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What is Process Mining?

Process mining is a technique to analyze and track processes. In traditional business process management, it is done with process workshops and interviews, which results in an idealized picture of a process. Process mining, however, uses existing data available in corporate information systems and automatically displays the real process.

Why use process mining?

Back in the day, process mapping had to be completed by teams of people who met for several days to figure it out on a whiteboard or spreadsheet. In other words, it was a complete slog.

But thankfully, we can leave all that painful, people-driven process mapping in the past. Because today, process mining’s powerful algorithms and advanced data transformation make discovering and optimizing your processes fast, data-driven, and complete. And slog-free.

Process mining benefits

  1. Survey processes everywhere across the enterprise—at high scale and low human effort

  2. Analyze processes fully and accurately based on the facts

  3. Zero in on bottlenecks, deviations and inefficient processes that should be rethought or automated

  4. Continuously monitor processes and measure improvements

  5. Simplify compliance, with full audit trails

  6. Use in any industry: financial services, telecommunications, manufacturing, healthcare or consumer goods and beyond

  7. Analyze virtually any process in any functional area: contact centers, purchase-to-pay, order-to-cash, and many more

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How does process mining work?

As people and software robots work with corporate IT systems, their activities are captured by those systems.

Process mining transforms this data into an event log—and then creates visualizations of the end-to-end process along with insightful analyses.

So you’ll have the facts you need to understand, improve, and monitor how things get done… anywhere they’re getting done.

Step 1: Use digital footprints to discover your processes

Every enterprise system—like SAP, Salesforce or Oracle—captures event data related to your processes.

Process mining reads this data and transforms it into an event log.

This event log contains three key pieces of information vital for process mining: a time stamp, a case ID, and an activity.

Step 2: Zoom in on every process

Using the event log, process mining automatically creates a process graph that lets you understand every detail of your process—including the timing of each step and all the variations in process flows. That’s exactly the level and type of detail you need.

To give you an example, the process graph on the left only captures the main steps in an “ideal” process (in process mining, this is called the ‘Happy Path’). The process graph on the right, created from event log data, reveals all the process deviations and exceptions— bottlenecks, workarounds, and workflow inefficiencies you need to address.

Now you have fact-based information you need to get started with optimization or automation efforts.

Step 3: Focus, fix, and prioritize

The visualization capabilities built into advanced process mining tools help you zero in on what should be optimized, how to do it, and what the return on your efforts will be. You can easily build and prioritize your automation pipeline or process optimization efforts.

You’ll be able to immediately understand the impacts of proposed process changes or automations—including costs saved and effort required.

And you can build a robust, complete, high-ROI pipeline for your automation programs. (With the UiPath Platform, you’ll manage your pipeline in Automation Hub).

Step 4: Monitor performance to keep track (and keep compliant)

Has what you’ve done made a difference? Are you getting the performance lift you expected?

Advanced process mining solutions will continuously monitor and measure the results, so you’ll be the first to know if you’re on track or off base. Plus, you get a full audit trail for compliance purposes.

78% of people who automate say process mining is key to enabling their RPA efforts

Source: Process Mining Sector Scan, January 2020, independent third-party study

That’s because process mining…

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Provides the full context and end-to-end perspective needed to improve processes and make sure automations will deliver results

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Helps improve processes before automating them, to get the maximum benefit

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Identifies the most valuable, impactful places to insert automation

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Continuously monitors automation performance and ROI

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Drives better business outcomes by linking business rules with automation assessment

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Helps build an automation program on facts, data, and ongoing measurement

World-class process mining technology is now part of the UiPath Platform