Automation has disrupted various industries, and the education sector is no different. One result of automation in education is seamless document management. Universities are shifting towards automated documentation for admissions, saving students' data, and more. Here's how this is helping institutions.
Educational institutions need to streamline various processes, from student recruitment and enrollment to program development, record maintenance, and more. With technology being at the core of every sector today, a lot of these processes can be simplified, primarily by automating document management. Integrating automation with existing solutions allows institutions to improve student data management and access, but what exactly is document management automation?
What is document automation?
Document automation refers to the use of systems and workflows to generate electronic documents. It involves taking texts and data from different sources and automating the creation of documents from predefined document templates without the need for manual intervention.
We can categorize automating documents under two aspects-
- The first one includes gathering the required data from various documents and enhancing its value by adding relevant features.
- The other aspect involves creating new documents by using the data extracted in a prior stage. These documents can take the form of invoices, contracts, etc.
Document automation software is a technology developed to automate documents with the use of documentation templates. This software can even create complex documents within a fraction of time, while also saving cost and effort.
Challenges of manual document processing
Document management automation has become the need of the hour for organizations today.
While the manual document management system has been around for decades, it's imperative to adapt to the changing times. Here are some reasons why manual processes aren't feasible anymore-
- Time-consuming. Traditional document management systems need heavy paperwork. Besides, storing and transferring them among employees is a hassle and requires a lot of time. Statistics state that professionals spend around 50% of their time looking for information and take about 18 minutes to find a document. The time spent searching for a document can be drastically reduced by shifting to automation and reducing the risk of any document getting lost.
- Editing challenges. Making changes to paper documents can be quite cumbersome. This is because each time an edit is made, the document has to be reprinted with the final revisions. It increases the editing time along with the wastage of resources.
- Barriers to collaboration. Businesses run with various departments collaborating on different aspects of work. However, 83% of knowledge workers waste time every day due to document collaboration issues. Manual document processes have certain limitations regarding collaboration, which can be easily resolved with automated documents.
- Lack of security. Institutions have a ton of sensitive information, such as students' data, that needs to be kept confidential. Manual document systems do not have any security as it is easy to break into such systems. Automated documents, on the other hand, can be stored on cloud servers and secured with passwords.
Benefits of document automation
Document Management Software (DMS) can help businesses convert a mountain of documents into a digital system. It has a myriad of other benefits. These include-
- Save time and money. There's no denying that managing paper documents is costly and time-consuming. As automated documents are stored on the cloud, using them reduces overhead costs by 30%-40%. Besides, it is easier to find these documents by searching by a word or a phrase, saving a lot of time for employees.
- Streamlined admissions processes and transparency. An automated documentation system help education institutions create an admissions workflow and establish their enrollment processes. It also enhances transparency as it becomes easier to keep track of students through every stage of the process.
- Improved security and encryption. Integrating an automated data management system mitigates the risk of data breaches with various security features. These include automated deletions, backups, digital archiving, user permissions, multifactor authentication, etc. Besides, organizations can easily trace who last managed the document and opt for automated alerts every time someone opens a document. Therefore, all the sensitive information stays secure with the automated document management system.
- Increased productivity- An automated DMS allows universities to create templates for e-forms to process applications, transcripts, contracts, etc. This helps professionals move away from taking up repetitive tasks and focus on more critical aspects of the process instead. Besides, employees can easily collaborate as the documents can be accessed from anywhere and shared quickly via email or other channels. This, in turn, enhances employees' productivity and efficiency.
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Things to keep in mind while choosing a document automation software
Automation has helped institutions simplify various processes and enhance student enrollment rates.
Here are certain things that institutions can look for while selecting a document automation software-
- Integration capabilities. Document automation software has the ability to collate documents by populating data from different sources. The aim of investing in a DMS is to get all the documents into a fully integrated platform. So, businesses must install software with excellent integration capabilities to fully utilize it.
- Accessibility. Today, people are always on the move, and with remote work kicking in, institutions must look for mobile and remote access solutions. It should be easy for employees to generate and share documents regardless of where they are or what device they are using. Having said that, such privileges should come with certain limitations to secure classified information.
- Collaborative features. There is always a chance of many employees working on the same document. While this might not be feasible with manual documents, automation provides this opportunity. Therefore, institutions must look for a DMS with robust collaborative tools to increase work efficiency. Besides, the system should have a feature that allows users to track or view changes and work on documents together in real-time.
Some document management tools
The following are some of the best document management tools for universities to simplify their processes and enhance student enrollment-
- iSchool360- The document management system of iSchool360 can be used by students to add documents, edit SOPs, and send applications to universities. Universities can also utilize it to look at various students' applications. The platform also allows institutions to track and optimize all the sales, recruitment, enrollment, and admissions processes through a single dashboard. It comes in different pricing packages for universities to choose from as per their requirements.
- Nopaperforms. This automation tool helps educational institutions organize and streamline applications on a single platform. Institutions can also evaluate the progress of applicants with real-time metrics and increase enrollment rates by optimizing their processes according to the gathered data.
- Docubase. Another document management platform for institutions, Docubase helps keep students' data digitally in a secure manner. Every step of the intake process is digitally captured, and reviews are automated. Besides, this platform provides encrypted access to documents across the campus, enabling different departments to collaborate effectively.
The document management system market is constantly evolving to meet the demands of institutions. This market is expected to reach USD 10.17 billion by 2025, registering a CAGR of 13. As a result, there has been an increased efficiency throughout the processes, in collaboration, admissions, knowledge sharing, as well as data management. These digital transformations are here to stay for decades to come to simplify working in the rapidly changing world.
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