Automation acronyms explained



The tech industry is full of acronyms and the realm of automation software is no different. The thing is, unless you know what they mean, automation acronyms can cause serious confusion. Consider this:

“Use BPA as an ETL tool to support your WFM. BPI helps RPA work best, but this AI predecessor will make life easier for your DBA. In short, BPA is a must have tool for BPM.”

It’s not exactly crystal clear. So, we’ve compiled a list of all those pesky acronyms and their definitions to help you out. Here are the automation acronyms, explained.


BPA: Business Process Automation

Perhaps the most common of the automation acronyms, BPA stands for business process automation. It’s the tool that these acronyms are all about.


RPA: Robotic Process Automation

RPA is essentially another name for BPA. The idea behind robotic process automation is that your team give their routine processes to a helpful ‘robot’. (Note, these robots are not physical.)


BPM: Business Process Management

Business process management is exactly as the name suggests. It’s the act of managing your business processes, usually with the goal of improving performance and efficiency.


BPI: Business Process Improvement

Business process improvement is an exercise within BPM. It involves analysing and identifying areas in which you can improve accuracy and efficiency. Then, you redesign the related business processes to realise those improvements. 


AI: Artificial Intelligence

AI is one of the automation acronyms that’s made it to buzzword status. Artificial intelligence is a tool that mimics the human brain to make autonomous decisions. It’s not automation software, but you might consider it the next evolution of automation.


ML: Machine Learning

Machine learning is a subdivision of AI. It details the ability of machines to ‘learn’ new information, skills and abilities.


NLP: Natural Language Processing

Natural language processing is a further subsection of AI. It explores how computers process and understand natural language. (The way we speak to other humans from day to day.)

This is one of the more confusing automation acronyms because it has another meaning. Unrelated to automation, NLP also refers to ‘neuro-linguistic programming’.


ETL: Extract, Transform, Load

Standing for extract, transform, load, ETL outlines a process of making raw data useful. ETL is one of the automation acronyms commonly used to describe a tool that performs this process.


WFM: Workflow Management

A workflow is a series of small tasks that make up part (or all) of your daily business processes. Workflow management is the process of managing these different workflows.


DBA: Database Administrator

A database administrator is a critical member of your tech team. Their job is to manage and maintain your organisation’s databases. Automation software is a core tool for the DBA, earning it a space on the automation acronyms list.


Automation acronyms

These are the most common automation acronyms you’ll see on your automation adventures. So, whether it’s your DBA requesting a BPA solution, or your tech team talking about ETL tools, you’ll understand.


TA: ThinkAutomation

If you’re looking for BPA, an ETL tool, or something to help your BPM, then why not give ThinkAutomation a try, with a 30-day free trial.