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There are many cloud services that allow users to create their own data entry screens, such as workflow systems and simple database systems. Such systems provide a selective data entry function as a means of data entry.

The selective entry function is a very convenient feature that allows the user to complete data entry by selecting the appropriate choice from a list of prepared options.

The selective input function has the advantage of not only reducing the time and effort required for inputting data, but also preventing incorrect input. However, the selective input function is only useful if the choices are properly maintained.

In the article Reducing Maintenance Costs with Choice Master Data, we introduced a system in which a single Choice Master data file is used for options entry functions that are used in multiple operations, thereby reducing the maintenance effort.

This article introduces the automation of the updating process, which solves the problem of having to frequently update the master data.

Why Automatically Updating Choice Master Data is Necessary

Please see the diagram on the maintenance costs of alternatives, also presented in the article Reducing Maintenance Costs with Choice Master Data.

Maintenance cost of options – relationship between frequency of updates and number of operations

In the above diagram, the chart shows what the maintenance cost of the options would be, depending on:

  • The frequency of choice updates
  • The number of operations requiring the option

Preparing the master data for an option can only solve the problem if the number of operations requiring that option is large.

If you have to update choices once a day or once every few hours, preparing Choice Master Data is not enough.

Updating the Choice Master Data is a two-step process.

  • Prepare new Choice Master Data
  • Upload the prepared Choice Master data to the system

Doing this every other day or every few hours is a major hassle. It also increases the likelihood of mistakes.

To solve these issues, the task of updating the Choice Master data should be automated.

Choice Master Data Automatic Update Mechanism

The actual mechanism for automatically updating the Choice Master data varies from system to system. Here we introduce the mechanism provided in the cloud-based workflow Questetra BPM Suite.

In the previous section we mentioned that updating the Choice Master data is a two-step process

  • Prepare new Choice Master Data
  • Upload the prepared Choice Master data into the system

Questetra BPM Suite allows you to draw and set up this flow in a workflow diagram to automate the updating of the Choice Master Data.

For example, in the following workflow diagram Choice Master Data is updated from data registered in the kintone application, a simple cloud-based database.

Choice Master Automatic Update Workflow

This workflow ensures that the next task is automatically processed at 5:00 daily.

  • Download data stored in the kintone app
  • Register the downloaded data as Choice Master Data

In this example, data from the kintone application is downloaded, but other data registered in Google spreadsheets can also be targeted.

You can also download data registered in other cloud services (e.g. Salesforce) by writing your own scripts.

Questetra BPM Suite allows you to build a system in which the Choice Master file is automatically updated by simply drawing the flow up to the registration of the Choice Master in the workflow diagram and making simple settings.

Summary

The selective entry feature on data entry screens is a very useful feature, but the maintenance cost of that option can be significant.

If the update frequency is high, the update process can be automated to reduce the amount of time and effort required and to prevent errors.

With the cloud-based workflow Questetra BPM Suite you can build a system in which the Choice Master File is automatically updated by simply drawing the procedures for updating the choices in a workflow diagram and making simple settings.

If you are interested in Questetra BPM Suite, please sign up for a 60-day free trial.

That’s all for this time!


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