Intelligent Automation Helps Santa Bring Cheer As We End 2020, a Very Tough Year!
December 16, 2020 · 4 min read
By Kyle Hoback, Director of Market Enablement at WorkFusion
Santa Claus knows bringing holiday cheer is extra important in 2020, as the world is still navigating a global pandemic. Thanks to his successful deployments of Intelligent Automation from WorkFusion, Mr. Claus has been increasing the elves’ capacity at the workshop over recent years (see: 2019, 2018, and 2017 reports). He is confident his team will deliver on their Christmas Eve tradition, despite some, ahem, oddities created by COVID-19.
Luckily, the North Pole has maintained a coronavirus-free “bubble,” taking extra precautions for his annual sleigh ride. Unfortunately, Father Christmas has seen his data-collection methods change this year because of limitations on trips to shopping malls, remote-schooling policies, and extra quarantine protocols for all those Elf-on-the-Shelf field agents.
Always looking to get the most out of his WorkFusion software, Santa has spent 2020 implementing solutions similar to what WorkFusion deploys at banks, including Adverse Media Monitoring, Name Screening Alert Review, and Email Intake.
News & social data helps determine ‘naughty or nice?’
During a normal year, Santa collects insights from schools, sports events, arts programs, and other opportunities where kids interact in groups. With COVID-19 keeping families inside their homes, online data has become an essential resource for data about adverse activity, so he can create that “naughty or nice?” list.
WorkFusion’s Adverse Media Monitoring solution has been very helpful for enabling elves to collect, prioritize, and analyze news articles (and even text from social media), to identify which kids will go on the “naughty” list. Without automation, elves spent 20–30 minutes to research each child, sourcing from news reports, filtering out all the non-material content, and creating a report to escalate to the rest of the team.
With automation tuned to Santa’s specific needs, Adverse Media Monitoring now takes only 2–3 minutes to research every child, allowing the elf team to complete 100 screens in less than 10 minutes.
Validating ‘naughty’ or ‘nice’ against other lists for accuracy
For additional indicators of naughty/nice status, Saint Nick receives lists from schools, daycare centers, parents, and other credible resources that report on misbehaving children. Some of these lists only include data like name, gender, birth date, citizenship, and country of residence — these don’t map directly to Santa’s database, so elves must spend a lot of time comparing these other lists with Santa’s.
By structuring data in the reports through Document Intelligence capabilities, Santa and team have data which the Name Screening Alert Review solution can use to match information and update children’s records. Although Santa and his elves have very different needs than banks identifying sanctioned entities and politically exposed persons (PEP), what they share is common data attributes and the common pain of huge data volumes.
Similar to banks, Santa’s automation of Name Screening Alert Review has reduced over 40% of the manual work, freeing the elves to focus their time elsewhere.
Handling higher volumes of emails and reports — no problem!
A big challenge in the North Pole is working through changes in two major sources of data: in-person Santa visits and nightly reports from each Elf-on-the-Shelf.
Thanks to lockdowns and social distancing, few kids will be sitting on Santa’s knee to share toy requests and demonstrate their behavior. Many are submitting emails and other electronic notes instead. Further, no Elf-on-the-Shelf is allowed into Santa’s workshop until after Christmas and a quarantine. They each must send extra detailed reports from just outside the bubble — significantly increasing the amount of data to handle this year.
Here, Kris Kringle automates a process they call Email Intake in KYC Refresh (“Know Your Children”). Banks call this “Know Your Customer” but the differences are slight. The automation still involves extracting specific information (toy requests) from email body text and attachments, matching email addresses to existing personal records (children’s residential addresses), and classifying certain indicators (naughty or nice?).
Comparably to other WorkFusion customers using Email Intake automation, Santa has removed 79% of elves’ manual-handling time across all emails and reports.
Survive 2020 and thrive in 2021
Like much of the world, Santa Claus is looking forward to just getting through 2020 and moving on to a less chaotic 2021. But first, he needs to make his annual delivery trip. Santa reports he is very thankful and proud to fully leverage WorkFusion’s Intelligent Automation Cloud solutions to navigate this challenging year. Always looking at the bright side, Santa is confident his processes will continue to yield ever-better results as bots continue to learn, his elves focus their skills on high-value toymaking, and children around the world enjoy a better holiday experience. Ho, ho, ho!!!