Data Quality Problems in Process Mining and What To Do About Them — Part 7: Recorded Timestamps Do Not Reflect Actual Time of Activities
This is the seventh article in our series on data quality problems for process mining. You can find an overview of all articles in the series here.
Last year, a Dutch insurance company completed the process mining analysis of several of their processes. For some processes, it went well and they could get valuable insights out of it. However, for the bulk of their most important core processes, they realized that the workflow system was not used in the way it was intended to be used.
What happened was that the employees took the dossier for a claim to their desk, worked on it there, and put it in a pile with other claims. At the end of the week, they then went to the IT system and logged in the information — Essentially documenting the work they had done earlier.
This way of working has two problems:
- It shows that the system is not supporting the case worker in what they have to do. Otherwise they would want to use the system to guide them along. Instead, the documentation in the system is an additional, tedious task that is delayed as much as possible.
- Of course, this also means that the timestamps that are recorded in the system do not represent the actual time when the activities in the process really happened. So, doing a process mining analysis based on this data is close to useless.
The company is now working on improving the system to better support their employees…