Article

Driving Improvement With Process Mining

By: Noria, 5. October 2021

Process mining is a technique used to discover, monitor, and improve real business processes (rather than assumed processes) by extracting data from the event logs of information systems.

Noria has the capability to use process mining to discover and improve the “as-is” process, compare it with an organisation’s optimal process to identify deviations, and develop a series of recommendations that will ultimately reduce costs and drive efficiencies.

The “assumption” challenge

A typical organisation’s understanding of its processes is based on assumptions, or how the processes should be. The challenge is to shift this subjective approach to an objective analysis based on real data.

Process mining connects business processes with the company IT system to retrieve data and uses different algorithms to interpret results to discover how the process is performing. Process mining provides detailed, objective, data-driven information through event logs gathered in the IT system.

This information helps organisations gain an overview of which processes are working well, and which are not working. Process mining enables companies to pinpoint ineffective or inefficient activities.

The opportunity

Identifying inefficient activities through process mining helps organisations reduce costs through process improvement. These insights can be used to support future decision-making and to prioritise attention on certain business areas.

Example: Optimising processes at a debt-collection agency

An optimal debt collection process involves collecting payments with as few costs (such as labour costs or legal costs) to the company as possible. Process mining can help identify where deviations from this ideal process increases costs and decreases efficiency.

Through process mining, Noria can:

  1. Develop an optimal process based on KPIs.
  2. Identify unprofitable customers.
  3. Identify where (in the database) the relevant data is located, collect the log data and connect it with the process mining software.
  4. Compare the as-is process with the organisation’s ideal process.
  5. Identify deviations from that process. Deviations include actions such as taking time to resolve customer complaints. Noria can inform clients how many days are added to a process step as a result of deviations.
  6. Develop a series of improvement measures.

These improvement measures could include a recommendation that deviations can be used as areas for improvement to automate, standardise and streamline processes.

Noria’s capabilities also include:

  • Developing a scenario showing the ROI for an organisation to optimise several processes over time.
  • Comparing different processes to determine which is more efficient.

Outcomes

Implementing the recommendations from the data mining process can enable organisations to reduce costs, increase revenue, drive better use of labour, and reduce inefficiencies.

Amir Sadovic, Business Intelligence Analyst at Noria, says process mining provides insights into how a process actually works, rather than relying on assumptions. “It provides organisations with a series of recommendations based on real, objective data pulled from event logs and compared with ideal processes”, he says.

Process mining also has the potential to:

  • Optimise Robotic Process Automation (RPA) initiatives.
  • Optimise and drive the efficiency of all high-value processes within an organisation with the goal of “Process Excellence”. Doing so will create significant cost savings and drive revenue.

How process mining will evolve

Process Mining is a new topic and technology in the BI (Business Intelligence) and data science world.

“Currently, it is not very well known in Norway and could become a standard in the BI/Data science field in 3 to 5 years due to its huge potential. Early adopters of this technology have the potential to gain significant competitive advantage”, says Sadovic.

“At present, process mining is primarily a descriptive analytical technique. But in the future it may become a mixture of descriptive and predictive analytics. This means process mining will not only help describe what is currently happening in the process, but what will happen in the future. This will be of enormous value in informing decision-making.”

Interested in process mining?

Contact amir.sadovic@noria.no to learn more about how process mining can drive efficiency and slash costs at your organisation.