What is Process Mining?
Process mining enables you to create process models using the data and performance metrics recorded in the systems used to perform the organization’s activities.
From the data, the BusinessOptix process mining solution creates a metrics-driven model that analysts can explore and filter to understand either the overall process or individual activities in the process. From this, an analyst can create a process model that forms the basis for on-going change and process optimization. Analysts can also augment the process model with additional insight and carry out process simulation or add additional documentation such as work instructions.
How does it Work?
Process mining uses a few data points gathered from the thousands of actions your organization's staff and systems perform on the core systems you use to manage your business, for example, SAP, Salesforce or Workday. The thousands of actions are then aggregated and sequenced to work out the order that activities are performed, where the common paths through the process are and where the bottlenecks occur.
In order for process mining to work the required data points are:
What identifies the process transaction? In order to follow each process instance through the organization, we need an identifier that is used across all the activities in the same process instance. This could be a case, transaction or service request identifier. It could also be a business identifier such as an application, invoice or claim number.
What did they do? – what was the activity that was performed? These are used to create activities in the process models.
When was the activity finished? In order to sequence the activities in the correct order, we need a timestamp to know which activity comes first and which activities follow it.
Who Did It? Which user, role or group performed the activity. This data point is optional, but you won’t gain as much insight into the overall process model if this data is not provided.
When was the activity started? This data point is optional, but if the system being updated allows you to distinguish when the user started the individual activity then we can provide more insight on waiting times and processing time.
Business classifiers? This is an optional piece of business data that can be used to segment your business process and help you understand how the segment impacts your business process. Business classifiers will likely differ between business processes and also depend on the outcome you wish to understand. Examples of business classifiers could include:
- Channel - if you are trying to understand how your business process differs between digital self-service, email and contact center then adding channel as a business classifier would allow you to investigate the differences;
- Product - perhaps it is the product being sold or serviced that is impacting process performance. In that case, adding a product category as a business classifier would help you understand the impact;
- Location - do you have the same work being carried out in different locations. Then adding location as a business classifier would allow you to compare and contrast your business process between the locations.
- Customer Segment - are your most valuable customers suffering the worst process performance? Adding the customer segment as a business classifier will allow you to investigate the differences.
What can you do with BusinessOptix Process Mining?
With your event data imported into BusinessOptix, you can see an overview that includes:
- seeing the order your business is actually performing the activities in your business process;
- understanding the paths through the process are being used more commonly
- determining which activities in your process are being carried out more often
- quickly seeing the process performance metrics including volume, cycle time and wait and work time for all your activities
- seeing all of the different execution paths through your business process
In order to understand more about what impacts your business process, you can also filter the information by many different criteria.
For activities in the process and paths through the process you can:
- filter out the less common activities, e.g. don't include the activities that only happen in the process on one day a year;
- filter out the less commonly followed paths, e.g. don't include the paths that are being used in exceptional circumstances;
- select process instances that include or don't include specific activities, e.g. only include the processes that require approval;
- show the processes when activities start or finish before or after certain dates or times, e.g. only include processes where the first activity and the last activity have been processed within the time span of the data set;
- understand the process flows when activities have a short or long wait or working time, e.g. use long wait or working time to help understand root cause issues in your business process ;
For the people or resources involved with an activity, you can:
- review processes that include or don't include specific individuals, e.g. is user 'z' do something different from everybody else?
- review processes that include certain roles, e.g. what is the profile of the business process when it is escalated to a manager;
For the business classifiers you have provided, you can:
- filter to only include processes with a specific business classifier set or not set, e.g. only analyze processes that have a product as a business classifier;
- filter to only include processes with a business classifier set to a specific value, e.g. only analyze processes that are servicing 'product x';
What about Process Models?
Process mining on its own is a great way to understand the flows and performance of your business process, however, we've integrated it into the wider BusinessOptix platform. This means that you can:
- convert your filtered process mining model to a BPMN compliant process model. Along with the activities and gateways discovered we also add performance metrics and role definitions when they are available;
- transform your business process to a possible future state and apply a staffing/resource scenario to understand whether it will be beneficial to your business;
Getting Started with Process Mining
- Process mining capabilities need to be enabled in your library. Contact your account manager or customer support for more information.
- Gather data from your main business systems. The data can either used the XES (Xtensible Event Stream) standard or comma-separated values (CSV).
- Import the data into your BusinessOptix library. For CSV see this article and for XES see this one.
- Explore the process metrics model created. This
- Create a process model
- Compare process models