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Process mining: What it is, how to apply it and its benefits

Blog: Auraportal Blog

You have most likely heard of process mining more than once, but you still may have many unanswered questions about what it is and what competitive advantages it can provide a company. 

If you want to clarify all these doubts, the following post goes into detail about what process mining is, how to apply it and what its benefits are. 

Today, companies carry out their activity in a constantly changing and increasingly complex environment. This is due to a conglomerate of factors such as increased competition, increased globalization, internalization, the speed in the development of information technologies, the increase in the level of uncertainty in the analysis of the organizational environment and the reduction of product life cycles. 

All these factors have led to information becoming a cornerstone within organizations, since it enables not only its proper functioning, but also its development and survival in the market. 

However, when we talk about the concept of information within a company, it is unavoidable to think about Information Systems (IS). A much broader concept, but one that is closely linked to the information that is generated and shared in a company on a daily basis. 

Is can be defined as a set of processes aimed at collecting, elaborating and selectively distributing, the valuable information that is generated in the organization’s

environment. In other words, the function of the IS is to capture the facts as soon as they occur, whether internal or external, process all the data obtained and communicate it to the corresponding parties within the organization, so that they can react and make agile decisions. 

Therefore, the importance of IS at the business level is vital to improve the functionality, effectiveness, efficiency and quality of daily operations. 

Process mining: What is it? 

Now that we have broadly explained the importance of information within a company and what an IS is, we can begin to talk about process mining

The starting point to understand the concept of process mining is to know how the event log is carried out by the IS available in an organization. 

We can define the event log as the execution history of the different processes that are carried out in a business. These records store information related to activities, times, executors and other data that are part of any process. 

Also, this information can be stored in multiple formats such as tables, databases, email files or transactional records. 

Event logs consist of the following elements: 

Therefore, the quality of the information collected in the event log will directly influence the quality of the process mining results. So what is process mining? Process mining is a discipline used to discover, monitor and improve business processes, through the extraction of knowledge from each of the event records. 

These event records are found in most IS, such as the TPS (Transaction Processing System or Transaction Processing System) that are responsible for recording basic and routine activities, generated from commercial transactions and business operations. Two examples of specialized TPS are CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning). 

Process mining application phases 

The detection of opportunities or areas for improvement is one of the main purposes of process mining. However, this is the last phase of a process that begins with the extraction and subsequent analysis of the historical data stored in the IS, followed by the identification of the real process model that is being executed; and, finally, the compilation of information that will make it possible to suggest improvements to current processes. 

process-mining-application-phases

1. Data extraction

In this first phase, the IS data will be extracted, in order to carry out the desired analysis. 

2. Data import and analytics

In this step, a detailed analysis of the information will be carried out, applying specific filters. 

3. Discover the process

Through the use of different algorithms, process models will be identified, with their respective activities, tasks and decisions.

4. Analysis at the organizational level

This phase is used to try to discover the interaction relationships between the executing elements that have intervened in the process activities.

5. Suggested improvements:

In this last phase, all changes deemed necessary will be proposed and implemented to achieve business process optimization.

Benefits of process mining 

Discover the real and objective process execution model

The algorithms used by process mining will analyze the event records and reveal the real process execution model. This is completed without taking into account subjective evaluations, such as those of the people involved in the business process or the documentation relating to how a process should be carried out. 

Loop detection  

On the one hand, the data analysis carried out with process mining will detect possible bottlenecks or problems that have arisen during process development and caused delays

Verify that the process complies with all the established regulations

Process mining will allow a company to compare the real process execution model with all the documented procedures and regulations, in order to ensure compliance with the established regulations and protocols. 

Control human resources productivity levels  

By registering process execution start and end times, it is possible to know the exact productivity levels of all participants. 

Help to understand the relationship between different variables of the same case 

Process mining analyzes how different variables linked to the same case can influence the process cycle or execution times. 

Forecast the case cycle time  

Thanks to data mining it is possible to know the remaining process execution time. Very valuable information for organizations, since it has a direct impact on controlling productivity, setting KPIs, reducing costs, etc. 

Generation of knowledge in the organization 

Monitoring the different business processes will contribute to their optimization in a timely manner and drive knowledge share among the company’s employees. 

Business resilience 

Process mining contributes to improving business resilience, that is, the organization’s ability to adapt to adverse situations. This is possible thanks to the analysis of the real process execution model, which allows to identify unstable aspects and, later, apply the necessary corrective measures that empower the organization to overcome and achieve the objectives set. 

In conclusion, the main purpose of process mining is to analyze and share the real execution data of each of the business processes which are stored in the IS, with the aim to optimize said processes, thus contributing to knowledge generation within the organization. 

The post Process mining: What it is, how to apply it and its benefits appeared first on AuraQuantic.

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