What Is Process Mining? (With Definition And Types)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 25 October 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Process mining is a technique to examine a business's activities and enhance workflows for better productivity. It is an analytical system that observes, monitors and improves business functionalities. Understanding the benefits of such processes can help you implement them in a company's operations and correctly estimate their impact on performance indicators. In this article, we define performance mining, explain its significance and advantages, describe its various types and present five industries that may depend on this technique.

What Is Process Mining?

Process mining, also known as performance or organisational mining, is a multidisciplinary system that detects, tracks and optimises the activities in a company for a better yield. It combines data science and business process management using advanced algorithms and digital tools to resolve multiple system-related issues. Algorithms can identify and analyse a process's patterns, details and trends and form insights to reduce inefficiency.

Many companies worldwide rely on its use, making it important business intelligence and management tool. It can allow users to identify product congestions, reworks, deviations and wastes in business processes. Various industries, such as telecommunications, healthcare, banking, financial services, logistics, energy and manufacturing, implement performance mining.

Related: The Difference Between Data Science And Data Analytics

Significance Of Performance Mining

A company can use this technique to gain instant and accurate data concerning various activities. Data analysts and executives can use mining software to get key insights about a process's performance, any friction points and the causes of deviation. Analysts can predict a company's future productivity by utilising this workflow technique. Here are some more reasons why this is an essential strategy:

  • Improves process quality: This mining strategy can enhance the efficacy of internal processes in the workplace. It may encourage employees to think creatively when they design new projects, and it can improve customer engagement.

  • Reduces expenditure: Performance mining can provide executives with accurate expenditure statements to help them better allocate budgets. It can give valuable insights to reduce expenses and help executives streamline management procedures.

  • Increases the return on investment (ROI): A business can implement this mining technique to improve its net profits and ROI. Reducing redundant expenses and simplifying management processes can help a company to achieve this goal.

  • Enhances data utility: Performance mining can analyse a company's work-related data to help implement effective operational changes. The mining strategy may help identify friction points in a process and prevent further issues.

  • Creates insightful analysis: This method can help you design the internal mechanism of a business's processes according to its needs. For example, executives may use this method to identify bottlenecks that reduce efficiency, understand their causes and estimate their impact on performance indicators.

Related: Automation Of Processes (With Definition And Examples)

Advantages Of Performance Mining

This type of analysis can benefit an organisation in many ways, such as:

  • Measures workflow: Performance mining extracts data from event logs and uses algorithms to help assess any inefficiencies in a company's activities. These assessments can allow you to modify the workflow and help you create distinct solutions.

  • Helps objective analysis: The data-driven approach of this technique offers tangible and objective analysis regarding the capability of your workflow and resources. It can ensure accurate and unbiased reports.

  • Integrates with existing systems: It can work with your current software processes. You can continue to use any former systems, and the mining can still function well.

  • Offers better accuracy than process mapping: Process mapping and mining are similar, and both test and improve business processes for positive yields. Mining is less time-consuming and more accurate because it uses more advanced digital tools.

  • Allows prioritising: Performance mining is a streamlined method that enhances operations and increases productivity. It assigns quantifiable values to your processes and allows you to prioritise the activities that you would prefer to focus on.

Related: Data Scientist Skills (With Examples And Tips To Improve)

Types Of Mining Techniques

Here are the three primary types of performance mining:

Process discovery

The discovery technique extracts data from the event log and uses it to produce a new model. Using this information, the mining software generates a process map that contains an analysis of various processes. This strategy can allow executives to scrutinise data and help them work towards improving organisational workflows.

Conformance checking

The conformance technique allows your mining software to compare your processes with a pre-existing model. It utilises data from event logs and shows how a business process can achieve optimal working conditions. The mining software then compares the pre-existing models with your workflow to identify further areas of improvement.

Enhancement

The enhancement strategy aims to optimise pre-existing models using additional information. Performance mining can constantly try to improve former systems with data from organisational logs. It allows both your pre-existing and actual workflows to be accurate and efficient.

Related: Popular Data Mining Tools (Types, Examples And Uses)

What Do You Require To Carry Out Mining?

If you intend to incorporate performance mining into business activities, here are some factors to consider:

  • Software: Mining software is the essential starting point of performance mining, as it enables the pre-processing, loading and transforming of real-time data.

  • Event log: The software uses all generated analytical data and transforms it into an event log database.

  • Case ID: A case is a term for one complete business activity or process, and each has a specific ID that helps in referencing.

  • Timestamp: This marks a process's start or end time. Typically, mining software uses two stamps to denote time limits.

  • Activity: Activity is a label that defines the work done in a particular business process.

Related: 13 Data Mining Techniques: A Complete Guide

How Does Organisational Mining Work?

Organisational mining operations involve four stages:

Evaluate and transform the business data

The IT sector of most companies often saves its business process-related data for future reference, and the activity mining strategy assesses this data and organises it into event logs. The mining software assigns each event log a timestamp, specific case ID and activity. Subsequently, these three key features can allow you to analyse data and utilise mining techniques to prioritise and improve workflow.

Examine the details of each process

In this step, the mining software takes references from the event log data and designs graphs to show progress. The software then compares this new graph with a company's ideal workflow chart. You can then use this comparison to identify any inefficiencies and plan ways to improve the process. For instance, an ideal graph for invoice statements marks times and other essential steps, but a mining graph depicts minute details, including the smaller steps within the process. This can increase a workflow's duration and support its other requirements.

Prioritise your workflow

The performance mining technique allows you to observe advanced data and visualisations relating to a business's activities, such as the exact time it takes to accomplish a task. This information can help you determine which part of your workflow to enhance and how to optimise your solutions. Mining software can let you further evaluate your changes and identify if they have the potential to save a company time, capital and other resources.

Observe your workflow

Business mining software continually tracks your workflow after implementing the changes. It monitors and evaluates real-time data generated after your modifications so you can understand the impact of them. This assessment tactic helps you to analyse whether your business processes follow industry regulations and guidelines.

Related: Types Of Graphs And Charts

Who Uses Performance Mining?

Here are some industries that have implemented this analysis technique in their daily operations:

Education

In the educational field, it can help teachers and school administrators to improve their curriculum's standards. Educators might use this strategy to analyse students based on their performance, attendance and achievements. Mining software studies learning processes and suggests optimisations in areas such as resources, study materials and digital platform developments.

Healthcare

Healthcare organisations might use mining software to reduce patient waiting lists and increase the efficiency of administrative staff. It can simplify the workflows of departments that link with multiple other sectors, such as insurance claims or patient medical records. Mining techniques may help staff maintain appointment records and facilitate diagnostic decision-making and medication management.

Related: What Is A Workflow? (With Definition, Benefits And Examples)

Finance

Financial institutions and firms can use performance mining to improve their efficiency and cooperation across departments to audit their documents efficiently. Mining software may also spot discrepancies in an auditing workflow and suggest insights to remedy the process. Financiers can use this strategy because it helps with risk management, enforcing financial compliance and streamlining common monetary processes, such as purchase-to-pay and accounts payable.

E-commerce

Mining strategies encourage customers to shop while simultaneously evaluating their engagement on digital commerce platforms. The mining software analyses various metrics, such as how long customers spend browsing an e-commerce website or how often they interact on social media platforms. E-commerce companies can use this mining technique to manage inventories, track online users, integrate customer service and enhance shipping procedures.

Related: 8 Risk Management Software Programs (With Features And Tips)

Software development

Software development teams frequently record their entire workflow using mining software. This recording process helps them identify their tasks within the workflow and how to act in various situations. Analysts or supervisors can use this strategy to ensure that all other systems are working efficiently. IT companies and coders can use mining techniques because they initiate idea validation, enhance servers, maintain software and improve delivery management.

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