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CT-TAE Certified Tester Test Automation Engineer
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The GUI of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application has been delivered through internet Explorer
with proprietary Active X and Java controls. This implementation enables rich client capabilities, but specific
commercial automation tools are necessary to automate test cases at GUI of functional test cases. This is to
demonstrate whether a small set of the commercial are able to properly recognize actions taken by a tester when
interacting with GUI of the CRM application.
Which of the following scripting techniques would be MOST suitable in this scenario?
A. Data-driven scripting
B. Keyword-driven scripting
C. Linear scripting
D. Structure scripting
What are the four horizontal layers of the gTAA?
A. Test adaptation, test execution, test design, test definition
B. Test generation, test execution, test definition, test APIs
C. Test generation, test definition, test execution, test adaptation
D. Test definition, test execution, test reporting, test adaptation
The gTAA is a reference architecture for test automation systems, and it is organized into four layers to separate
different concerns. Each layer has its own responsibilities and interacts with the others to form a complete test
automation system. The Test Generation layer is for creating test cases, the Test Definition layer is for defining those
cases and their data, the Test Execution layer is for running the test cases, and the Test Adaptation layer handles
interactions between the test automation system and the system being tested.
You have implemented a keyword-driven scripting framework, which uses a test execution tool to run the tests. This
has been in use for the past year and all of the teams now use this framework as the standard approach for test
The teams all work on different aspects of the SUT and they have all experienced significant benefits in the use of this
scripting framework. However, on closer examination, you have discovered that there are numerous instances where
the teams have the same functionality to test but are using different keywords.
One of your objectives for improvement is to create consistency among the teams.
What is the BEST way to handle this situation?
A. Move to a model-based approach to scripting where the models include the keywords.
B. Do nothing, each team are working in isolation and they are all experiencing significant benefits in the way they are
C. Provide each team with a set of guidelines and naming conventions for keywords.
D. Create a central library of keywords and associated definitions for each team to use.
By having a shared library, all teams can refer to the same keywords, creating a more consistent and unified scripting
approach. This can make it easier to manage and maintain the scripts, especially when different teams need to work
together or share resources. It can also reduce the risk of misinterpretations or misunderstandings due to different
teams using different keywords for the same functionalities. The other options, while might be valid in some other
contexts, do not directly address the issue of consistency among the teams.
As a TAE you are evaluating a functional test automation tool that will be for several projects within your
organization. The projects require that tool to work effectively and efficiently with SUT‚s in distributed environments.
The test automated tool also needs to interface with other existing test tools (test management tool and defect tracking
tool.) The existing test tools subject to planned updates and their interface to the test automated tool may not work
property after these updates.
Which of the following are the two LEAST important concerns related to the evaluation of the test automation in this
‚ Is the test automation tool able to launch processors and execute test cases on multiple machines in different
‚ Does the test automation tool support a licensing scheme that allows accessing different sets?
‚ Does the test automation tool have a large feature set, but only part of the features will be sets?
‚ Do the release notes for the planned updates on existing specify the impacts on their interfaces to other tools?
Does the test automation tool need to install specific libraries that could impact the SUT?
A. A and C
B. A and E
C. B and E
D. C and D
You have inherited a TAS that is working well it uses keyword-driven scripting and was well architected. The
automation architect who built the system has now moved on to another company. The TAS is working across several
projects and has a multiple library of keywords, categorised by project. The individual project teams maintain these
Based only on the given information, what is the MOST significant risk for the TAS?
A. The keyword driven scripts may become out of date if not maintained
B. The level of abstraction, coupled with the departure of the architect may make the system hard to maintain
C. New projects may not work as well with the TAS as the current projects
D. Because the keyword scripts are maintained by different teams, there is a likelihood that good coding standards are
The Test Automation Manager has asked you to provide a solution for collecting metrics from the TAS that measures
code coverage every time the automated regression test pack is run. The metrics must be trend based to ensure that the
scope of the regression test pack continues to reflect enhancements made to the SUT - coverage must not drop and
should ideally increase. The solution must be as automated as possible to avoid unnecessary manual overheads and
Which of the following approaches would BEST meet these requirements?
A. Test automation cannot measure code coverage for the SUT, only the code for the automation tools and scripts. The
automated test cases would need to be run manually with a code coverage and reporting tool running in the
B. The automated testware would record overall code coverage for each run and add the figure to a new row in a pre-
formatted Excel spreadsheet. You would then present the spreadsheet to stakeholders so they could look for changes in
C. The automated testware would record overall code coverage for each run, export the data to a pre-formatted Excel
spreadsheet that automatically updates a trend analysis bar chart for you to distribute to stakeholders.
D. The automated testware would record the pass/fail rate of each regression test case, export the data to a pre-
formatted Excel spreadsheet that automatically updates a trend analysis success rate bar chart and emails it to
You are working as a TAE for a company who have been using a web test execution tool for a number of years. The
tool has been used successfully on ten web applications in the past.
The company are developing a new web application which has a friendly User Interface, but the developers have used
an object throughout the application which the tool is unable to recognise. As a result, you have no way of capturing
the object or verifying the contents using the automation tool.
What is the first thing you should do about this problem?
A. See if the application can be run on a desktop and if the object can be recognised on the desktop by the tool.
B. Investigate whether the object can be recognised by other test execution tools in the market
C. Ask the developers to remove the object and replace it with some text fields
D. Ask the developers if they can change the object to something that can be recognised by the tool
It is common in software testing to encounter situations where test automation tools are unable to recognize certain
objects or elements within an application. In such cases, the first step is usually to collaborate with the development
team to identify whether the problematic object can be replaced or modified to become recognizable by the automation
This is generally the most efficient and cost-effective approach because it allows you to continue using the same test
automation tool without the need for additional training or license costs that may come with switching tools. It also
keeps the test environment consistent and doesn't require the redesign of the test cases that are already automated. The
other options either involve possibly unnecessary tool or platform switching, or suggesting changes that may not suit
the application's requirements.
Of course, if changes to the object or application aren't feasible, then other options such as switching tools or finding
workarounds may need to be explored. However, the first step should be to communicate with the developers and
investigate a potential quick fix to the issue.
Consider a TAS deployed into production. The SUT is a web application and the test suite consists of a set of
automated regression tests developed via GUI. A keyword-driven framework has been adopted for automating the
regression tests. The tests are based on identification at low-levels of the web page components (e.g class indexes, tab
sequence indexes and coordinates) in the next planned release the SUT will be subject to significant corrective
maintenance (bug-fixes) and evolution (new features) Maintenance costs to update the test scripts should be as low as
possible and the scripts must be highly reusable.
Which of the following statements is most likely to be TRUE?
A. The keyword-driven framework is not suitable, it would be better to adopt a structured-scripting approach
B. False positive errors are likely to occur when running the automated tests on the new releases without modifying the
C. The total execution time of the automated regression test suite will decrease for each planned release.
D. The keyword-driven framework introduces a level abstraction that is too high and makes it difficult what really
You are currently designing the TAA of a TAS. You have been asked to adopt an approach for automatically
generating and executing test cases from a model that defines the SUT. The SUT is a state-based and event-driven that
is described by a finite-state machine and exposes its functionality via an API. The behavior of the SUT depends on
hardware and communication links that can be unreliable.
Which of the following aspects is MOST important when designing the TAA in this scenario?
A. Looking for tools that allows direct denoting of exceptions and actions depending on the SUT events.
B. Adopting a test definition strategy based on classification tree coverage for the test definition layer.
C. Looking for tools that allow performing setup and teardown of the test suites and the SU
D. Adopting a test definition strategy based on use case/exception case coverage for the definition layer.
You are working on a government system called ‚Making Tax Digital" or MTD for short. This system is being
implemented to stop manual human input error and also to reduce fraudulent behaviour from companies when
submitting their tax and VAT returns.
The key concept is that registered companies will need to use government recommended 3rd party software for their
accounts and book keeping. These 3rd party applications will have a direct interface into the government's main system
for transactions and submissions.
You have been using a test execution tool successfully on the project so far. and have implemented a basic
‚capture/replay‚ approach to scripting.
The management have been encouraged with the automation so far, but want the following objectives to be met:
* Test cases added easily
* Reduction in the amount of scripts and script duplication
* Reduction in maintenance costs
Which scripting technique would be MOST suitable in this scenario in order to meet the objectives?
A. Linear scripting
B. Structured scripting
C. Data-driven scripting
D. Keyword-driven scripting
Keyword-driven scripting allows for easier addition of test cases, less script duplication, and reduced maintenance
costs which are the objectives outlined by management. This is because in keyword-driven scripting, you design test
scripts using a set of predefined keywords, which represent actions that will be executed on the application under test.
The keywords and the data associated with them are usually stored in tables (like a spreadsheet), making it easier to
add, remove, or modify test cases.
Linear scripting (A) doesn't provide flexibility in terms of reducing script duplication and maintenance costs as it
involves writing a linear set of instructions for each test case.
Structured scripting (B) is useful when there is a need to create modular and reusable scripts, but it requires more
complexity to implement than keyword-driven scripting and isn't as easily adaptable for adding new test cases.
Data-driven scripting (C) is efficient when you need to test the same functionality with varying inputs and expected
results, but it doesn't inherently reduce script duplication or maintenance costs as much as keyword-driven scripting
can. It also doesn't directly aid in adding new test cases in an easy manner.
Consider a SUT that small run on multiple platform during the execution of automated test runs. In each test run an
automated test suite needs to be executed, with the same version of the TAF, against the same version of the SUT of
each platform. Each platform shall have its own dedicated test environment. Your goal is to implement a process as
automated as possible ( i.e with minimal manual intervention) that allows implementing a consistent setup of the TAS
across the multiple test environments.
Which two of the following aspects are MOST relevant for achieving your goal in this scenario?
‚ The configuration of the TAS uses automated installation scripts
‚ The TAF saves the logs needed to debug errors in XML format
A) Features of the TAF not used by the automated tests have been tested
B) All the automated test cases contain the expected results
C) The TAS components are under configuration management
A. A and e
B. B and c
C. B and d
D. A and d
If model-based testing has been selected for the overall test automation approach for a project, how does that influence
the layers of the TAA?
A. All layers are used, but the test generation layer will be automated based on the defined model
B. There will be no need for the execution layer
C. No adaptation will be needed because the interfaces will be defined by the model
D. There will be no need to design the tests for the API because those will be covered by the model
In a model-based testing approach, all layers of the Test Automation Architecture (TAA) are typically used, but the
test generation layer will be automated based on the defined model. The model describes the behavior of the system
under test (SUT) and is used to automatically generate test cases.
Option B is incorrect because the execution layer is still needed to execute the generated test cases.
Option C is incorrect because the adaptation layer is typically needed to handle interface-related issues between the
Test Automation System (TAS) and the System Under Test (SUT), regardless of the model used.
Option D is incorrect because even with a model-based testing approach, designing tests for the API (if APIs are a part
of the system) would still be necessary. The model can aid in this, but it does not eliminate the need for test design.
You are implementing test automation for a project and you want to be able to generate test cases automatically using
a series of test design tools which use a variety of test design techniques such as decision tables, pairwise testing and
boundary value analysis.
You also want to generate test data automatically which can then be used by the tests.
Initially these tests will be run manually to verify their correctness and ultimately you want to include them in the test
execution tool so that they can run unattended.
Which layer of the gTAA will be used to support the specification of the test cases and preparation of the test data?
A. The generation layer
B. The definition layer
C. The execution layer
D. The adaptation layer
The definition layer of the Generic Test Automation Architecture (gTAA) is responsible for defining test cases and
preparing test data. This layer uses test design tools and techniques, like decision tables, pairwise testing, and
boundary value analysis that you mentioned, to define what needs to be tested. This includes the preparation of test
data that will be used by the tests.
The generation layer, on the other hand, is responsible for generating the actual test scripts from the defined test cases.
The execution layer is responsible for executing the generated test scripts.
And finally, the adaptation layer is responsible for managing the interaction between the Test Automation System
(TAS) and the System Under Test (SUT), which involves handling interface-related issues.
Designing the System Under Test (SUT) for testability is important for a good test automation approach and can also
benefit manual test execution.
Which of the following is NOT a consideration when designing for testability?
A. Observability: The SUT needs to provide interface that deliver insight into the system.
B. Re-useability: The code written for the SUT must be re-useable for other similar system.
C. Clearly defined architecture: The SUT Architecture needs to provide clear and understandable interfaces giving
control and visibility on all test levels.
D. Control: the SUT needs to provide interfaces that can be used to perform actions on SU
You are working on a web-based application called Book Vault that allows people to upload books and order books.
This application must be available on all major browsers.
You have been testing the application manually and management have asked you to consider automating some of the
You have investigated a number of commercial and free tools which can automate tests at a web browser level and
one tool in particular meets your requirements and you have implemented a trial version.
You have basic programming skills and the main goal is to automate a few functional tests to see if the tool is
compatible with the application and can recognise the objects and controls.
Which scripting technique would be MOST suitable in this scenario in order to meet the objectives?
A. Structured scripting
B. Capture-replay scripting
C. Data-driven scripting
D. Model-based scripting
Given that you have basic programming skills and you are in the exploratory phase of the tool, the Capture-replay
scripting approach would be the most suitable for this scenario. Capture-replay scripting involves recording a series of
user actions as they navigate through the application, and then replaying those actions in an automated way. This
technique is typically easy to use, requires minimal programming skills, and can quickly provide a basic level of
automation for functional tests. It will also allow you to see if the tool is compatible with your application and can
recognize the objects and controls. The other scripting techniques like Structured, Data-driven, and Model-based
scripting require a more advanced level of programming skills and a better understanding of the application.
Computers have changed the way we live our lives. They have found a place for themselves in every walk of our life. In the exact past, artificial intelligence and machine learning have given way to increased automation. Despite the development, most of the task we do on our PC is repetitive. Have you ever thought of automating these tasks and saving time? While most of us are familiar with AutoHotkey, today we will take a look at some other free automation software for Windows.
In this article, we will guide you through some of the best apps that will help automate tasks on Windows 11/10. Please mind that some of the automation software offers a paid version too ‚Äď however, the free versions are sufficient for home users like you and me.
Let us take a closer look at some of the best free task automation software for Windows 11/10.
1] Mini Mouse Macro
Mini Mouse Macro is an open source software designed to record mouse and keyboard actions. The software is also capable of repeating the playback, and you get a simple editor to fine tune/edit the captured actions.
The mouse record feature will record the movement of your mouse and map it with respect to X and Y position. You can also define a loop count and automate the task for a predefined number of times. Mini Mouse Macro supports Script Builder, and this lets you create command lines. download Mini Mouse Macro from the homepage.
2] Macro Toolworks Free
Macro Toolwork is aimed at power users and is a powerful all-in-one automation software for Windows. Needless to say, the tool lets you record macros and then edit them in a macro editor. As a user, you can choose each Macro to be triggered in multiple ways and assign it to text shortcuts, keyboard hotkeys, time scheduler, and mouse keys. Most importantly, the Macro Toolworks records both keyboard and mouse events simultaneously.
The software is pretty useful for automating repetitive tasks like file backups, editing registry, retrieve data from Excel files and other actions. The Macro Toolworks automation software is available in three editions Free, Standard, and Professional. Scroll down and download Macro Toolworks Free from the homepage.
3] Macro Recorder
Mouse Recorder is yet another freeware that helps automate tasks on Windows. Mouse Recorder records mouse movements, clicks and a feature that lets you playback repetitive procedures. Advanced features like pixel color detection will pause macro playback and wait for a certain pixel to change colors.
The best part is that unstable mouse movements are converted into smooth swipes and this is something that will come in handy while creating video tutorials. Furthermore, the advanced recording algorithm is capable of sensing a resized program, varying resolutions and offer accurate macros.
All said and done; the Mouse Recorder ended up being one of the most accurate macro automation software. download Mouse Recorder Pro from the homepage. Macro Recorder productivity boost is free-of-charge to personal users.
AutoIT lets you create different types of automation and edit them to suit your requirement. As with all the other programs in this list you can automate repetitive tasks by recording mouse gestures and keystrokes. If you are an advanced user than the Auto Script Editor will help you integrate the automation with various coding tools.
That apart AutoIT can be used to change the registry entries, execute programs, automate keystrokes and create a new workflow for Windows. download AutoIT from the homepage.
5] Pullover‚Äôs Macro Creator
Are you on a lookout for a free macro creator that doesn‚Äôt cut corners? Pullover‚Äôs Macro Creator lets you write scripts, record functions and automate a wild array of tasks. The learning curve is not steep, and a normal pc user can easily understand the user interface. As a user you can set Loops, control commands, use pixel search and map it to specific functionality, devise ‚ÄėIf Statements‚Äô and map hotkey‚Äôs to the automation.
The highlight is definitely the Macro Creator. I would recommend Pullover‚Äôs Macro Creator to someone who prefers writing manual scripts rather than just recording the actions and creating automation. download Pullover‚Äôs Macro Creator from the homepage.
Hope you find these freeware useful.
Read next: Free Task Management Software available for Windows.
Real estate investor and business coach. Owner and CEO of E3 Coaching LLC.
I remember getting started in my entrepreneurial journey. There was so much to do, and never enough time. As the business grew, I realized that one of the ways to make the most impact and initiate growth in the organization was through automation and delegation. At first, automation can seem daunting and a little scary, but once you see the results, it can be a game changer.
The Benefits Of Automation
Using automation to perform repetitive tasks can be a huge timesaver. The ability to "set and forget" certain aspects of the business deliver us greater freedom to pursue those areas that need our attention. Think about working on the business rather than in the business.
It can also lead to greater profitability in your company. Save money on labor hours by automating certain tasks such as drip campaigns, follow-up sequences and bill pay. The right automations in your business also contribute to an increase in productivity. When all of your processes and workflows are in place, you can find opportunities for automation that allow team members the freedom to work on the important tasks that need hands-on attention. With this increased productivity, you can ensure your business is always moving forward and nothing is being left behind.
When you set up automated tasks, there is less risk of error, which can save you both time and money. Consider using automation apps for your social media posts to ensure you don't miss getting content out in a timely manner. You may also want to implement automation in your bookkeeping process by using software that allows charges to be imported with a click of a button, rather than making entries by hand. Automated drip campaigns ensure efficient communication in that the prospects and current customers in your pipelines are being contacted on a regular basis.
Remember the days of stuffing envelopes and hand addressing letters to potential sellers? Mail houses now provide automated versions of both of these tasks. In addition, automated communication can lead to better customer experience, since they are being responded to in a timely manner. Utilizing a good CRM system is a great way to introduce automation into your business. The CRM system can manage your contacts and communications, provide insight into your KPIs, track your marketing and manage your leads. All of these things contribute to the overall efficiency of your organization.
Automation has helped my organization through automated email and text drip sequences for follow-up to ensure that no lead is ever left behind. We also use automation to set and confirm appointments with sellers. In marketing, we use it for our direct mail campaigns and responding to potential sellers on social platforms. In hiring, we use automation to help sort and communicate with potential job candidates.
Getting Started With Automation
If you are considering using automation in your business for the first time, there are a few points to consider. The first is ease of use. Make sure the software or service you are using makes your life easier, not more complicated. The second thing to consider is what's causing you the biggest pain point right now. Is there an automation out there that can solve a problem in your business? I would also recommend taking a look at where you are in your business. Are you running in 50 different directions with no help or extra time? Consider what automations you can implement to help you get your time back.
There are a several ways you can identify areas of your business to utilize automation. Look for tasks that are repetitive. Look at your manpower availability. Do you have enough people on your team right now to do all of the daily tasks that need to be done?
Automation can help when you're a small team or an individual running the business. The most important place to look is at your processes. Where are the points of failure? Where are the errors occuring? By identifying those deficiences and replacing them with automation, you can correct and Boost those processes leading to greater overall efficiency in the business.
Long-term benefits of implementing automation include increased profitability, accountability, productivity and flexibility. It can help you get your time back, reduce errors in your processes and even increase sales and lead generation. These factors contribute to your bottom line and overall health of your organization. Once you are able to identify areas where automation can help, don't be afraid to use it. In business, it's often these small adjustments that can really move you forward and lead you to success.
As digital initiatives take off in more schools and the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund windfall winds down this year, school leaders want to know that they‚Äôre getting the highest return on their investments. Technology can help K‚Äď12 schools create value and contain costs.¬†
‚ÄúThe key here is value-based budgeting,‚ÄĚ says James Watczak, a finance and technology business consultant with CDW. ‚ÄúTransparency involving costs, business impacts and usage is needed so that IT budgets can be allocated to generate the greatest return.‚ÄĚ
According to a 2023 report from Snow Software, about a third of IT leaders surveyed stated that reducing IT costs was among their top IT priorities. Further, 26 percent cited delivering digital transformation and adopting new technologies to Boost day-to-day operations as priorities.
Automated solutions offer powerful tools to drive cost optimization efforts. For example, automated tools can enable IT teams to orchestrate workloads across a district‚Äôs cloud environment, more efficiently allocating resources. Automating these processes reduces the manual effort involved in provisioning and managing complex cloud and hybrid IT environments.
By approaching their cost optimization initiatives strategically, schools can realize significant benefits, bringing them closer to achieving their short-term and long-term educational goals. The focus should go beyond short-term actions aimed at adapting to current conditions and instead establish continuous efforts to maximize outcomes. It‚Äôs important to understand that cost optimization is an ongoing process of evaluation, strategy and improvement.
‚ÄúCost optimization is not just a number on a spreadsheet. Rather, it‚Äôs a real process to analyze and understand the total cost of operations behind a decision where the benefit is actually realized,‚ÄĚ says Neil Graver, executive technology strategist with CDW. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs an ongoing process to look at the investments that have been made and calculate the ROI.‚ÄĚ
From June to September 2023, ABB analyzed more than 2,000 industrial electric motors under its Energy Appraisal service and has identified an average energy saving of 31%. That equates to more than 2.1 terawatt-hours (TWh) of potential energy savings across the 20-year lifetime of these systems.¬†
The appraisals gathered operational data from motor-driven systems in the field. A service expert compares this with the theoretical performance that could be achieved by adding a variable speed drive (VSD), resizing or modernizing the equipment.¬†
Motors audited in these appraisals were used in multiple industries, including food and beverage, chemical processing, energy and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning). They cover a range of low- and medium-voltage motor applications, such as pumps and fans. The appraisals found consistent patterns in performance between different motor-driven applications, with fans typically offering the biggest energy savings. The analysis also identified that the biggest opportunities are related to motors operating without a VSD.
Energy appraisals, such as these conducted by ABB, enable industrial businesses to pinpoint exactly where their biggest energy savings lie across fleets of motor-driven systems. They also help overcome the barrier that industrial companies face when deciding where to target investment for the best energy savings and return on investment (ROI) calculated at the current energy prices.¬†
Based on these ABB appraisals, if all the motors audited were operating in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a 2.1 TWh energy saving would be equivalent to 1.5 million tons of CO2 emissions and an ROI of six months. Alternatively, in Germany this would equate to a saving of 940,000 tons CO2 and an ROI of three months. These savings would be enough to offset the emissions of a coal plant for two months in Germany and three months in the UAE.
With more than 300 million industrial electric motors in world, the results show great potential to save energy and CO2 emissions, especially considering that more than half of the motors appraised were at least 20 years old and have been superseded by modern high-efficiency technology.¬†
‚ÄúOur results show that it is possible to do the right thing for the planet, as well as for businesses. Thus, finding an average of 31% energy savings across 2,000 motors shows that electric motor-driven systems are a great untapped opportunity to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon society,‚ÄĚ said Erich Labuda, president of ABB‚Äôs Motion Services business.
ABB‚Äôs findings support ‚ÄúThe Case for Industrial Energy Efficiency‚ÄĚ recently published by the Energy Efficiency Movement. This report aims to deliver corporate leaders key insights into 10 measures that rely on mature technologies, have a meaningful impact on costs and emissions and can be deployed quickly without complex or expensive projects.
The exact excitement and growth around ChatGPT and similar large language model-based (LLMs) tools will fundamentally change how everyday customers interact with banks and other financial services providers. According to recent research, 85 percent of financial services organizations currently utilize artificial intelligence (AI) in some form within their company, whether it‚Äôs used to collect data or serve as a customer service chatbot.
Financial institutions must adapt to the rapidly evolving technological landscape by utilizing advancements in AI, machine learning (ML) and other new services and products pushed to market by their competitors. However, a necessary investment, with time and capital, is required to achieve these benefits.
Decision-makers in financial services organizations need to pay attention to the challenging economic environment that pressures them to protect the bottom line while delivering the quality and scope of services customers expect. Therefore, many banks must take direct and deliberate steps to significantly revise their technology stacks and operational processes to control current costs, optimize near-term revenue and position themselves for future growth.
Automation will be a key tool to reduce the cost of critical processes. However, automation itself often requires modernization of the underlying technology infrastructure. If done correctly, this digital transformation has the potential to help banks build their competitive advantage.
However, there are challenges associated with using AI and automation within finance. These include regulatory compliance issues, data privacy concerns and the potential for bias or discrimination. The industry must emphasize responsible and ethical usage of the technology.
Given the vast number of changes and challenges this optimization can require, careful planning and execution are the keys to success. The essential investment areas for banks to effectively implement automation and create a seamless, personalized customer experience include:
Investing in these target areas will help banks automate their processes and future-proof their business in an increasingly competitive landscape. By adopting this roadmap, financial institutions can lower costs, enhance efficiency and deliver superior customer experiences, positioning themselves for long-term success.
Creative thinking is fast becoming one of the most valuable attributes that businesses look for in their workforce, according to Linkedin. The company‚Äôs 2021 Workplace Learning Report, which highlights data from more than 660 million professionals and 20 million jobs, recently revealed that creativity is the most in-demand soft skill for the second consecutive year.
While it‚Äôs clear that creativity can add huge value to businesses, the always-on nature of our working lives means that it is increasingly challenging to tap into our creative sides day-to-day. One recent study by London Research found that content creators only spend about 48% of their time actually creating content, with the rest being spent on administrative tasks associated with content creation. Meanwhile, researchers at the University of California found that the typical worker is interrupted roughly every three minutes, and it can take as long as 23 minutes to recover after every interruption.
In exact years, we‚Äôve increasingly seen new technologies such as automation emerge as a way to tackle daily work distractions. Founded in 2013, digital asset management company Bynder has worked with brands including Spotify, Five Guys and Lacoste on scaling and automating elements of their content creation process. By removing time-consuming tasks from creatives‚Äô plates, the company‚Äôs platform allows teams to both respond quickly and reduce overall costs associated with global campaigns, which need to be tweaked to address cultural nuances but maintain overall brand consistency.
Marketing and creative teams in particular could benefit from using creative automation tools to overcome time-consuming, low-value tasks ‚Äď whether it is tweaking banner ads, making small changes to campaign videos, or editing the copy on a Google ad. As a brand and visual designer at Monzo, Pamela Giani‚Äôs role involves working closely with product designers and marketers to create tailored visuals for the online bank‚Äôs mobile and web experiences, along with creative assets for marketing campaigns, performance and social media.
‚ÄúUnfortunately, we don‚Äôt really spend all of our work time immersed in the creative process,‚ÄĚ says Giani. ‚ÄúWe are quite a small team that works across the company on different levels, so we jump from many meetings to workshops, from creative brainstorming to execution. We‚Äôre adapting to different contexts quite quickly depending on what area of the business we support, so there‚Äôs always a considerable amount of time that we spend making changes to the designs and discussing the output of our work, and it‚Äôs all topped up with a long list of deliverables.‚ÄĚ
While automation isn‚Äôt something Monzo has put into practice yet, the in-house team are having ongoing discussions about the potential benefits. ‚ÄúI think automation can be great to allow us to spend more time on creative thinking and skip the manual and low skill-based tasks,‚ÄĚ says Giani. ‚ÄúThere‚Äôs nothing more time consuming than making sure that all the files for the launch of a product or a campaign are exported at the correct size, and it‚Äôs extremely important that, once we make changes to one file, all the rest of them need to be up to date. Because humans make mistakes, I think machines allow for a higher level of consistency and quality.‚ÄĚ
Automation tools would also be beneficial when it comes to producing some of Monzo‚Äôs more data driven campaigns, Giani adds. ‚ÄúIf it‚Äôs used for data driven content, it opens new possibilities in terms of creative outputs. Imagine you want to create 15,000 videos based on real-time data and publish them online on different platforms. That is just impossible to achieve without automation.‚ÄĚ
As buy-now-pay-later service Klarna‚Äôs UK head of marketing, AJ Coyne oversees a huge amount of content creation on a daily basis ‚Äď from in-app assets such as wishlists and shoppable events to national campaigns. ‚ÄúOur operating model at Klarna means that we are very agile, we work in hundreds of small teams, each focused on solving a particular problem,‚ÄĚ he says.
Klarna is already putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to creative automation, having recently acquired a company that improves the content creation services it can offer to retail partners across the app itself, its social channels and the wider internet. ‚ÄúFor Klarna, the benefit is for the consumer. Providing new ways to innovate with content for them that allows us to better cater to their needs,‚ÄĚ says Coyne.
‚ÄúConsumers are looking for inspiration, personalised recommendations and flexible payment options in the places they consume content. And this technology allows us to create both engaging and curated experiences that are shoppable, so drive action and growth. The role for our teams is to ensure we‚Äôre connecting creative thinking to leverage new technologies with impact,‚ÄĚ he adds.
While new technologies such as automation could revolutionise the way we work in the coming years, one question that remains unanswered is where to draw the line between the role of creative tools and creatives themselves. How can we be sure that machines won‚Äôt replace humans altogether? ‚ÄúI think that very much depends on the level of automation that you inject in each product, and there‚Äôs definitely multiple challenges that lie in the balance between automation and creativity,‚ÄĚ says Giani.
In Monzo‚Äôs case, Giani believes finding the right balance will be crucial in ensuring that the brand stays true to its roots, and the same principle applies for countless other businesses considering investing in automation tools. ‚ÄúWe put a lot of effort into producing content that is really relevant for our customers and I think the risk with automation is, especially if it‚Äôs adopted on a high level, the communication can become flat and unexciting. We don‚Äôt want to fall into the trap of overproducing and getting lost in the veracity of the web, I think we want to be in control,‚ÄĚ she says.
‚ÄúI think the balance with automation technologies is really using them as a tool to help us be on top of our creative process, rather than submitting ourselves to the technology itself. Another risk in automation is that technologies in the end become a part of the process of creation, and it can end up with them dictating how we create, rather than serving our creativity and imagination. We have to ensure that there‚Äôs a level of personalisation in the process of creating and, at the heart of our mission, I think we need to navigate new technologies with this responsibility.‚ÄĚ
Bynder is the creative content engine powering digital experiences for some of the world‚Äôs biggest brands like Spotify, PUMA, and Five Guys. Bynder‚Äôs digital asset management platform helps teams collaborate in the cloud, get content to market faster, and maximize the impact of marketing assets. To learn more, visit bynder.com
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Entrepreneur who chased success against all odds. Proud Father. Author of "How To Grow Your Startup And Small Business"¬†Quarterly Global¬†
Marketing automation can help a business make the most of their online marketing efforts. Today's business owner is busy, and not every small business can afford an entire marketing department. Automation is designed to streamline the marketing process and provide a more hands-free experience.
With marketing automation, sales teams can focus more on nurturing customers and leads, and customer service people can follow up and make connections with new clients to help them find their way. From email campaigns to pop-up ads, business owners can automate just about every aspect of marketing.
With more than 10 years of experience in public relations, marketing, advertising and marketing automation solutions, and as the founder of Quarterly Global and various other marketing and advertising-focused enterprises, I believe this guide will help other business owners learn everything they need to know about marketing automation.
What is marketing automation?
Put simply, marketing automation is the process of putting various marketing tasks or efforts on an automated schedule or platform. Rather than implementing all marketing efforts manually, businesses can set schedules and deploy multiple tools to manage and monitor all marketing efforts. This can help make online marketing more straightforward and more efficient.
According to Salesforce, those who use automation can see conversion rates increase by 30% or more. Marketing automation can also help employees save time, increase productivity in sales by more than 14% and reduce marketing overhead by more than 12%.
And with scalable technology growing in availability, there are more solutions for small-business owners and entrepreneurs who don't have a corporate budget or marketing department.
Working Smarter, Not Harder, With Automation
Marketing automation can make things easier for the business and its marketing department. Automation tools are available for landing pages, email marketing, lead management, analytics, social marketing, pop-up conversions and much more.
Through my company's own automation strategies, I know there are a few common use-cases for automation you might consider, such as using automation to create dynamic content that is "smart" or "adaptive." This type of strategy involves using content in ads, emails or websites that change based on user behavior or preferences. This creates a fully customized experience for the user on the spot.
A few other potential use cases for automation may include:
‚ÄĘ Automating team collaborations: Some automation tools can aid in collaborative efforts by transmitting information in real-time, which helps departments communicate and keep everyone on the same page.¬†
‚ÄĘ Setting up automated nurturing: Not every user is ready to become an immediate customer. However, they might be prepared to learn more information, get a coupon or sign up for an email newsletter. Automated nurturing tools can help companies create a variety of conversions along the sales funnel based on a specific user's behavior.
‚ÄĘ Using email sequencing for follow-up: Creating a sequence that nurtures the lead and invites them to explore more can be especially helpful in a time when people are inundated by spam and junk newsletters.
‚ÄĘ Automating list segmentation: Manual segmentation is possible, but it is time-consuming and can also result in errors, which is why some might choose to use automated tools for this task.
‚ÄĘ Automating analytics: Business owners can't measure the success of any marketing efforts without analytics and metrics. There are affordable and free resources online to measure campaigns that can help ensure reports are current and data is fresh.¬†
Choosing The Right Tools For Your Business
Most marketing automation tools will offer some benefits to almost every business. However, some are typically going to be more useful or relevant than others. Here are some questions to ask yourself when searching for the best fit for your company:
‚ÄĘ Is it a full-service automation platform? Business owners don't necessarily have to choose this type of automation tool. However, if they intend to automate multiple marketing elements, it could be easier to have everything in one place.¬†
‚ÄĘ Does the automation software include the resources that are required? Although most will cover a variety of automated tasks, some limit their offerings. Review the tools and resources out there to find the ones that deliver precisely what your business needs.¬†
‚ÄĘ Am I receiving a one-time charge or a regular fee? Some automation tools can be free to use with limited access. Others might have a one-time use or purchase fee. Still, others may have a monthly or semi-annual fee involved.
‚ÄĘ What challenges can I expect along the way? Be particular in analyzing whether the goals of the automation tool are the same as your business's goals. For example, it wouldn‚Äôt make sense to implement an email campaign autoresponder if improvement in website sign-ups is what is desired. That would require automation of a pop-up campaign or another type of conversion optimization.
The numbers don't lie: Those using marketing automation may see improvements in engagement, conversions, sales, productivity and other aspects of business operations, therefore creating a win-win situation for everyone involved. Automation can also increase a company's return on investment and free up your sales team's time so they can focus on nurturing relationships and working through the customer life cycle.
While there is a wide selection of solutions from which to choose, it's important to ensure the solution you're considering makes sense for your business. In doing so, organizations can adopt useful automation software and offer an engagement-focused approach to building and growing customer relationships.
On the eve of each new year, people commit to making lifestyle changes they believe will usher in personal satisfaction and happiness. But while an entire industry exists to help people meet these pressing goals, most individuals still flounder. How many times can a person try to lose weight, quit smoking, cut back alcohol consumption, or try to find a more suitable purpose in life? One answer: As many times as it takes to get it right.
In contemporary parlance, the term self-help is associated with actions and interventions that a person can take on their own or with guided literature, as opposed to working with a clinician. Self-help can help you think about your goals with a big picture view. It encourages you to, for example, outline your short-term and long-term goals, and whether they are realistic and achievable. Self-help can also help you be more systematic in the way you approach the changes you want to see. For starters, making a list of the benefits of achieving your goals can be motivational, and setting a timeframe for meeting both short-term and long-term goals helps, too.
David Greenfield, Automation World
Ira Moskowitz, ARM Institute
What this does is provide a multiplier effect on our public funds to advance these technologies where they need to be advanced, with the government coming in with their share. Industry and academia come with their share too, and so you have a multiplier effect to do something that would be much more expensive for either industry or government to do alone.
David Greenfield, Automation World
Ira Moskowitz, ARM Institute
So even if you're not part of the defense industrial base, when you join the institute and want to work on a project, you get that leverage, that multiplier effect of help from government and academia.
For the DoD side, the institute brings in these entities who have never served the interests of the DoD before‚ÄĒthey weren't part of their supply chains. Now they actually become part of the supply chain because they're working on projects that have a defense orientation but are useful to industry.¬†
As an example of this, FedEx is one of our members. And FedEx is typically not part of the defense industrial base and yet they led some of our projects that were very impactful for industry and very helpful to the Department of Defense.
David Greenfield, Automation World
Ira Moskowitz, ARM Institute
We also get new supply chains formed vertically. So, you'll get a big OEM contractor like Raytheon or Lockheed Martin and a major university working with a startup that has a bleeding edge technology that they never would have met before. It's about creating these unique partnerships and unique interactions. There really isn't any other model other like this outside of the Manufacturing USA network.
David Greenfield, Automation World
Ira Moskowitz, ARM Institute
Most of the projects we get involved with have two-fold benefits to manufacturers: One involves doing things that either can be done better by a robot or taking care of a step in a manufacturing process that may be very dangerous or difficult for a human. Humans are increasingly valuable now because it's so hard to get skilled labor for manufacturing. The other aspect addresses industrial workforce issues. A lot of manufacturers today need more capacity and they need to expand but they can't find the people, and so they need to start automating in order to keep up with demand.¬†
Coming at the projects from these two aspects, you get a lot of AI and machine learning solutions. I'll deliver you an example of something that is completely dependent on AI and it's one of those tasks that human beings were struggling to do.
Large jet planes have big air inlets that require specific maintenance. To work on these surfaces inside the air inlets, a human had to wear a protective suit and crawl inside the inlet to do the job. It took a long time and was very difficult.
Now, we‚Äôve developed an autonomous robot that connects with a long extension arm to go into that inlet and, through machine learning, understand the inlet‚Äôs curved surfaces, understand which parts are damaged and then handle the repairs and maintenance as needed.
By the way, the human that was doing this job before is now outside the inlet helping to operate and maintain that robot.¬†
David Greenfield, Automation World
Ira Moskowitz, ARM Institute
One of the most common things you'll see in these companies is a robot arm sitting in the corner somewhere because they thought they needed it and they bought it. And now it's sitting in the corner.
Because of this, one of the first things that small and medium-sized manufacturers need to do is to get help on triaging what their problem is. They may think it's an automation problem or robotics problem, but it may not be. They may have other inefficiencies that need to be dealt with that sound like it requires a robot, but actually the root cause could be something else. So, the very first thing to do is an engineering analysis of the line and verify if you'll actually need a robot.
The second thing is to understand how the robot interacts with the rest of the line. You may be able to automate a step previously done by a human by using a robot, but it could disrupt the entire way that part of production operates. So, you really have to think about how you reengineer the line so that that robot can function efficiently and the rest of the processes can continue to function as needed. You may find that you need some adjustment to processes before and after the robot installation to make that whole process work well.
And the third thing is to realize that robots need maintenance and they need software upgrades. So, you're going to have to find a way to make sure that you're reskilling your staff in order to maintain this.
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