A Day in the Life of an Automation Analyst

As part of our work to define digital career pathways, we asked Digital Profession members to provide a short ‘day in the life’ story about their role. Jodi shares a day in her life as an Automation Analyst.

My main role as an Automation Analyst is to automate business processes that are standardised, repetitive and rules-based using Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

One of the Automation Analyst’s main tasks is monitoring automations that have already been configured and released into the production environment. Automations can be scheduled to run at specific times and are monitored to ensure they run successfully in an RPA tool. If there are any issues, the role of the Automation Analyst is to communicate with the business owner and troubleshoot the issues.

An overview of the role

People misunderstand the role and think you need to be a software developer to be an automation analyst. This isn’t a requirement.

To be an Automation Analyst, it helps to have knowledge in Windows applications and other applications used in the business process you are automating. Having a technical background or a language like Visual Basic is an advantage when developing automations, but not essential.  Although technical skills are important, I have found that a wide range of skills like communication and collaboration are also necessary. 

Business analyst skills or process mapping skills are also an advantage. Being able to think logically is also required. An automation analyst can take on some of the roles of a business analyst. 

I report to the Automation Lead. As an Automation Analyst, you will closely deal with subject matter experts of the processes you are automating.  When monitoring your RPA tool of choice, you will need to communicate with the business owner when troubleshooting any issues.

Stages of the automation process

The automation process starts with scoping to see if a business process can be automated, including the time saved and the benefit gained by automating the process. After the process is approved for automation, I meet with a subject matter expert in the ‘define phase’ and go through the process in detail and document it.

The next stage is designing the automated process. Our automation team collaborates to discuss the proposed design for the automation to ensure the process works efficiently is well-designed.

Next, we start configuration of the process in the RPA tool. This involves building the automation process step-by-step, using actions of the tool to tell a robot (virtual worker) what to do. There is a lot of logic and testing involved - but not software coding as some people may think.

Once the process is configured, a test plan is created and signed off. User Acceptance Testing is then completed.

Next, the process will be put into the production environment under supervision. The last phase is to release the automation into unsupervised release where the process will be scheduled and monitored as part of day-to-day business.

What an automation analyst seeks to achieve

In this role, the following outcomes are the goal:

  • cost savings
  • reduction in errors
  • standardisation of business processes
  • reducing boring repetitive work for teams
  • responding to customers more quickly
  • making efficiencies with business processes, to enable a virtual workforce.

I enjoy using problem-solving skills when designing new automations and collaborating with team members to build efficient processes. I get a lot of satisfaction when processes I have automated are successfully deployed into production. Knowing I have built something that reduces someone’s workload and contributed to customer satisfaction is satisfying.

What skills are important for your role?

  • strong problem-solving ability and the ability to logically work through and find the source of errors
  • ability to learn an RPA tool 
  • someone who can follow a methodology and adhere to best practice standards with attention to detail 
  • ability to analyse and document business processes
  • ability to collaborate with others and communicate with non-technical subject matters experts
  • IT skills are an advantage.

If you think you have the skills required and enjoy problem-solving, then give it a go.

You can also view a video on the role of RPA in government and how it is used by the SDO in the DTA’s series from thought leaders in government.

This was first published on DTA on 24 February 2021. All views expressed in this blog are Jodi’s personal views, and do not necessarily reflect the view of the department or agency.