Intelligent Document Routing as a First Step towards Workflow Automation: A Case Study Implemented in SQL
In large and complex organizations, the development of workflow automation projects is hard. In some cases, a first important step in that direction is the automation of the routing of incoming documents. In this paper, we describe a project to develop a system for the first routing of incoming letters to the right department within a large, public portuguese institution. We followed a data mining approach, where data representing previous routings were analyzed to obtain a model that can be used to route future documents. The approach followed was strongly influenced by some of the limitations imposed by the customer: the budget available was small and the solution should be developed in SQL to facilitate integration with the existing system. The system developed was able to obtain satisfactory results. However, as in any Data Mining project, most of the effort was dedicated to activities other than modelling (e.g., data preparation), which means that there is still plenty of room for improvement.