How process mining can help your organisation

Rich Turner

If you employ people to execute business processes using IT systems, then you should be exploring process mining. Dan Johnson, Director of Automation, Future Workforce explains how process mining helps organisations discover and improve the performance of their processes, identifying bottlenecks and other areas of improvement.

Process mining helps organisations discover and improve the performance of their processes, identifying bottlenecks and other areas of improvement. When implemented correctly, process mining reduces costs, improves service level agreements (SLAs) and empowers teams to solve inefficiencies quickly. It’s become an asset for Business Analysts and Operations Excellence Consultants, but crucially, it provides management with rich insights about the performance of their operation. 

For those organisations that have successfully implemented process mining, creating and analysing current state processes is entirely automated. So, process discovery is no longer a time-consuming and resource-intensive practice. But what about those organisations who haven’t yet seen the benefits of process mining?  

If you employ people to execute business processes using IT systems, then you should be exploring process mining. 

How does process mining work?  

Process mining combines data science and process analytics to mine data from information systems. For example, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools, create event logs with every transaction which provides an audit trail of processes. This shows what work is being done, when, and by who.  

Process mining software then uses this information to create a process ‘model’. This allows the end-to-end process to be examined, showing the detailed steps are taken and any variations. Built-in machine learning models then help give insights into any root cause of deviations. For example, it might point out that every time a new customer needs proof of address, the process is slowed down. These models enable management to see if their processes are performing efficiently, or if they aren’t, they provide the information needed to optimise them.  

Choosing the right places to apply process mining is important. Organisations who apply it to processes that have already been digitised, i.e. processes that use core IT systems, tend to see the best results. It provides an evidence-based view of how processes are performing and it’s an easy sell to senior management once they see where problems and opportunities lie.   

Different Types of Process Mining 

There are three basic types of process mining: discovery, conformance, and enhancement: 

  • Discovery uses event logs to create a model without outside influence. Under this technique, no previous process models exist to inform the development of the new process model. As such, this type of process mining is the most widely adopted. 
  • Conformance compares expectation with reality and aims to identify any deviations from the expected model. 
  • Enhancement is sometimes known as performance mining and is used to improve an existing process model. For example, the output of conformance checking prompts the identification bottlenecks, allowing managers to optimise the process. 

Why is it so Important? 

Lean Six Sigma is a method that relies on a collaborative team effort to improve performance by systematically removing waste and reducing variation. Lean Six Sigma has proved itself to be an effective methodology for reducing operating costs and increasing return on investment. However, identifying opportunities and measuring the effects of improvements has been difficult. Process mining helps by identifying and quantifying the inefficiencies in processes and showing how effective any changes have been. The use of these processes not only reduces costs, but it also drives more innovation, quality, and better customer retention.  

Process mining’s success can be demonstrated by the experience of a large insurance company. A major source of inefficiency and cost for the company was their end-to-end claims process: from FNOL (First Notice of Loss) through to claims assessment to final claims payout. Process mining was used to understand how approximately 300,000 claims were routed, which steps in the process had the longest lead times, which the most variation and why. The company found that a combination of manual data processing, handling various documents and managing multiple hand-offs between third parties during the claim’s assessment was adding operating costs whilst also impacting the customer experience negatively. Within eight weeks, process mining provided a rich map of the end-to-end claims process, with insights on pain points and number of opportunities for improvement. A combination of user training, process automation and process improvement initiatives followed. The result was an astounding 43% improvement in cycle times and over 1200 hours of time savings generated each month. 

Challenges to overcome 

But process mining is still a relatively new discipline, so there are still some challenges to overcome, including: 

  • Data quality – finding, merging and cleaning data is usually required to enable process mining. Data is likely to be scattered over various data sources. It is often incomplete or contains different labels or levels of granularity. Accounting for these differences is important to the information that a process model yields. 
  • Process changes – sometimes processes change as they are being analysed, resulting in the process model shifting. 

Organisations that are striving to become digital businesses need to enhance the ability to investigate and analyse processes. The adoption of new automation technologies, such as RPA (robotic process automation), machine learning and NLP (natural language processing), has proven that business leaders want to invest in technologies that improve business performance. Process mining is another tool that organisations will increasingly lean on to achieve their business outcomes. 

READ MORE:

About Future Workforce 

Future Workforce is an intelligent automation consultancy with over five years’ experience designing and delivering fast and scalable Intelligent Automation solutions that enable companies to drive efficiency improvements, increase productivity and fuel workforce innovation. Since 2017 Future Workforce has been a UiPath System Integrator and trusted GOLD partner, delivering over 200 automation projects. Headquartered in Bucharest, Romania, clients include Vienna Insurance Group, BCR Erste Bank, Euler Hermes, SEPHORA, Garrett, SNC Lavalin, Deloitte Romania, Orange, Telekom (a T-Mobile subsidiary) and the National Bank of Romania. 

For more news from Top Business Tech, don’t forget to subscribe to our daily bulletin!

Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter

An image of Process Mining, Analytics, How process mining can help your organisation

Amber Donovan-Stevens

Amber is a Content Editor at Top Business Tech

Hacking Cyber Security’s battle for workers

Andrew Marsh • 30th September 2022

Cyber attacks are increasing exponentially, cyber professionals are quitting, and ultimately, no one is replacing them. Worldwide, the cyber workforce shortfall is approximately 3.5 million people. We have a mountain to climb. While there are rising numbers of people with security degrees and qualifications, this falls way short of industry demand.

Getac becomes British Touring Car Championship official technology partner

Chris Gibbs • 29th September 2022

In competitive motorsports, the smallest detail can be the difference between winning and losing. Getac is the official technology partner to the British Touring Car Championships (BTCC) helping it achieve its digital transformation goals, putting a wealth of information at the fingertips of both race officials and teams alike, and helping deliver incredibly exciting racing.

The Time is Now for Digital Transformation

Paul Waddilove • 29th September 2022

According to a McKinsey research report, 70% of enterprises that had taken on digital transformation reported in 2020 that their momentum had stalled. It is worth understanding the reasons–culture or scale for example–causing the slowdown as the payoffs from digital transformation can be impressive. It can lead to more efficient operations, with enterprises enjoying autonomy...

Addressing the environmental impact of the data centre

David Watkins • 29th September 2022

David Watkins, solutions director at VIRTUS Data Centres , share how you may have seen the recent news that Thames Water has launched a probe into the impact of data centres on water supplies in and around London, as it imposed a hosepipe ban on its 15 million customers in a drought-hit area. Ensuring that...

How Can Businesses Ensure Efficient Management of COSU Devices

Nadav Avni • 29th September 2022

Nadav Avni, Chief Marketing Officer at Radix Technologies, shares how when it comes to speeding up queues and providing instant information, nothing beats corporate-owned, single-use (COSU) devices. When put in kiosk mode, these devices become efficient digital assistants that collect and share information.

The Cloud – Debunking the Myth

Guy Parry Williams • 26th September 2022

Mid-sized businesses are head down, wrestling with constantly evolving operational challenges, from skills shortages to supply chain delays and raging inflation. Management teams lack the time and often confidence to explore technology innovation and, as a result, too many companies are missing vital opportunities to cut costs, boost efficiency and reach new customers.