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RPA Technical Insights, Part 17: How to Keep an Eye on Your Automation

RPA Technical Insights, Part 17: How to Keep an Eye on Your Automation

David Brain February 01, 2017Blog

In security, activity logging concerns the reporting and auditing of RPA processes. This feature is essential to tracking data compliance and reinforcing security measures. Logging also provides detailed information that can be used to improve process efficiency. While this topic was briefly covered in one of our earlier blogs, we will now explore it in depth. You will find that activity logging has a wide range of uses that makes it very useful in both security and process improvement.

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Global Process Tracking

Enterprise-level RPA tools set logging actions at a global level, which means that every possible action in the automation can be tracked and time-stamped when the feature is activated. Typically, RPA robots record all activity on a step-by-step basis and store it in a session log. This global process tracking provides a fully operational audit trail, but the detailed action logs can also be used to extract actionable analytics, to be displayed in a centralized control panel. Thus, with comprehensive governance measures, your business can ensure security compliance while bolstering efficiency.

The Benefits of Logging Configuration

To fit your business needs, log messages can often be configured in terms of the information they convey. For example, log message configuration can help administrators filter metrics based on relevance and data governance standards. This enables your business to streamline the review process for especially complex automations.

Custom configuration can also allow your business to format log data (in terms of file type and structure) to be leveraged with business auditing and intelligence tools. Populating relevant data into your incumbent intelligence tool and team is helpful in long term understanding of RPA impact and seeing trends.

Built-in Compliance Measures

One reason to look for robust logging within enterprise-level RPA tools is that the functionality can be utilized to assist with process compliance. With human teams, businesses set up a process and attempt to ensure the compliance of documented steps. However, it is impractical to expect teams to always follow exact documentation, making it hard to validate compliance.  Once a RPA process is built it will always follow the exact same steps (always compliant), along with providing the logged steps to prove that the developed steps have always been followed.

Visual Logs

Another audit control mechanism are the less-common visual logs. Unlike the typical text data stored in activity logs, visual logs are a series of screenshots that are created for each action in an automation during the recording phase. While they provide a handy reference image as to what each action is intended to perform, they are most commonly used to for auditing and debugging purposes.

Visual logs can be very helpful when looking to debug an issue caused by a difference within a target system that has not been captured or introduced by an update.  The use of visual logs needs to be thought about carefully due to the information that can inadvertently be captured within them (customer personal data for example).

Summary

In terms of security and optimization, logging is one of the most powerful features in RPA. Global process tracking ensures that all actions in the automation are accountable and auditable. Meanwhile, features like logging configuration enable businesses to fit logged data to their standards. In fact, the top RPA tools are built with enterprise data needs in mind, providing a wide variety of data governance standards. These factors ensure that your digital workforce fits security requirements and remains fully auditable. To learn more about security measure in RPA, or other topics, visit our blog.

This is part 17 of a 22 part blog series by the leading experts at Symphony Ventures. It addresses how to choose the right RPA tools for your business needs. Drawing from our global team’s extensive knowledge in automation consulting, implementation, and managed services across a range of diverse industries, we’ve drilled into the technical criteria to consider when selecting which RPA software best enables your company’s digital operation strategy. Read Part 16, Why Efficiency Goes Hand-in-hand with Security.

Be sure not to miss part 18 of RPA Technical Insights, where we have a look at the various configuration tools found in the RPA world.

Tags: Robotic Process Automation, Blog, Compliance, David Brain, Process Tracking, RPA, Technical Insights

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