring. If you can make it to any of the following cities, we’d welcome seeing you.

Nintex Roadshow 2017 Dates:

  • Amsterdam – 20 April, 2017
  • Copenhagen – 26 April, 2017
  • Munich – 16 May, 2017
  • London – 23 May, 2017
  • Paris – 1 June, 2017 (This event will be presented in French)

To find out more about each of our roadshows and sign up for the show nearest to you, click here.


If you would like to find out more about workflow automation for Big Data analytics and how they could help your company, contact us today.

Antony Ford

Antony Ford joined Nintex in 2013 and serves as a regional sales director based in the U.K. As an experienced business development professional in the IT marketplace, he specializes in sales and marketing of workflow and content automation (WCA) software and related services. Antony is committed to helping Nintex customers and partners develop and execute effective, customer-centric strategies and processes.

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