What Do Uncounted Election Ballots & Business Processes Have In Common?

By Jason Peck on November 23, 2016

Voting for the United States presidential election ended over 2 weeks ago. But according to NPR, votes are still being counted. 

Why, you ask?

Paper ballots. 

Canvas - More Efficient Business Processes

We live in an amazing time for technology advancements. We've got drones, machine learning, and self-driving cars. We might be able to create a rocket that breaks the laws of physics, but we can't seem to get away from paper as a medium for collecting information. 

On the plus side, many organizations, including thousands of GoCanvas subscribers in over 70 countries, have ditched their paperwork and automated their work with mobile forms. But many crucial business processes are still done on paper forms. The fact that paper is still being used as a tool for data capture for many processes, not to mention voting, one of the most important processes out there, is pretty mind-blowing. 

These uncounted election ballots are plagued by some of the same issues that affect business processes that rely on paperwork. They have a lot more in common than you might realize. 

Coffee Spills and Stains

Canvas - More Efficient Business ProcessesCoffee stains on paper voting ballots look like filled-in ovals, so these ballots have to be manually examined and then counted. In the business world, coffee and work are usually good together, but sometimes they get into arguments.

Tensions spill over and coffee disrupts your paper-based processes and prevents you from seeing the information you need. This might not seem like a big deal, but anything that makes information harder to read, especially when numbers and money are involved, can lead to costly errors and billing mistakes. 

Manual Data Re-entry

In the case of these coffee-stained or otherwise damaged ballots, they have to be re-marked so they can be read properly by vote counting machines. With business paperwork, in many cases the information must be manually inputted into another office software or system.

Canvas - More Efficient Business ProcessesIn best cases, this can be done by scanning the information in, which still requires someone's time. In other cases, the information must be manually typed into a computer system, which can create issues if someone makes a mistake. And if something still isn't legible or data is incomplete, precious time must be spent tracking down the source of this information to get clarification. This adds up to a lot of wasted time and money, resources that could be spent on growing your business instead.

Data is Difficult to Analyze

Canvas - More Efficient Business ProcessesWith these uncounted paper ballots, they must be manually fixed, counted and/or fed into voting machines in order to get the information out of them. Paper forms also have the same issues with data being difficult to extract from them for analysis. What can be done in real-time with mobile, digital forms across 100s or thousands of forms could take hours or weeks with paper forms when you think about the time it takes to manually go through them, get the data out of them, feed it into a system and then analyze it.

With mobile forms and business intelligence tools, you could analyze thousands of forms in a few minutes, uncover some crucial trends and then make changes to improve your efficiency and leapfrog your competition. If you're not doing this now, you can bet at least one of your competitors probably is. 

Paper is Slow and Painful

Part of the reason why there are still so many uncounted ballots is that many of them were provisional and were mailed in, so they are STILL coming back to be counted. This same issue of just getting paper forms back cripples many businesses.

Canvas - More Efficient Business ProcessesForms can take days or weeks to come back to the office (or can get lost in a truck for months). These delays can affect every part of a business, from being able to order parts and equipment, to ensuring a work area is safe, to being able to bill customers quickly for cash flow purposes.

As you can see, paper forms are not just annoying; they can create serious issues for organizations of all shapes and sizes. 

If you're ready to ditch the paperwork and collect, share and learn from your data in new ways to improve your business, Try GoCanvas Free Today! 

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