Introduction to Process Mining

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Companies operating in process heavy industries need to make sure operations are running as smoothly as possible as any process discrepancies may result in delivery delays and, therefore, to monetary losses. However, processes are often taken for granted. Structured specification and management of processes are sometimes left in the background of day to day operations as discovering and managing the process is perceived as being a labour intensive task, taking not only time but also resources.

The traditional way of finding out the realities of the running of key processes is by workshops and interviews. Simply put, it is time-consuming. Whilst this method gets the human influences and points of views, it also poses a challenge since the information may by subjective and biased by individual opinions.

QPR ProcessAnalyzer, a software product for Process Intelligence, has been developed to overcome this hurdle and goes into process discovery with the angle of ‘reality first’. Companies have numerous business support systems in use which log all the details of the processes as they happen in reality. QPR ProcessAnalyzer uses the log data, generated by the different process activities, that is stored in different ERP, CRM, BPM, ticketing, billing or any other system from which the needed data is validated and collected.

With the collected data, QPR ProcessAnalyzer provides the exact ‘as-is’ process flowchart which can be further analyzed from any angle and granularity. The analysis results can be used e.g. to identify process bottlenecks and drive IT system roll-outs, enable the smooth running of processes so that no unwanted and unnecessary costs will incur.

Process Intelligence discovers the business processes based on examining the electronic footprints the users leave in IT systems supporting the process. This allows the business process to be automatically discovered and documented in near real time. Having the approach of “bottom-up”, the facts of instances form a detailed depiction of the business process, complete with all the nuances and detailed statistical information on how often different variations of the process are executed, how long it takes, what data conditions give rise to process variations, and what variations there are between different users or groups.

QPR ProcessAnalyzer serves both the business user and process analyst as a means to keep up-to-date of process developments, which ensures the adoptability of the product across organizations.

QPR ProcessAnalyzer Overview

Purpose of Process Mining

Process mining is designed to discover, monitor and improve real processes (i.e. not assumed processes) by extracting knowledge from events available in today’s information systems. Process mining includes the following main usecases:

  • Automated process discovery (i.e., extracting process models from an event log)
  • Conformance checking (i.e., monitoring deviations by comparing model and log)
  • Social network/organizational mining
  • Automated construction of simulation models
  • Case prediction
  • History-based recommendations
  • Model extension
  • Model repair

Any Data and Process

QPR ProcessAnalyzer is designed to speed up the work of discovering and managing processes for Process Analysts and Owners, Business Developers, Managers, Directors in process heavy industries as well as System and Solution Owners and IT Directors in IT Departments. QPR ProcessAnalyzer enables to see the ‘as-is’ process flowchart from existing data, which in most cases requires Time stamp, Event ID and Attribute data. Users are able to drill-down to details to make often surprising findings for process optimization. QPR ProcessAnalyzer can be used to analyse e.g. Sales, Order-to-Cash, Repairs, Call centers and Service processes.

Process Browsing

The information is provided in an effective way since QPR ProcessAnalyzer will be the single point of reference for process information. Users are able to analyze the data, save their own models for further use and go back to check which filters were in use for specific process analysis models. The analysis angle can be changed with just few clicks, making it easy for users to create an analysis that is relevant for them. Moreover, new data can be streamed continuously to the product, allowing real-time analysis of the processes.

Effective Collaboration

As a reference point for process insight, the analysis is easily accessible and shared with the organization from QPR ProcessAnalyzer. This helps process owners and analysts and business users communicating the process status and analysis results to the stakeholders as the product and models can be accessed directly from the QPR ProcessAnalyzer. QPR ProcessAnalyzer enables organizations and users to:

  • Find and solve issues with certain processes and discover process improvement opportunities
  • Verify if the real processes comply with the planned processes
  • Verify the impact of process changes with continuous monitoring
  • Maintain applications and document how they work and how they are used
  • Keep company systems up-to-date with effective follow-up of upgrade and development projects

Companies deploying QPR ProcessAnalyzer will:

  • Improve operational efficiency by discovering and removing of process bottlenecks
  • Cut costs through optimized process performance and by conducting process follow-ups as an ongoing activity
  • Speed up decision making with automated process discovery. Quick time to issue discovery and resolution

QPR ProcessAnalyzer Core Capabilities

QPR ProcessAnalyzer capabilities have been designed to deliver extensive process analysis and provide answers to questions such as what is the real process, what are the root causes for process bottlenecks and what are the effects of these bottlenecks? Processes have several different stages and therefore we have separated our analysis functions so that users can easily have different viewpoints to the analysis. We give an x-ray view to the process and enable the user to ask questions and get the answers from QPR ProcessAnalyzer.

Analyses enable the following:

  • Flowchart Analysis to analyze the process flow and the different steps in the process to identify possible issues in graphical format
  • Root Causes analysis to discover which attributes influence the process variations

The pre-defined analyses themselves give a clear visualization of the data based on their specialized angles. However, when used as a means to perform more specific analysis, they provide effective steps to detailed discovery. Since QPR ProcessAnalyzer takes the data as a starting point to process discovery, the extensiveness of the analysis is dependent on the data that is collected. The more the data, the more detailed the analysis.

Filtering capability applies to all views since it allows including or excluding certain events, and filtering to specific events or flows. Users are able to keep track of their include/exclude actions with the View Filters function. It is also possible to create new filters/views with set operations including Union, Intersection and Negate. This will allow extensive analysis where different models are used for cross-analysis. Change tab provides an easy way to move from one model to another or go back to the starting point.