Can Insights Be Automated?

Author: Dhrub Bandhopadhya

Designation: Head, Digital Marketing & Transformation Practices

Recently I was at one of the renowned and diversified tea spots in the town. I call it diversified because you may find people from different technologies, and unlike ideologies, assemble here and connect with each other.

That day I heard a group of youth talking about different skills and tools available in the current times, and ended up tagging it as an era of technologies. To this, my brain cells caught the word “Technology”.

What is Technology

Harvesting a few words from the dictionary definition, it is a branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society, and environment. The immediate next word that comes to mind is Automation. When you think of technology and apply the automation composition, the orchestration perhaps turns the tables around.

Artificial Intelligence – A Boon or Bane

So, what does this mean to me – with the evolving technology, will everything be automated? With everything automated, will robots replace the humans? Are driverless cars all we might see on roads? All the techies into manual business would no longer be required? How harmful is automation for career aspirants?

Vertebral stage

Lately, I was watching an illustrious Bollywood movie wherein I got my piece of the answer. During the story, at one point in time, the dhaakad wrestler daughter from India was mesmerized by the modern-day tactics that her training academy blew her vision off with. Initially, she could cross a few miles, but very soon she realizes she was missing something. Eventually, she discovers “that” something is the vision! The gurus call it Insights. The sooner she comprehends this acumen, she is back and up with all her soul and energy.

What is Insight

Insight is the soul of technology, Insight is the genetics behind the technology, Insight is the factor that gave birth to tools aided by technology. Seeing what lays inside is – In-sight. A tool, for an instance, may give me a bar chart based on some numbers, but that chart in whole is merely an artistic picture unless there is some interpretation attached to it. This reading comes from domain knowledge and experience. The pundits’ term it Statistical Modelling or Forecasting, I call it Traditional Experience. It is the mechanism that revolves around off-bit know-hows. Name it whatever, but it still remains the spinal cord of the system – to stand stiff you need a spinal cord, else you collapse. Without Insights, there is actually nothing inside automation – there is no emotions, no feelings, no decisions, no outlook, no state of mind, no conclusion, and no judgment. Automation is being intellectually abusive and killing creativity

How does this impact the society?

For every robot to walk and talk, an arm is required to design it. For every driverless car, an engineer is required to project it. For every machinery, you need maintenance. Every little device that has a screen needs a designer behind it. Yes, we may have to change the way of looking at it – one may have to think from the producer’s perspective, instead of consumer’s, to balance the jigsaw of the society. There might be a lot of horizons on the development front, but automation certainly doesn’t mean the end of the world for “manualism”. Remember the food chain that we all learnt in our schools – there are as many cockroaches as rats, there are as many rats as snakes, there are as many snakes as peacocks, there are as many peacocks as tigers, there are as many tigers as men, eventually men’s buried body is consumed by worms, worms are consumed by ants, ants are consumed by cockroaches, and so on. Meaning to say is – everybody will get their share, and nobody will be left jobless. Yes, one has to be up-to-date, rest no worries, it’s just a change of season!

Heads and Tails Analogy

As described by Marina Martin in, Automation in and of itself is not necessarily efficient or even the right choice for your business or organization. The choice to automate a given process or task should always go through at least a basic decision tree, weighing the known benefits and costs. At scale, process automation can eliminate the need to hire new administrative employees at significant cost savings. However, implementing most automation requires some degree of technical assistance or at least familiarity

Automation eliminates human error. However, each new automation requires a Quality Assurance (QA) process, which takes varying degrees of effort and time. Process automation lends itself to removing the most boring, busy work tasks. This frees up your workforce to tackle tasks that humans do better than computers

However, Process automation is by definition change, requiring change management

Bird’s Eye Perspective

Producing the insights is like sharing the stories and experiences on the journey to the people who are on the journey. And that’s why Steve Jobs once said “You can’t connect the dots moving forward. You only can when you are looking backward”

Automation is like a doctor applying the same medicines to all his patients. Automation is like going through life, Insights is like growing through life. Insights is that driving energy of any given project.

Automation speaks about forecasting the forthcoming. Talking about Insights is like talking about lessons and warning about failures.

Automation is an attractive idea, but it still is just a sign that we need to widen our scope. This configuration can’t be happening without human intervention.

Automation resembles the non-existing future. Even if it exists – it would be settling down in lieu of what we actually were chasing. Insights is that spark of bliss, knowledge, and eternity that exists. Insight is the analysis of precious past.

Insights are what one attains after a long commute, it cannot be achieved at a button press. Insights are the mainstream hero, it’s the millennial business decision maker.

Kitchen Conclusion

So finally, should one go for automation or not could be best answered by the blend of ingredients available in the kitchen and ingredients required for the dish. Know your appetite well and equate it with the combination. Alike any good thing comes with a price tag, automation also comes with certain conditions. If you are on a static mission, you may sustain with automation. It may require solitary investment, save you with resource-cost, and will give you concrete outputs. But if you are on a dynamic venture, your appetite flaunts frequent fluctuations, automation is not the right dish. It may add fancy flavor but will spoil your taste buds.

So, while carving your path to excellence, first go through the BRD check list – is it the same responses that goes as input every time, or the circumstance would be diverse. Nevertheless, there is nothing right or left, human intruded Insights is like tailor-made clothes – nothing fits better! Happy Planning!!

More Perspectives