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What is Process Mining?

Process mining is a technique for discovering, monitoring, and improving processes. It’s an objective way to visualize how business processes work that enables end-to-end process optimization, uncovers automation potential, and delivers continuous process improvement.

The goal of process mining is to make business processes more transparent and efficient for better decision making and improved operational performance.

Process mining can be used in any industry—including healthcare, manufacturing, finance, and government—to optimize processes and ensure regulatory compliance. By combining data from sources across an organization, process mining generates insights that provide a more complete and accurate picture of how processes are actually being executed. These insights can then be used to make informed decisions and improvements to process design and execution.

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Benefits of process mining.

Process inefficiency costs money, wastes time, diminishes work quality, and increases risk. With an objective view of how processes run, process mining can uncover bottlenecks and delays to save time and reduce costs.

Businesses that use process mining benefit from:

  • Insights into true operational performance.
  • A complete view of customer and employee journeys.
  • More informed decision making.
  • Improved compliance and fraud detection through continuous process monitoring.
  • Accelerated enterprise modernization through better use of automation.
  • Time and money saved through decreased process cycle times.

Process mining use cases.

Any business process in any industry can be mined, as long as it has sufficient data to support analysis. This includes:

  • Finance and procurement processes, such as procure-to-pay (P2P), order-to-cash (O2C), and accounts payable/receivable (AP/AR).
  • Banking, financial services, and insurance processes, such as customer onboarding, risk monitoring, and fraud detection.
  • Public sector processes, such as quality management, procurement, and tax administration.
  • Healthcare and pharmaceutical processes, such as patient onboarding, clinical trials, and physician referrals.
  • Manufacturing processes, such as production planning, inventory management, and plant maintenance.
  • IT service management processes, such as incident management, system migration, and change requests.

[ Six key considerations to supercharge process efficiency with process mining. ]

How process mining works.

Process mining works by analyzing event logs from enterprise systems to surface information about how digital work is happening. It creates a visualization of how processes are actually running, flagging deviations from the ideal process and opportunities for optimization.

Enroll in the free Appian University Process Mining course to learn more about process mining and how you can use it at your organization.

Process mining capabilities.

There are several process mining techniques—each focused on different aspects of defining and optimizing processes. The best process mining tool will combine all these capabilities to provide businesses with end-to-end process visibility and control.

  • Process discovery extracts process models from event logs to visualize business processes and their variants and show how each case moves through the process. Process discovery is the foundational step for identifying inefficiencies, exceptions, and bottlenecks in your process.
  • Conformance checking identifies non-conformances in a process by comparing the actual process behavior with a target model. This helps businesses uncover non-compliant activities, areas for improvement, and automation opportunities. Advanced process mining technology can even auto-generate target models that can then be modified based on business goals and compliance requirements.
  • Process enhancement provides decision makers with information that helps them understand their operations better and drive continuous improvement. Process enhancement tools include machine learning algorithms, KPIs, and dashboards to conduct root cause analysis, monitor the ongoing performance of an operation, and ultimately enhance the process model.

Find and fix problems, monitor workflows, and continuously improve.

Processes and data are at the core of every organization. With process mining, you can put your data to work strategically to achieve a high level of transparency in your processes and move quickly from insight to action.