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5 benefits of using process mining

Process mining lets users do a deeper analysis of their company's operations. Learn five ways process mining can benefit organizations.

Business and IT leaders can't improve what they don't understand.

That's why many organizations look to process mining. It helps uncover a range of problems across an organization -- from bottlenecks to duplicate procedures -- and helps identify opportunities for improvement, such as tasks that would benefit from automation.

What is process mining?

Process mining is both a technique and a type of software. Another way to phrase it is process analysis, because process mining involves analyzing all kinds of operations and uncovering how to improve them.

Process mining software looks at the data in other systems, such as ERP software or supply chain management software, and determines how to improve operations. For example, process mining software might discover that employees frequently make errors when manually entering customer order numbers into their company's CRM software. The process mining software might recommend automating that process so human error won't lead to incorrect customer order numbers in the CRM system.

Process mining software speeds up the analysis because a human would have to manually read through, for example, all the customer orders from the past six months to look for errors made by employees. Process mining software automatically evaluates this data and finds any mistakes.

Process mining software can recommend how and when to apply other types of technology, like robotic process automation, to a company's operations. For example, process mining may reveal that HR staff have frequently submitted new hires' paperwork after the deadline. Process mining software may recommend implementing a bot that will alert the new employee and HR staff about missing documents.

5 benefits of using process mining

Here are five of the top process mining benefits for enterprises.

1. Optimizes business operations

Process mining can help companies become more efficient by discovering ways to improve operations.

"This is the top benefit for process owners, automation leads and [chief experience officers], as [carrying out process mining can improve] an organization's productivity, cost-effectiveness, and competitiveness," said Santhosh Kumar, a practice director at Everest Group, a research firm located in Dallas.

However, users must ensure their company's data is accurate.

Otherwise, the process mining software's insights might not be reliable because they will be based on faulty data, said Bret Greenstein, data and AI leader at PwC, a professional services company headquartered in London.

2. Improves compliance

Process mining can help ensure a company is compliant because process mining can catch errors before they become a compliance issue.

For example, a company's accounting department may be storing financial data incorrectly. If process mining analyzes the accounting department's processes, it can discover this and recommend that accounting staff change their data storage procedures before the company is penalized.

Process mining also saves employees time because the software can automatically check that company operations are compliant.

Employees won't have to manually go through company processes to confirm that the processes meet compliance standards, Kumar said.

3. Helps determine most valuable areas for improvement

Process mining gives insight into the most valuable automation opportunities.

The software can identify which processes to automate and which of those automations will result in the highest ROI. For example, process mining software might recommend that a company should automate customer order confirmations and automate the process of adding customer order data to the CRM. The process mining software will indicate that users should automate customer confirmation emails first because it will result in a bigger ROI than automating order data entry.

These recommendations can help automation leads gain support for process mining from other leaders, Kumar said. Implementing an automation that results in a high ROI will impress any executives who are skeptical about the value of process mining.

4. Reveals which processes to integrate with AI

Process mining can help users decide whether to add AI technologies to their company's operations.

For example, process mining software may recommend that a company use generative AI to respond to customer questions online. However, employees must be knowledgeable about generative AI for this to be useful for companies.

Before implementing generative AI, organizations should invest in training and upskilling for employees so they understand the technology's capabilities and limitations, Greenstein said. Beginning with small-scale generative AI projects is also crucial.

5. Improves troubleshooting

Process mining gives users more insight into what is causing problems.

This capability helps them fix issues more quickly and easily, said Bhrugu Pange, managing director of technology services at AArete, a global management consulting firm located in Chicago.

For example, Pange worked with a company that built a new customer case management system. Metrics such as first-call resolution percentage trended downwards following the launch of the new system, but process mining helped reveal the issue, resulting in increased customer satisfaction.

George Lawton is a journalist based in London. Over the last 30 years, he has written more than 3,000 stories about computers, communications, knowledge management, business, health and other areas that interest him.

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