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How to Get Started with Process Mining

November 6, 2019

Duncan Hendy /

Pricefx

Duncan Hendy is a content marketing expert with over 20 years of experience in B2B and B2C marketing, from Interactive TV to SaaS solutions. When not working, Duncan composes classical music and is also the author of several books. He is a huge fan of craft beer and anything spicy.

Steps to Process Mining for Your Business

Process mining functions as the solution for two major issues in business process management. Firstly, some businesses are too busy looking at the way they want their processes to perform instead of looking at their current state in order to build an efficient roadmap from A to B. Conversely, other businesses are spending too much time looking at their current systems and are barely making incremental improvements to them. 

Secondly, businesses don’t have adequate information as to how their processes are performing and lack the technology to provide appropriate data. 

Process mining software allows businesses to efficiently collect indepth data on how their processes are performing, and through the use of AI and key performance indicators, reveal issues with the processes. 

With interest in process mining software and process mining machine learning growing rapidly, now is the perfect time to learn how businesses get started with process mining and how you can use it to the advantage of your business. In this article, I will cover some of the key ways in which businesses are integrating process mining into their systems. 

Gather the Correct Team 

With something as complex as process mining and data science, gathering the correct team for the job is paramount. It is very important to bring the IT department in early as they will be working with you throughout to assist in pulling the data. Following that, both a data specialist and a data analyst are vital to ensure the data you pull is in the desired format and that you can efficiently analyze it in order to produce results. A project and change management specialist should be brought in in order to smoothly run the project, and set achievable goals and realistic timeframes for it. But also, they are there to actually implement the changes that come out through the progression of the process mining machine learning. 

Set Out Goals for Process Mining 

Hopefully by this stage, you have a project and change management specialist who can work to set clear goals, a timeframe for the project, and a strong view of the problems that you are looking to solve. 

It is entirely possible to make the project too large and become too ambitious with the goals you set. While it might seem prudent to extract all possible data and analyze everything, this will, more often than not, become overwhelming and either take away from the actual goals of preventing it entirely. After all, this is all about efficient processes. 

With that in mind, seeking data directly from the processes, or individual elements of processes, which are seen to be inefficient is an ideal way to start. Understanding what is wrong is the only true way to fix something. From there, creating an overview of what will be done with the data will help shape the scope of the project and set clearer deliverables throughout. 

Consider the Responsible Handling of Data 

As with all data, it is important that you keep it secure and handle it responsibly. With a process that can be as thorough as process mining and data science, a lot of information could arise, more than you were expecting, perhaps. Therefore, it is sensible to utilize NDAs or to have those authorized meticulously check the data before sending it to others or making use of it. The purpose of process mining machine learning is to collect information that will help you to improve your processes and performances, so it makes sense to ensure that this information is used correctly. 

The Stages of Process Mining Data Science 

Process mining software can be broken down into three subsections. Automated Business Process Discovery or (ABPD), business process conformance checking, and performance analysis. 

Automated Business Process Discovery 

ABPD involves tracking event logs to learn more about what your employees are doing and transforming that into a process. From there, you can create standard operating procedures without having to painstakingly and manually sift through every department, every employee within and everything that they do. Something that becomes absurd with larger businesses. 

ABPD essentially maps out the entire business and the varied processes that go on within, allowing you not only the advantage of being able to look at what is working and what is not, but the best ways to make improvements. 

Business Process Conformance Checking 

Where ABPD allows you to lay out all of the processes that are undertaken within your business and by your employees, business process conformance checking is a way of literally checking whether these steps are taking place. For a business that already has the information ABPD provides, they can automatically begin business process conformance checking and gain real insight into how processes are functioning in practice and perhaps uncover which are necessary and which are not. 

Performance Analysis 

Finally, performance analysis is a way of bringing everything learned within the first two stages together and actually reviewing it as it exists. This can involve directly overviewing the process and confirming any judgements made from the data. For example, if it is assumed that a process is taking too long and could in fact be done more efficiently from the data learned, viewing this in reality could provide certain and actionable information. 

This is the stage where information and data turns into actionable steps, where you as a business can look at process performance methods. The benefits of process mining will become extremely apparent through the solutions that it brings after following these three key stages. 

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