Transforming the Education Landscape with RPA

Aug 28, 2020 Anjan Barman

The education sector has never shown much enthusiasm to introduce technology to its traditional way of functioning. Until a few years ago, the application of technology in the industry was characterized by the use of a few computers in the finance department, the telephone to establish cross-department collaboration, the photocopier, and a few others. As time elapsed, technology started penetrating deeper in the form of smart boards, online classrooms, digital assessment tools, school websites and mobile apps, and more. The stakeholders gradually realized the convenience and benefits that such changes bring to the age-old way of the conducting operating and this led them to explore more on what technology had in store for them.

However, the major chunk of the new possibilities was aimed at just the academic front while most of the administrative functions remained manual, resource-hungry, and error-prone. A common denominator among the daily responsibilities of the teaching and non-teaching staff is that they are repetitive, manual, and tedious, and hence ideal for automation.

Today, Robotic Process Automation is being used by teachers to get rid of the non-core tasks like attendance management, grading homework, and managing projects, and generating report cards. In the administration end, it relieves the human workforce of the need to schedule academic meetings, student recruitment & enrollment, educational events, invoice processing, and more.

Pain points of modern educational institutions

Despite its fast-paced growth, the intensely competitive industry makes it crucial for every player to be a step ahead of the others on all fronts. Among the primary concerns for the sector, the ones demanding urgent measures include high operational costs, payroll activities, event schedules, academic year plan, attendance management, and a host of academic and administrative tasks.

Furthermore, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has forced the industry to go virtual and rethink its contingency plan to fill the gaps in communication, productivity, and quality during such crises in the future.

How Nalashaa Redesigns the Education Landscape

At Nalashaa, we help the education industry stay competitive by automating Academic, Non-Academic, and other functional processes. Regardless of the nature of the systems in use, RPA can operate on top of these to orchestrate the process flows 24X7 at superhuman speed, while reducing costs, accelerating time-to-market, and enabling innovation.

Here’s a sneak peek into how our custom RPA solutions are transforming the way educational institutions function and how we conduct a complete overhaul of the workflow to align it to the evolving industry standards.

RPA Education RPA Student

Academics

Registration, Shortlisting, and Enrolment Process

Manual process: Incomplete/inaccurate information, extensive paperwork, inefficient data management, the need for frequent face-to-face discussions and meetings.

RPA solution: Bots can read students’ registration details and fee status, check their eligibility against preset criteria, validate information, and shortlist candidates as per configured criteria. This saves substantial time and effort for the administrators.

Attendance Monitoring

Manual process: Inconsistent and error-prone data entry, data duplication, tedious attendance reporting that demands extensive data sieving.

RPA solution: We implement RPA utilizing an RFID chip to auto-mark the attendance of students and staff whenever they enter the premises. For online classes, we use attendance sheets with timestamps for self-reporting; attendance details are shared with stakeholders through auto alerts.

Grading

Manual process: Delayed submission of grade sheets and reports, subjective review with no well-defined guidelines, inefficient feedback sharing.

RPA solution: RPA is the ideal tool to facilitate the auto-distribution & grading of assignments and homework, track progress, and identify mistakes. Actionable suggestions can be made by machine-assisted analysis of error patterns.

Report Card Processing and Notifications to Guardians

Manual Process: Manually calculating formative & summative exam percentages, identifying subjects qualified for grade up-gradation, preparing and editing report cards, grade conversions, etc. are highly taxing tasks.

RPA solution: RPA solutions can aggregate the scores on academic and non-academic areas (sports, cultural activities, etc.) by interacting with multiple systems to access the data. The reports can be emailed to respective parents and the aggregate reports are shared with the assigned teachers.

Non-Academics

Organizing Events

Manual Process: Organizing events such as Hackathons, parents meet, inter-school competition, etc. require accurate budgeting and scheduling, seeking permissions, and efficient flow of information, making automation a necessity to ensure success.

RPA solution: RPA helps organizers to work on real-time data to be in complete control of the event lifecycle. During pandemic-like situations where the industry goes online, RPA can substantially enhance the efficacy of Virtual Classrooms, Virtual Meetups, Virtual Events, Virtual Hackathons, and the like.

Other Areas

Sports: Bots can source, sort, and analyze data about sportspersons and games to provide detailed reports that can assist in player/team selection. For events such as annual sports that require voting, the entire process from voting to sending out notifications and compiling the winners’ list can be executed flawlessly using RPA solutions.

Placement/Internship

RPA can handle job/internship postings, placement drives & interviews, aggregate revenant data from job portals & other sources, and notify the students.

Functional Areas Ideal for Transformation with RPA

  • Payroll processing
  • Payslip generation
  • Vendor management
  • Accounts payable-receivable
  • Staff onboarding-offboarding
  • Inventory management
  • Incident management

A few more applications of RPA

Answer queries with Chatbots

Institutes are often flooded with phone calls, emails, and in-person questions and requests seeking clarification on a plethora of matters such as class schedule, exam timetable, admission plan, and others. Chatbots can help automate the general queries from staff, students, and website visitors, and can respond to them with relevant information by performing the necessary actions in the systems. This reduces the number of queries over the phone and in-person, cutting down on the waiting time of the user and improving their experience.

Cash control reconciliation

The accounts ledger can be reconciled automatically and accurately between the institute’s ledger and bank statement, saving the finance team’s time.

Data migration

Bots can migrate data between student information systems, student/school information management systems, and databases of external institutes, universities, schools, and colleges.

IT Operations

Bots can interact with incident management systems and create/unlock accounts, reset passwords, reboot systems, restart services, install updates, monitor processes, and perform other IT operations.

Relieve your employees of the non-value-adding chores and let them focus on their core expertise. Act smart and allow the teachers to synergize with students, and the support staff to focus on boosting your bottom line. The rest? Leave it to us.

Connect with our RPA experts to know how we can efficiently and cost-effectively digitize your existing setup so that your staff can focus on what they do the best.

Anjan Barman

Anjan Barman is a technology enthusiast with primary interests in the applications and possibilities of Cloud, RPA, AI, CRM, and the like in modern businesses. He loves exploring how innovations help organizations improve their efficiency while reducing the operating costs and presents the same in an atypical way. His other indulgences are non-fiction paperbacks, oriental music, and cricket.