Manual Processes Pose Risks for Colleges and Universities

  • Innovation and disruption
  • 8/31/2022
Female colleagues reviewing code together

Key insights

  • Manual processes may hinder efforts to keep up in a fast-paced, competitive environment.
  • Automated technologies can significantly reduce administrative waste and redundancy.
  • Improving data management and operations can help lower the risks of errors and noncompliance.
  • Develop a comprehensive data strategy to help keep your organization relevant and able to evolve.

Don’t let manual processes hold you back.

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Areas typically able to be automated

  • Repetitive data entry
  • Working with data in multiple systems
  • Manually verifying accuracy

As a higher education institution, you manage an enormous amount of administrative effort to record, organize, integrate, analyze, and utilize information. Much of that work happens manually, and campus offices — often siloed by academic department, administrative function, or software system — may spend a significant portion of each day simply moving information from one place to another.

These manual processes can be a serious inhibitor of what you can accomplish. Let’s explore the toll of handling information manually and what you can do to overcome it.

Eliminate waste and redundancy

Education managers may spend a significant percentage of their workday on manual tasks, many of them repeated over and over. Not only does this consume a tremendous amount of time, it necessitates the need for more staff — and therefore higher labor costs. This kind of repetitive work can also lower morale, making it harder to retain and recruit staff at a time when higher ed is struggling with unprecedented labor shortages.

Accepting manual workloads as inevitable can be a drain on the entire institution. Instead of requiring skilled professionals to spend time on menial tasks like importing documents and populating spreadsheets, consider adopting technology that can help integrate automation into your operations.

Reduce risk of errors, attacks, and noncompliance

Any manual process is at risk of human error. While some of these errors will be innocuous or obvious enough to fix, others can seriously distort the reality of the data and cause decision makers to implement ineffective data strategies. Taking steps to improve data management and operations can help you enhance performance and apply strategic, forward-looking action.

Mishandling data can also increase the risk of cyberattacks or compliance violations. Work with professional advisors who can help you evaluate internal controls and make sure your systems comply with industry regulations.

Turn uncertainty into data-driven insight

Manual processes limit what colleges and universities can do with their data. If your staff is consumed by everyday obligations and acts with uncertainty just trying to keep up with the status quo, your organization could lack visibility into everything your data has to say.

Don’t miss opportunities to use data to answer important questions or explore innovative possibilities. Aligning your IT strategy with organizational goals can enhance strategic decision-making and transform raw data into a timely, actionable insights.

Overcome obstacles and irrelevance

The higher ed market is becoming more competitive, student expectations are changing, and digital learning is rewriting what’s possible. The ability to adapt is inversely proportional to dependence on manual processes — innovation and efficiency are hindered when data moves at human speed and scale.

Properly harnessed, technology and data reveal deep insight to your organization. Scalable and adaptable operational models can help drive performance, reduce risk, and establish a competitive advantage. Work with industry professionals who can help develop digital strategies to leverage trends, overcome challenges, and innovate for the future.

How we can help

Integrating data, automating workflows, and working in sync looks different at every institution, and the change comes incrementally, replacing one manual process at a time. CLA can help you turn manual workflows into productive pipelines for information and insights: learn how.

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