Bot symbiotics, APA’s analytical relationship with RPA

While RPA bots work to shoulder orchestration and deliver the front-line operational requirements needed for automation, APA analytics bots deliver the lower-level data science functions that both tiers need to make smart software smarter.


The technology industry has almost unreservedly welcomed the emergence and popularisation of ‘bots’ in modern IT stacks. A shortening for ‘software robots’, bots at their most basic are simple screen-scraping tools designed to track human users’ interactions with a straightforward forms-based application screen.

Falling under the umbrella discipline of Robotic Process Automation (RPA), bots over the preceding decade have become much more than mere screen-scrapers. They now exist as increasingly sophisticated methods for offloading repeatable and accurately quantifiable workflow tasks from humans to machines.

But RPA bots are not alone in the bot universe; they share a sort of chicken-and-egg relationship with their close cousins - the APA bots. Denoting a differentiating Analytics Process Automation (APA) function, APA bots work in union with RPA bots to crunch through lower levels of data.

If RPA can be said to be an orchestration tool to collect, sort and ingest data, APA is the application of data science to that data to analyse it for deeper meaning and inference.

Defining the difference

Let’s clarify the difference between the two bot camps in more exacting terms.

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