January 1, 2022

Create Automated Workflows with Power Automate

By Taguma Nicholas

Automation is a hot topic right now. It’s up there on the list of tech buzzwords right next to Big Data, Machine Learning, and Blockchain. On a more basic level, have you ever thought about how much easier your life would be if you could automate certain repetitive tasks? Enter Power Automate….

In this episode of “Today I Learned” I am going to walk you through how to use Microsoft’s Power Automate to create automated workflows to streamline processes and allow you to focus on value-adding tasks. There is a free desktop version available but for the purposes of this example, we’re going to use the licensed application. 

Log in to https://us.flow.microsoft.com/en-us/

There are three options to create a flow and we’ll walk through an example of each.

Start from Blank

This option allows you to create a completely custom flow.

Here we are going to create a workflow to send a weekly message to a Slack channel.

As with any process or code, you have to test it to make sure it works. The proof is in the pudding!

Start from a Template

This option allows you to leverage the hundreds of workflow templates as a starting point, with the option to customize as you go. 

Here we are going to trigger a daily motivational email reminder.

Start from a Connector

This option allows you to link together everyday apps for task automation.

Here we are going to trigger an email to be sent when certain keywords are mentioned in a tweet.

My Flows

This is your workflow repository. You can edit the workflow properties including Flow Name and Description. You can also edit the flow criteria. It’s really easy to pause workflows as well.

Why Automate?

Besides eliminating repetitive tasks, the goal of automation is to save time. And time saved = money saved.

Here’s how:

If it takes one hour a week to complete a task, at a rate of $55 per hour, for a company of 40 people, you’ve saved 2,080 hours which in turn creates $114,400 a year in company savings. 

Next Steps

Start thinking of ways to automate tasks within your organization. For instance, apply a patch to a known software issue, upsert records in a database in real time, send notification of a critical ETL job failure, process recurring accounts payable entries like office rent, publish website/blog updates to your company’s social media, or send out orientation packets when a new member joins your board.

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