Quick Guide: What Is Process Mining?

by | Aug 29, 2022 | Process Mining

Process management and improvement are key areas that every business should prioritize. Often, they don’t get the attention they deserve, even though companies fundamentally understand that optimized processes result in benefits. The journey to get to this “better” state can discount the current process based on assumptions that it will be necessary to start over. Other times, the focus is too much on the as-is. Other challenges with process management and improvement are the many gaps between processes, technology, and data. 

How does a modern business solve such a conundrum? Process mining is a proven solution.

In this post, we’ll define process mining, how it works, and its benefits and contribution to operational efficiency and growth.

What Is Process Mining?

Process mining is the technique of analyzing logfile data and tracking business and IT processes. It uses existing data within your information systems to display the reality of the process, not the expectation. As a result, you have clarity around the “true” steps of a process, the time each takes, and the business context.

How Does Process Mining Work?

Every action that occurs within your software systems, whether executed by person or bot, creates a record. Those records turn into event logs, and those logs develop the visualization of the process. 

Once you have this visual representation, you can identify the gaps between ideal and actual states. Some gaps will present challenges that require more analysis and can only be solved with changes to people, processes, and technology. However, many of those gaps represent opportunities to deploy automation. Automation solutions can help free up your people’s time to focus on processes that only they can handle.  

The Benefits of Process Mining

Process mining is critical in developing automation strategies that help you achieve operational efficiency and digital transformation goals. Almost 80 percent of companies that automate concur that process mining was key to their successful deployment. Other benefits of using this framework include:

  • Get a complete view of processes across the enterprise efficiently: Use process mining as a magnifying glass for any process in any department—accounting, customer service, operations, and so on.
  • Understand the facts: Process mining is just the facts based on data, not opinions, conceptions, or anything subjective.
  • Uncover the culprits in processes that are the true bottlenecks: You can then focus efforts on eliminating these.
  • Monitor processes and measure improvements continuously. 
  • Obtain an audit trail on processes to satisfy any compliance requirements.

All these advantages are within reach when you understand each process and leverage automation to improve them. When you get to this state, you’re more likely to hit operational efficiency objectives. 

How Process Mining Contributes to Operational Efficiency and Growth

Process mining applies to any area of business and any industry. It pulls back the curtain and provides the truth of where processes are breaking down. Remember that this way of dissecting processes is data-based, so there are no inaccuracies; it’s the sole source of truth. 

Much of what you’ll accomplish with process mining enables operational efficiency and growth.

Using Process Mining to Achieve Goals

In the realm of operational efficiency, process mining is a critical tool. With it, you can find opportunities for automation to optimize processes, remove waste, and enhance employee engagement. 

For example, insurance companies deal with massive amounts of steps and documents in claims registration and processing. If human labor executes most of these tasks, the process is likely riddled with issues. After mapping the process, inserting robotic process automation (RPA) aggregates the needed information and can extract structured data, verify claim details, and look for errors. The process becomes faster and more accurate while removing a lot of human intervention. 

That’s one example of how formidable the approach can be. You’ll learn extensively about each process. Then, depending on your objectives, you can prioritize the areas that need support most and will have the greatest value. As a result, your organization could accelerate digital transformation and growth.

Process Mining Should Be Continuous

Process mining isn’t a one-and-done undertaking. You’ll continually be measuring the impact of improving processes with automation, and there is always more to learn from this data.

Process mining links business rules with automation assessments, leading to better business outcomes. Healthcare is an industry that leverages this well in its operations workflows, such as scheduling, restocking, capacity forecasting, and logistics. Healthcare organizations have specific business rules about these areas and expected outcomes (e.g., reducing costs, ensuring continuity of care). Applying automation to these areas based on process mining findings can be valuable. 

Ultimately, your automation program will be built on a foundation of facts and data, which are much more powerful than assumptions. 

Explore Process Mining in Our On-Demand Webinar

If process mining looks attractive and your business is ready to ramp up its automation efforts, start by watching our on-demand webinar “Leveraging Process Mining for Process Understanding, Automation, and Continuous Improvement.”

Begin your intelligent automation journey today

Our team is ready to guide the way.