5 Benefits of Reports in No-Code Forms and Workflows

Wednesday, July 6th, 2022 by Ricardo Otero

 

Reporting on no-code workflows and forms

Today’s enterprises run on data. Whether your organization is a financial services firm, an energy company, a university, or a healthcare system, you depend on data to understand trends, measure performance, and make decisions.

A no-code application development tool can help. An effective no-code app builder gives you capabilities to both report on and visualize the data you’ve captured in a form or survey, and to track and report on the performance of an application you’ve automated with no-code.

In fact, reporting is among the top reasons organizations are embracing no-code/low-code (NC/LC) application development, according to a TechRepublic survey. The study found that no-code tools are helping businesses automate workflows (17% of respondents), create new applications (15%), speed up development time (15%), and automate data collection and reporting (14%).

How No-code Reporting Works

A no-code app builder enables non-technical users to quickly and easily create online forms and workflow applications. Team members simply drag and drop form or workflow objects onto a virtual canvas to design a user interface, define form behaviors, map a workflow, and build reports – all without coding.

You can then use your no-code tool to create real-time reports and visualizations to analyze data and communicate insights. Simply place the reporting objects onto the canvas and identify the data sources.

The tool allows you to display a wealth of information, including bar charts, pie charts, line graphs, tables, cross-tabulations, gauges, filters, and more. You can instantly drill down into details, all the way to the field that originally collected the data.

Reports enable you to monitor the performance of your no-code workflow processes in real-time, providing complete, end-to-end visibility of the process for key stakeholders. You can also leverage reports to understand data collected through no-code forms and surveys, and summarize data across multiple forms and workflows into a single report for broader visibility. You can even integrate with databases, core systems, and statistical packages that support additional reporting options.

 No-code Reporting Advantages

The reporting capabilities in an effective no-code app builder deliver numerous business benefits:

1. Uncover trends and gain new customer and employee insights.

A no-code tool lets you create feedback forms and surveys to gather information about and input from customers or employees. You can gain new insights into employee attitudes and expectations, so you can create policies and implement programs that build engagement and boost productivity. You can also find out from customers and prospects what they’re looking for in products and services, how they view your brand, and how they’re influenced by competitors and market trends.

With no-code reports and visualizations, you can quickly home in on previously unrecognized demands or trends that help you optimize your workforce and build your business.

2. Digitize and automate routine administrative tasks.

No-code empowers you to transform paper-based, manual workloads into streamlined, digitized processes. The team members in your lines of business – the people who understand your operations best – can build their own workflows to get their jobs done faster, easier, and better.

Many of those routine tasks involve reporting and can yield significant benefits. For example, the Vasalia Unified School District in California’s San Joaquin Valley uses a no-code tool to automate a wide range of procedures – everything from substitute-teacher requests to incident reports. The district reduced labor and printing costs, improved record-keeping and reporting, and quickly achieved a positive return on investment (ROI) in no-code.

3. Maintain and demonstrate internal and regulatory compliance.

A no-code tool can allow users to digitize a portion of a workflow for an incremental improvement or encode end-to-end workflows for even greater automation. The resulting workflows can enable data capture, notifications, escalations, reporting, and more. They can even integrate with existing systems to support broader processes and ensure both efficiency and compliance.

For instance, the State of Oregon’s Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman (LTCO) ensures the quality of care for residents of 2,500 nursing and assisted-living facilities. The agency uses no-code to reduce errors and accelerate data capture and reporting to state and federal authorities. Reports also give users insights into trending issues, investigator workload, open cases, and more.

4. Support remote and hybrid work strategies.

No-code apps are an effective way to optimize remote work – an increasing requirement for many organizations. No-code tools deliver robust interfaces that make business applications easier to use. They assemble sophisticated workflows that automate and accelerate both internal and customer-facing processes. And they provide secure forms for fast data capture, data sharing, and reporting. These capabilities keep your employees informed and your operations moving – no matter where employees are located.

5. Sustain consistent processes across multiple departments and sites.

No-code empowers you to create electronic workflows that extend across office locations and scale to support even thousands of users. Cross-function workflows address a wide variety of scenarios, from resource requests to incident reports. You can customize workflows to reflect local practices or enforce standardized policies, and automatically centralize reports in corporate systems.

The University of Portland leverages no-code to build forms for use across campus. This enables various departments to meet their own needs for forms and reporting while ensuring consistency across the institution. No-code also supports a centralized data-collection system that both saves time and allows the university to maintain data and reporting standards. Users can manipulate and view reports on the centralized data, leading to further process improvements.

As data grows even more central to business operations and competitive advantage, reports and visualizations will empower more of your employees and business functions. A no-code tool makes reports easier and faster to create and consume – and more likely to help drive your success.

5 Ways to Optimize Process Workflows With No-Code

Friday, May 20th, 2022 by Ricardo Otero

 

Optimizing workflow automations with no-code

 

Workflows are how your employees get their jobs done. If your workflows are efficient and effective, then your employees are more productive and engaged, your customers enjoy better experiences, and your business operates to its full potential.

That’s why a growing number of organizations are turning to no-code application development to optimize their workflows. With a no-code workflow builder, non-technical employees in your lines of business (LoBs) have the capabilities they need to quickly and easily create efficient, digitized workflows that turbocharge your business.

Going With the No-code Workflow

Here are five workflows you can optimize with no-code in your company, based on real-world success stories:

1. Customer and employee surveys – Electronic surveys are a great way to understand employee needs or customer demands. A no-code tool can equip you to design professional, customizable surveys to benefit your workforce or drive leads that increase sales.

A form builder supports creation of sophisticated survey forms. The workflow tool itself enables you to quickly and consistently execute the survey, saving costs and improving response rates. You can make survey execution part of an extended workflow that avoids manual errors and misplaced survey responses. In fact, at least one professional-services firm uses no-code to create marketing surveys as a service to its Fortune 500 clients.

2. New customer account creation – Setting up new customer accounts can be time-consuming and cumbersome. A no-code tool can improve the experience for employees and customers alike.

No-code lets you design a new-account workflow that requires zero training. You can enforce a standardized process for consistency and completeness. A smart form autofills relevant fields to speed the process and reduce manual errors.

The digitized workflow can capture customer information at your main location or remotely in the field. You can complete forms without an internet link and then automatically upload results when a connection is available. You can then route customer data to authorized stakeholders for review and approval, and automatically integrate data with corporate systems.

3. Employee onboarding – New-hire onboarding should follow a standardized process, and the data it captures needs to be accurate. A no-code tool can help.

You can create a workflow to cover new-hire data gathering, document collection, forms processing, compliance and more. Employees can fill out electronic forms, with the results automatically integrated with your HR database. You can even include user authentication, identity verification and digital signatures.

Workflows can be consolidated with major HR systems, with audit trails to ensure confirmation and compliance. Indeed, no-code is so effective for onboarding that professional staffing firms use it to optimize their core business of placing employees with clients.

4. Budget requests and approvals – When LoBs submit budget requests, they can’t be delayed by manual, inconsistent processes. No-code can standardize and accelerate the approval workflow, eliminate budget-request bottlenecks that slow operations, and improve business compliance.

No-code can reduce the time to process budget requests, from origination to final approval.  Team members can create and modify request forms, without the need for help from IT. Authentication protocols allow only authorized personnel to submit, approve or deny requests.

The workflow can route requests to stakeholders for approval and signature capture. It can also notify requesters of workflow status. You can integrate the workflow with your financial systems and accommodate manual interventions as necessary.

5. Remote-site process integration – Many organizations maintain satellite offices close to where they go to market. Often these sites manage their own manual processes. Digitizing those workflows can benefit the local offices and your entire enterprise.

No-code empowers you to create electronic workflows that extend across remote sites and scale to support thousands of users. Multi-site, cross-LoB workflows address a wide variety of scenarios, from resource requests to incident reports. You can customize workflows to reflect local practices or enforce standardized policies, and automatically centralize request and report data in corporate systems.

No-code even includes the capability to track and measure workflow performance to validate process improvements and compliance. Most importantly, it eliminates one-off manual processes in remote sites, reducing processing times, saving costs on administrative tasks, and making your entire business run smoother.

Driving Workflow Innovation

Those are just a few examples of how no-code can transform your workflows. Organizations across industries – including healthcare, insurance, energy, retail, financial services, public sector and education – are deploying no-code to achieve similar innovations. They’re using no-code workflows across departments, including HR, finance, sales, marketing, IT, operations and customer support. They’ve proven you can achieve advantages in any situation where you need to, including:

  • Replacing static paper or PDF forms
  • Accelerating operations
  • Integrating processes
  • Ensuring compliance
  • Avoiding manual errors
  • Reducing costs
  • Serving customers better

Ultimately, workflows created with a no-code tool empower your organization to:

  • Reduce time for workflow design and deployment
  • Minimize dependence on technical resources
  • Improve communication and compliance
  • Gain better visibility into operations
  • Realize substantial cost savings
  • Equip employees to do their jobs more efficiently and serve customers more effectively

No-code workflow automation can accelerate your operations and give your organization a new competitive advantage. And with an effective no-code tool, you can achieve those goals faster and more cost-effectively than you thought possible.

How No-Code Benefits Your IT and Development Teams

Friday, May 6th, 2022 by Ricardo Otero

 

No-code’s benefits can impact IT and Development teams

Your IT department and the end users it supports can sometimes seem like they’re at odds. After all, your techies know digital – the latest devices and apps and best practices for getting the most out of them. Your business users, in contrast, don’t always have the same grasp of technology – though they certainly depend on it to do their jobs.

So what happens when you throw no-code application development into the mix?

A no-code app builder allows non-technical employees to create their own applications quickly and easily. They can build interfaces, forms and workflows simply by dragging and dropping reusable software elements onto a digital canvas. The tool then automatically assembles a functional, stable and secure application.

Make no mistake: No-code is the future of software creation. Two-thirds of application development will be achieved through no-code/low-code (NC/LC) tools by 2024, Gartner predicts. And 82% of companies say “citizen developers” are increasingly important to their business, TechRepublic reports. But are IT pros buying in?

Easing the Pressure on IT

You’d think IT departments might not like ceding some control of application creation. But the fact is, IT is embracing no-code in a big way. A whopping 92% of IT leaders are comfortable with business users taking advantage of non-code/low-code tools.

There are several reasons for this no-code enthusiasm. First and foremost is that no-code alleviates the demand for professional application developers. And expert developers are in short supply – to the point that the dearth of developers is slowing down business.

In fact, 86% of IT decision-makers say the biggest impediment to digital transformation is a lack of developers. This supply-demand gap is delaying digital transformation projects by an average 8.1 months. As a direct result, NC/LC is becoming a priority for 96% of IT decision makers.

Expert application development remains crucial to many businesses, of course. Yet traditional development processes require months of coding, reviews and testing before even the simplest software is ready for use. And while methodologies such as DevOps aim to accelerate processes, even DevOps-enabled development involves many manual, time-consuming steps.

With no-code, citizen developers alleviate development teams from less-complex, workflow-specific application creation. Line-of-business (LoB) employees using no-code follow a simple, proven process to quickly assemble their own secure and stable software. There’s no need for extensive training, technical expertise or lengthy development cycles. Pro development teams gain the time and energy to focus on coding enterprise-wide, mission-critical software.

Empowering Application Developers

But your software development team can also take advantage of no-code. Developers use no-code to quickly create robust, secure interfaces, forms and workflows that underlie more extensive applications. The reusable components of no-code have already gone through quality assurance and testing for security. They’re reliable, they integrate with popular systems, and they scale for higher performance.

Without the need to manually code entire programs from scratch, developers have more time to create sophisticated, function-specific or industry-targeted software. That can help you digitize processes and differentiates your company from the competition. 

In fact, 2.57 million developers, or 11% of the development population, are now no-code or low-code specialists. It’s no wonder even the DevOps community is embracing no-code for its ability to “enable experienced developers to accelerate deployment and reduce IT backlogs.”

Making IT More Effective

As more citizen developers experience the benefits of no-code, it’s important for your IT team to retain ownership of software governance. Your IT function should vet the no-code platforms you deploy. IT should also make sure business users understand when an LoB-created no-code workflow provides the best solution, and when enterprise-scale software developed by your professional team makes more sense.

Yet governance is another area where no-code helps IT – especially when it comes to “shadow IT.” Shadow IT occurs when LoBs circumvent corporate policies to purchase their own software. Unapproved software can result in high costs, because one-off software purchases don’t benefit from economies of scale. Shadow IT can also introduce cybersecurity vulnerabilities that IT teams don’t even know about.

No-code helps IT departments limit rogue technology spending. When business users have no-code builders to create their own software, they’re less likely to waste money on shadow IT. And IT has less trouble trying to support unapproved applications.

Use of no-code and low-code technologies will nearly triple in the next few years, growing from 25% of new applications in 2020 to 70% of new applications by 2025, according to Gartner. Now, IT teams and business users have something they can agree on: No-code is good for everybody.

Mobile Web Applications and Native Mobile Apps: What’s the Difference?

Tuesday, March 8th, 2022 by Ricardo Otero

 

Person using a mobile app on their phone

The world has gone mobile. Nearly 16 billion mobile devices are in operation today. Well over one-half of all web traffic is now conducted from a mobile device. And in the workplace, 62% of users say mobile devices play a key role in helping them be productive, while 36% report their use of mobile devices at work has increased in the past year.

These trends have big implications for how your employees access the applications they need to do their jobs. The more your workers rely on smartphones and tablets, the more they need mobile access to your organization’s business-enabling software.

But does that mean you should migrate your applications to mobile apps? Or is there another way your users can access productivity software on their mobile devices? Knowing the answer can help your organization gain the most benefit from the mobile-device juggernaut.

The Defining Qualities of Mobile Applications

Before identifying the mobile strategy that’s right for your organization, it’s important to understand the difference between a native mobile app and a mobile web application.

A native mobile app is a program designed exclusively to run on a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet. It’s called “native” because it’s coded specifically for a particular mobile operating system (OS) such as Apple iOS or Google Android. These are the familiar consumer apps that you can download from an app store and that are used for everything from gaming to chatting to fitness.

Native mobile apps are popular because they offer specialized functionality in a self-contained format. But for business purposes, they have limitations. For starters, they don’t necessarily dovetail with other applications and processes in your enterprise.

But there’s a bigger issue when it comes to the custom applications you need to run your operations. Native mobile apps must be individually coded for different mobile platforms. So, you need to either limit your users to a specific mobile operating system – or spend the time and resources to have your development team essentially create separate apps for each mobile OS.

A mobile web application, in contrast, is an application that requires only a web browser to be installed on a mobile device. Mobile web applications are typically built with popular technologies such as CSS, HTML5 and JavaScript, so they don’t need to be coded specifically for each device’s OS.

Mobile web applications are well-suited for business use. They enable your employees to use the mobile devices they already have to quickly and easily access the business functionality they need to do their jobs – whenever and wherever they need it. And there’s no need to create multiple versions for multiple mobile platforms.

No-Code Tools for Mobile Web Applications

In the past, organizations relied on their application development teams to design and create their mobile web applications. Today, your organization can take advantage of a no-code app builder to allow nontechnical teams to quickly and easily create applications for use on their mobile devices.

These citizen developers leverage a no-code software development tool to create, deploy and continually improve applications. When using a no-code tool, the organization benefits from insights and innovation already embedded in the workforce. In fact, Gartner says “the future of apps must include citizen development” and reports that 61% of companies are implementing or have plans for this approach.

How does it work? Customizable templates make building mobile web applications fast and easy. A drag-and-drop visual designer lets users simply select design objects for the application and drag them to a canvas. Behind the scenes, the tool automatically creates the application code. Departments from HR to finance to sales and service can digitize and automate workflows and processes for higher productivity and more effective customer service.

A no-code tool can also allow professional development teams to work more efficiently and cost-effectively. Developers can use no-code to speedily create robust, secure interfaces, forms and workflows that underlie mobile web applications. That way, they can focus on the more complex aspects of digitizing end-to-end processes.

Organizations across a wide range of industries – from energy to healthcare to higher education – are embracing no-code app builders to deploy the mobile web applications they need. By speeding up customized, business-enabling functionality to every employee’s mobile device, they can automate workflows, empower workers, save money and serve customers better.

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