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10 Frequently Asked Questions About Process Mining

10 Frequently Asked Questions About Process Mining

Let’s look at 10 frequently asked questions about process mining. From the basics to how it can improve business operations to how a business can get started with process mining. Let’s dive into it!


01 Aug 2023

1. What is Process Mining?

Firstly, process mining is a powerful technology that allows organisations to extract valuable insights and knowledge from event logs captured by their information systems. It offers a systematic and data-driven approach to understanding and optimising business processes.

Thus, there are three types of process mining approaches: discovery, conformance, and enhancement.

1. Discovery: This type aims to automatically generate a process model based on the event logs. It allows organisations to uncover the actual processes that occur within their systems, providing visibility into the sequence of events and the interactions between different activities.

2. Conformance: Conformance process mining focuses on comparing the observed event logs with the expected or predefined process model. It helps organisations identify deviations and non-compliance issues, allowing them to assess how well their processes adhere to regulations, policies, and standards.

3. Enhancement: Enhancement process mining leverages the insights gained from the discovery and conformance processes to identify areas for process improvement. It helps organisations identify process inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and variations, providing valuable information to streamline operations, reduce costs, and enhance customer experience.

2. Which Tools Does Process Mining Primarily Make Use Of?

To begin with, one of the most important aspects is the use of specialized tools that can analyze and visualize event logs to uncover valuable insights. There are several popular tools available in the market for process mining.

Firstly, one widely recognized tool is ProM, which is a free and open-source software framework developed by Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. ProM offers a range of process mining techniques and algorithms, making it a versatile tool for various types of process mining projects. Its open-source nature allows for customization and integration with other systems.

Additionnaly, another popular tool is Disco, a commercial software developed by Fluxicon. Disco offers an intuitive user interface and is known for its user-friendly features. It provides advanced process mining capabilities, including automated process discovery, conformance checking, and visual analytics. However, it’s important to note that Disco is a commercial tool and comes with a cost associated with its usage.

At Apolix, we only work with Celonis as they are the best on the market in execution management software.

3. What Is The Role Of Process Mining In Improving Business Operations?

Chiefly, it can provide numerous benefits to businesses in various ways. One key advantage is improving process efficiency and quality. By analyzing event logs and extracting insights from actual processes, businesses can identify inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and areas for improvement. This allows them to streamline their operations, reduce processing time, and eliminate unnecessary steps.

Furthermore, it aids in enhancing customer satisfaction. Thus it enables businesses to gain a deep understanding of their processes from the customer’s perspective, identifying pain points and areas where improvements can be made to enhance the customer experience.

Consequently, another benefit is ensuring compliance with regulations. Thereupon, this allows businesses to monitor their processes and ensure that they are adhering to legal and regulatory requirements. It helps detect deviations and non-compliance, enabling businesses to take corrective actions promptly.

4. Why Is Obtaining Relevant Data Challenging?

Generally, when it comes to process mining, one important question that arises is, “How difficult is it to get data?” The answer to this question is not straightforward and depends on various factors.

Overall, data extraction plays a crucial role in process mining, and accessing the necessary data can be a challenge. Markedly, the difficulty may vary depending on the type of system being used, such as ERP systems or custom-built software. Regardless, different systems may have different data structures and may require different methods for extracting the desired information.

Additionally, one complexity in data extraction is dealing with cross-references between different document types and handling many-to-many relationships. Regardless, this may involve making decisions on which data sources to include and preparing the data accordingly to ensure accurate analysis.

5. Is It Possible To Use Pre-Existing Data For Process Mining Analysis?

Firstly, yes, it is possible. Here are the steps involved in using process mining on existing data:

1. Data Extraction: The first step is to extract the necessary data from relevant systems, such as ERP systems or custom-built software.

2. Data Preparation: Once the data is extracted, it needs to be prepared for analysis. This involves cleaning the data, removing any inconsistencies or errors, and transforming it into a format suitable for process mining.

3. Process Model Creation: The next step is to create a process model from the existing data. This involves mapping the sequence of events to identify process steps, variations, and potential bottlenecks.

4. Process Mining Analysis: After creating the process model, process mining algorithms are applied to the data to discover patterns and relationships.

5. Interpretation and Improvement: Once the process mining analysis is complete, the results need to be interpreted and translated into actionable insights.

6. What Are Some Real-World Applications Of Process Mining?

To begin with, it has a wide range of real-world applications across different industries. Particularly, it can be used to improve efficiency, identify bottlenecks, and monitor compliance in various business processes. Here are a few examples:

1. Financial Services: Process mining can be applied in financial institutions to analyze loan approval processes. By mapping the process steps and identifying bottlenecks or delays, organizations can streamline the process, reducing processing time and improving customer satisfaction.

2. Healthcare: In emergency room processes, process mining can be utilized to identify process variations and bottlenecks. By analyzing the data, hospitals can optimize resource allocation, reduce patient waiting times, and improve overall operational efficiency.

3. Manufacturing: Process mining can be applied to manufacturing processes to detect inefficiencies or deviations from the standard procedures. Thus, by analyzing the process data, organizations can identify bottlenecks, reduce process variations, and optimize production lines, resulting in improved productivity and cost savings.

7. How Are Process Discovery And Process Monitoring Different?

Process discovery and process monitoring are two key components of process mining. These terms refer to different stages and purposes in analyzing an organization’s business processes for improvement.

Process discovery is the analysis of an organisation’s data to gain an understanding and documentation of its business processes. It aims to uncover the actual processes being followed, including the sequence of events, decisions, and interactions between different elements of the business. Process discovery provides a comprehensive understanding of how the processes are executed, which can be represented in a process model or process map.

On the other hand, process monitoring revolves around tracking the performance of these documented processes over time. It involves gathering and analyzing real-time process data to identify potential improvements or areas for optimization. Process monitoring continuously tracks the execution of processes, measures key performance indicators (KPIs), and provides insights into the efficiency and effectiveness of the processes.

8. What Methods Can Be Used To Determine If A Process Has Changed Over Time?

To find out if a process has changed over time, several techniques can be used in the field of process mining.

1. Deviation Analysis: This technique involves comparing the process model, which represents the expected sequence of events, to the actual process execution data recorded in event logs.

2. Conformance Checking: This technique evaluates the alignment between the process model and the actual process execution data. It measures the extent to which the executed processes adhere to the defined process model.

3. Process Mining Algorithms: Process mining algorithms provide a systematic approach to analyzing event logs to uncover process models and patterns.

4. Statistical Process Control: This technique involves using statistical methods to monitor process performance and detect changes.

9. How Can Process Mining Help Organisations Control Regulatory Compliance?

Firstly, process mining can assist businesses in ensuring compliance with regulations by tracking and monitoring processes for adherence. Thus this technology allows organizations to analyze event logs and gain insights into how processes are being carried out, providing a clear understanding of compliance.

Subsequently, by utilizing process mining techniques such as deviation analysis and conformance checking, businesses can compare the expected process model with the actual process execution data. Than this enables the identification of any variations or deviations in the process flow, which may indicate potential compliance issues. Therefore, organizations can then take corrective action to address these issues and ensure compliance with regulations.

Understanding how a process is actually being executed is crucial in identifying compliance issues that may go unnoticed through traditional methods. Thus process mining offers a comprehensive and objective view of the entire process, allowing key stakeholders to uncover vulnerabilities or gaps in compliance. Therefore, this not only helps businesses identify and rectify potential compliance issues proactively but also enhances their overall risk management capabilities.

10. How Can My Business Get Started With Process Mining?

Firstly, to get started with process mining, it is important to establish a clear plan and outline the key components necessary for a successful implementation. Thus here are the steps to help you get started:

1. Define the business goals

2. Set timelines

3. Identify key stakeholders

4. Determine potential data sources

It is crucial to base the process mining analysis on actual data. In addition, by using real-life event logs and data sources, you can gain a comprehensive and accurate understanding of your processes, uncovering any inefficiencies or bottlenecks that may exist. Thus, including different data sources allows you to analyse the process from multiple perspectives, providing valuable insights and helping you make data-driven decisions.

Undeniably, with the help of a great team, you can ensure that these steps are followed, that the right tools are utilised and that the right data is collected. Let’s schedule a demo!

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