There are many ways to learn about technology or skill. However, the best one is through applying your knowledge of the same because it gives you real-life experience and helps you realize where you excel (and where you lag). To use your expertise, you should work on projects.
That’s why in this article, we’ve brought you RPA project ideas with step-by-step instructions. You can work on them and see how much you know about this technology. Completed projects are also great for your CV.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
What is RPA? A Brief Overview
When you automate workflow by using software (or robots), it’s called Robotic Process Automation, also known as RPA. Another common name for this technology is software robotics. Robotics stands for the entity that mimics human actions. Process refers to the sequence of steps that leads to productive activity. Automation is when a robot completes an operation without any human intervention.
So, RPA allows us to automate multiple tasks and reduce human intervention. This can lead to various benefits, such as:
- Fewer chances of human errors.
- Less time consumption.
- Higher efficiency.
- Reduction in cost.
In many industries, physical robots don’t do most of the automated work, the software does. In this article, we’ll focus on how we can use RPA to solve various real-life problems.
Best Tools for RPA
For software automation, many tools are available in the market. Prominent RPA vendors are UiPath, Automation Anywhere, and Blue Prism. To complete our following RPA projects, we chose to use UiPath. You should be familiar with at least one of these tools before working on the following projects. You can choose any one of these three to work on these RPA project ideas.
UiPath is the most popular one as it provides a user-friendly interface. Automation Anywhere is the most complex and the least popular tool among these three. Learn more about RPA, tools & applications.
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RPA Project Ideas
RPA finds applications in many industries, such as finance, e-commerce, telecom, trading, etc. The most common uses of RPA are in customer service, data science, financial service, and supply chain management. Here are a few RPA projects in these sectors:
1. Web Scraping (with Instructions)
Web scraping is a popular application of RPA. So, we have included it in our RPA projects. From e-commerce stores to stock traders, companies of various industries use web scraping to get necessary data.
However, performing web scraping manually can be highly expensive. That’s why companies automate this process. In this project, we’ll scrap GitHub repositories to find the most prevalent technologies in the current industry, and automate it through UiPath.
Let’s first create an excel sheet where we’ll store the technologies and their repository counts. So, first, create a column called technology and another called Repository Numbers.
Now, open UiPath Studio and create a new project. Enter the name of the project, its location, and description then click on the ‘Create’ button.
In your UiPath dashboard, find the Flowchart activity (present in the Activity Pane) and enter it in your workspace. It will ensure that your automation has a proper workflow. Now, enter the Build Data Table activity and connect it to your flowchart’s starting point.
Select the Build Data Table activity and select the ‘Data Table’ option. Here, you’ll have to enter the necessary column names, so enter the names of the columns we had created before, i.e., Technology and Repository Numbers’. To enter the column, select the ‘Edit Column’ option. Once you’ve added all the details, click on the ‘OK’ button. In the output section, add a variable that will save your Data Table’s output.
Now, go to your flowchart and add another activity to it called ‘Excel Application Scope‘ so you can perform actions on your excel file. You’ll find this activity in the Activity Pane. Connect it to the Build Data Table activity and then double click on it to enter the path of your excel sheet.
In the Do section of the Excel Application Scope activity, enter the Read Range activity (from the Activity pane) and enter your sheet’s name and range. In its output section, enter the name of the variable you had created for the Data Table.
Now that we have our sheet and Data Table ready, we’ll focus on the data we need to extract from web pages. To do so, head to the flowchart and add sequence from the Activity section. Connect the Excel Application Scope to the sequence and rename the latter as ‘Web Scrape.’
Open Web Scrape and enter the Open Browser Activity here. You’d have to mention the URL of the web page from which you want to scrape the required data. We’ve added GitHub’s search link here. In this activity’s Do section, add the Attach Browser activity and indicate the screen (or the browser). This will ensure that all the required activities happen on one page.
In the Do section of the Attach Browser activity, add the ‘For Each Row’ activity. Now enter the Data Table variable name here so you can start a loop for every row value in the same. In its body section, enter the ‘Assign Activity’ where you’ll add the ‘Name’ variable in the To section and row. (0).ToString in the value section.
We want to automate the entire process, so we’ll enable the task to write the technology’s name automatically as well. Use the Set Text activity and point on the screen where you want the text to be present. In our case, we want it present at the search bar. Enter the variable name in the text section of the activity.
We’ll now add the Delay activity and set it to 5 seconds. Then we’ll add the Send Hotkey activity and select the key ‘Enter.’ This way, the system will hit ‘Enter’ after typing in the required text. We’ll add a little more delay here to avoid any errors.
We’ll now add the Get Text activity and point on the browser the place from where we need to extract data. In the properties section of this activity, go to the output section and enter an output variable.
Then we’ll add an Assign activity and enter row(1) in the To section, and we’ll add a variable for storing the number of Repositories.
We’ll now go to our flowchart and enter the Write Range activity. Connect this activity to our newly created Web Scrape sequence and enter the excel sheet’s path, the Data Table’s name, cell value, and sheet number.
Save the project and execute the automation.
Now you know how to automate web scraping. Once you’ve completed this project, you can try it out with other websites and directories. It is easily one of the most enjoyable RPA project ideas. You’ll get to learn a lot about this software by completing it.
2. Automated Customer Support Emails (with Instructions)
The customer support team of a company receives hundreds (sometimes thousands) of tickets from customers. Handling all of these tickets manually can be cumbersome and expensive. You’d need a massive team of multiple people to solve this issue effectively.y Still, you can’t delay the reply of a ticket because it would damage the relationship that a particular customer has with your company.
To solve this problem, companies resort to automating this task. This is one of the most exciting RPA projects we have on this list because you’ll be answering a prevalent problem many organizations face to some extent. Automating this process allows a company to save a lot of time, money, and resources.
We’ll discuss this project step-by-step. Make sure that you’re familiar with UiPath before working on it.
In this project, your task is to send automated replies to the emails that have particular text in their subject line. For example, if a subject line has the word ‘refund,’ your solution would send an automated reply to it accordingly.
You should first create an excel sheet with a column titled ‘Keyword.’ Then, add another column title as ‘Email ID,’ ‘Subject,’ and ‘Ticket Number.’ Once you’ve done that, create a new project in UiPath Studio.
When you create the new project, UiPath will open a dashboard. There, you should add Flowchart activity (present in the Activity Pane) and drag it to the studio’s workspace. The flowchart will enable the proper workflow of the automation process.
After dragging the flowchart in your workspace, drag ‘Build Data Table’ (also present in the Activity Pane), and connect it to the starting point of your flowchart. Now, in the activity section, select the Data Table option. This will lead you to a new part where you have to add the column names to your data table.
Add the column names we had created in our excel sheet, i.e., Keyword, Email ID, Subject, and Ticket Number. You can add column names by selecting the edit column button and entering the required details. Your data table should have four columns with their respective names. In the ‘Data Type’ section, select ‘String.’
Select ‘OK’ after you’ve entered all the necessary details. You’d now have a Data Table to work with. UiPath will use this table to read the data present in your previously created excel file. It’ll also store the data it retrieves in the excel file through this Data Table.
You’ll have to mention a variable in the output section of your Data Table’s activity to store its output.
Go to the Flowchart and add the activity called ‘Excel Application Scope’ (present in the Activity Pane). This will allow you to perform the actions related to your excel file. Connect Excel Application Scope activity to Build Data Table activity.
Now, Excel Application Scope and enter the path of your excel sheet. In the ‘Do’ section, enter the Read Range activity (present in the Activity Pane) and enter the name of your sheet and range. Also, enter the name of the Data Table variable you had created before in the output section of the Read Range activity.
Add the Sequence activity to your flowchart and connect it to the Excel Application Scope activity. You’ll find the former in the Activity Pane. After joining the sequence, rename it as ‘Read and Reply to Emails.’
Select the sequence, and enter the ‘Get Outlook Mail Message’ from the Activity Pane. Go to its properties, and select the number of emails you need to read. Now, go to its output section and mention the output variable. Your output variable will store all the necessary emails, so enter its data type as ‘List<Mail Message>.’
You’ll need to perform several other actions for the emails. Enter the For Each activity in your flowchart. Enter mail in its item section, and in the value section, enter messages. Go to the properties panel and select the Type Argument. Here, you have to enter ‘System.Net.Mail.MailMessage.’
After you’ve done that, go to the body section and enter the Assign Activity. In this activity, enter the variable name to save the address and its value section enter ‘mail.Sender.Address.ToLower.’ Now you have assigned the sender’s address to the variable.
You should now enter the Assign activity from the Activity Pane again and enter the name of the variable you created for ticket numbers and store it here. In the value section of this variable, enter ‘NewRandom().Next(1, 10000),’ so it would produce a random number for each email.
Finally, you should enter Assign Activity and enter the variable name of email subjects. In the value section of this variable, enter ‘mail.Subject.ToString’.
Now we’ll compare the Subject line of our emails and send a reply only when they match the keywords present in our sheet. For this purpose, enter a For Each Row activity and enter the name of the Data Table we have created. In its body section, enter an ‘If’ activity and enter ‘mail.subject.Contains(row(“Keyword”).ToString)’ as the condition.
Our newly entered condition will compare the subject line of every email we receive. In the Then section, enter ‘Send Outlook Mail Message’ as the new activity. It will enable automatic replies to the emails if they satisfy our prescribed conditions.
In the To section of the Send Outlook Mail Message activity, enter ‘address.ToString’ to send a reply to the original sender. In the subject section of this activity enter ‘Support Ticket – “+Ticket Number +” – “+ mail.subject. This text will send emails with the subject line as Support Ticket – Randomly Generated Ticket Number – Sender’s Email Subject.
In the body section, enter the message you want to send. We now have to save this new data in our excel file. So we’ll add three Assign activities and go to the Then section and in each of them, enter the row number in the To section and the respective values in the value section (address in the first row, ticket number in the second row, and email subject in the third).
Because you only want to store email addresses, get rid of the keyword column by using the Remove Data Column activity. Connect it to our previously added sequence, and in its properties section, enter ‘Column Index->0’ to remove the keyword column. Make sure that you enter the name of the data table too.
Enter the Excel Application Scope activity and connect to this activity. Select the Excel Application Scope and enter the path of the place where you want to store your data. Go to its Do section and enter the White Range Activity. In this activity, mention the name of the sheet, its range, and the name of your Data Table.
Save your progress and execute this automation. When you run it, it’d send automated replies to senders of complaints. These emails would have the subject line and body text you had entered in the previous steps.
Try out this project with UiPath Studios and see how familiar you are with RPA.
More RPA Project Ideas
While you can complete the above projects to showcase your understanding of RPA, here are some ideas to work with:
3. Data Migration and Entry
Organizations face a massive challenge in keeping their data accessible and secure. As new solutions arrive, the need to migrate data from outdated storage to a new one also increases. You can automate the data migration process through RPA. Start with transferring data from one excel file to another.
4. Customer Onboarding
Keeping the customer onboarding process simple and fast is vital for any company. A tedious onboarding process frustrates the customer. That’s why companies automate this process as much as they could. You can use RPA to automate this process as well. This is an advanced level project, so you should work on it only if you have ample experience.
5. Invoice Creation
You can automate invoice creation for businesses as well. Take inspiration from the projects we’ve discussed above and use UiPath (or another RPA tool) to build a system that automatically creates invoices for a particular transaction. It would save companies a lot of time and resources while providing you with a lot of experience in using this technology.
Also Read: Python Project Ideas For Beginners
We’ve reached the end of our discussion. Let us know which RPA project did you like the most on this list.
You can learn more about Robotic Process Automation on our blog. You’ll find many valuable resources there that can remove your doubts. Be sure to check out our courses while you’re at it.
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How to create an effective RPA?
Companies have a tendency to overlook a few aspects when developing an automated application. It's also possible that once a company decides to implement RPA, they place undue pressure on the IT department to deliver it on time. Such blunders can end up costing the organization a lot of money in the long run. The RPA design will eventually cause problems if either the planning or internal configuration between bots isn't done effectively. As a result, for robotic automation, careful planning of the development plan must be a top concern. Similarly, for an effective RPA to perform without glitches, setups of distinct parts of the jobs and coordination amongst the bots must be a vital requirement.
What are the best practices for implementing RPA for your business?
Consider the business effect of your decision before going with RPA. Your main focus must be on automating processes that have a big impact. Combining unattended & attended RPA is a good idea. Change management & design that isn't done well can be disastrous. Consider how your decision will affect others. The necessity of good governance in the RPA process cannot be overstated. Make sure your company, policies, and government regulations are all in order.
Why is RPA project governance and monitoring necessary?
In an RPA, you can't just make bots and then let them loose with no governance or control. Because several persons may have access to the same data as well as bots, that data must be modified throughout the system to reflect changes at different checkpoints. For example, if a program's password changes, it must be updated across all platforms; otherwise, data access will be severely hampered.