Process mining consists of a set of analysis techniques which together can be used to understand the actual behaviour and performance of business processes by studying events recorded in IT systems (also known as event logs). The three main insights facilitated by process mining include process discovery, conformance, and enhancement (see Figure 1 below).
Discovery. Process mining allows the discovery of the actual manners in which various business processes were conducted and as such may provide valuable insight into differences between processes as they are expected to be executed and the way they actually are.
Conformance. If an organization already has a collection of process models (or business rules) for their respective processes, process mining can verify the extent to which executed processes actually conformed to the models and/or business rules.
Enhancement. Process mining also enables one to gain insights into other dimensions of business processes, including the relationships between resources (social network) and the performance of various business processes (e.g. bottleneck analysis).
Benefits of Process Mining
Beneficial insights obtained from process mining include:
- the uncovering of new opportunities with regards to the way processes are executed,
- the identification of root causes explaining why certain process variants have better performance than others,
- the discovery of key indicators that can predict the behaviour of process instances in the near future,
- the confirmation/refutation of long-held beliefs about the behaviour of one’s processes, and
- the identification of problem areas in existing business processes (e.g. process anomalies).