Process Mining FAQ
in Learning

Process Mining FAQ

Process Mining can seem a bit ambiguous to those who are unfamiliar with it. If that is the case for you, you’re in the right place! Process Mining can be complex and multifaceted: we are here to walk you through what it is exactly, how it can help you, what you’ll need to begin, and more. Also learn about our integration with Power BI – and how this gives your business an edge on the competition.

First, what is a process?

In Process Mining, a process is a chain of events made up of process steps with a clear start and end activity. Those process steps are individual actions or events in the process. A simplified example would be when a customer places an order, and you deliver the product/service. Those are start and end points.

So, what is Process Mining?

The term Process Mining actually describes a mix of technologies and methods that fall into the broader category of business process management. It uses your actual data to visualize the process. The main goals of Process Mining are to analyze how digitalized processes actually transpire, how they deviate from the ideal model, when or which problems occur, what optimization measures should be taken, and then ultimately start to improve the process.

What are some advantages of Process Mining?

Process Mining allows you to optimize your processes at the click of a button, rather than conducting interviews and analyzing the results. It allows you to view your real processes in an objective, factual way. By laying out the entire process from start to finish, it becomes easy to pinpoint problems and locate optimization potential. The process flow can show you deviations, skipped steps, reworks, and more.

Nowadays, it can be hard to visualize your processes since everything is done digitally. You can use Process Mining to gain an edge on your competition, be pro-active with your optimization strategy, continuously monitor your processes, and improve performance overall.

What is PAFnow?

PAFnow is Process Analytics Factory’s very own Process Mining tool. We offer our product in the Premium package and the Enterprise package, allowing you to choose which suits your business best. PAFnow converts insights to actions through data alerts built in record time with exceptional customer ROI. Our packages allow you to reduce process analysis and transformation costs by more than 90%. Additionally, it is easily set up on-premise on desktop or server, as well as in the cloud through Microsoft Office 365. Watch how easy Process Mining is with PAFnow.

PAFnow versions
PAFnow is available in a Premium and an Enterprise version with various additional content packs, designed to meet your company's needs

Who can use PAFnow?

Process Mining can be used across many different industries and for varying purposes. First, Process Mining can be used by your in-house employees (such as IT departments, process managers, and data science teams) and by your outside service providers (such as auditors and consultants). With our modern Process Mining software, you don’t need to be an expert in process optimization to achieve results. Even end users with no coding experience can use Process Mining tools. Some industries that already utilize these tools include Manufacturing, Healthcare, Governmental Institutions, Telecommunications, Finance, Banking, and more.

What do I need to start?

To begin, you’ll need a Process Mining software – at PAF, we offer our own free version.
This does a lot of data processing, loading, and transformation for you, making it easy to use. You’ll also need data to analyze, which is stored in your IT system. Finally, Process Mining uses data in a so-called event log. Event Logs are databases that store the following information: CaseID, Timestamp, Activity name. These three things must be available for the software to analyze your processes.

What can you find with Process Mining?

You can see your real process and determine what needs optimization. After all, there is no point in ‘optimizing’ something that doesn’t need it. Process Mining can help point out problems such as repetitions or reworks, which are always a waste of time, money, and employee power. You can tackle other bottlenecks by preforming a root cause analysis, which will pinpoint exactly what is causing delays. In addition, Process Mining can find compliance violations in your system. Compliance violations include placing orders without approval, process steps being skipped, or preformed in the wrong order. All of these things impact efficiency, quality, and risk management.

What are “Optimization Strategies?”

While business owners often have an idea of where optimization potential lies, true optimization hotpots can remain hidden. Process Mining can give you a priority list for your optimization strategy. One way to do this is with Root Cause Analysis – which can reveal the root causes of problems in your process. Additionally, an often-overlooked advantage of Root Cause Analysis is that it can also find the reasons why your efficient processes are working well. This can help you improve your optimization measures. Process Mining can also pinpoint important Key Performance Indicators (or KPIs) and monitor the important ones, giving you flexibility and insight into your process.

What are some features of 2nd generation Process Mining?

2nd generation Process Mining tools such as PAFnow include additional features. Of course, they still visualize your data and allow for a detailed analysis but can do even more now. You can compare your actual processes to each other, or to a target model. With three kinds of comparative analysis, you can define relevant KPIs and monitor them. Advanced monitoring includes setting alerts for KPI thresholds, watching improvement progress and adapting your strategy, and uncovering new areas of improvement. All of these features make it easier to collaborate across departments to solve a problem. In conclusion, 2nd generation Process Mining tools can help you track your process in real time, start optimization measures, an compare your processes.

I understand Process Mining… but what is BI?

Business Intelligence (BI) platforms include procedures for collecting, evaluating, and presenting data, with the aim of increasing added value, reducing costs, and minimizing risks. BI brings together data, shows patterns and discontinuities, and answers previously defined questions. A good BI tool should be easy to use and flexible, but still be a single platform model. It should feature enhanced analytics, including simplifying and automating tasks for you. An effective BI tool will also supply you with diverse data visualization features and be easy enough to access for all users in your company, allowing communication and collaboration. To begin, you must have a predefined question or analysis you want done.

BI tools are the analytical brain of a company
BI platforms can collect, evaluate, and present data

Why should I pair Process Mining with a BI platform?

When you look at BI and what it can do, you might think that there’s no need for a Process Mining tool. Afterall, BI already comes with great analysis and visualization capabilities. However, Process Mining takes a different approach by looking at your processes end-to-end instead of only isolated KPIs. This means that you don’t need a predefined question to begin your analysis. Process Mining will show you your as-is processes, identify unknown problems, and directly start optimization measures, define relevant KPIs and monitor progress. This does not mean that Process Mining is better than BI; it means that they are best used together for optimal results.

So… why PAFnow and Power BI?

Since its introduction in 2014, Power BI has grown into the market leader in the BI market. Power BI is part of Office 365 and Microsoft’s Power Platform which are used as the primary office suite by the majority of businesses and organizations across the globe. It meets all the criteria of highly advanced BI tools – including easy to use, cloud based, ability to manage large quantities of data, integration with Microsoft or non-Microsoft tools and products, and more. Adding all of these features to the benefits of PAFnow create the perfect match. PAFnow is simply built on the Power BI platform, allowing clients to use the best of Power BI and PAFnow Process Mining all in one solution. Because PAFnow runs smoothly inside the Power BI infrastructure, users find it is a natural choice for them. PAFnow users can simultaneously use Microsoft AI, machine learning, and Q&A for their process data – and use monitoring capabilities to keep track of key metrics. You can easily share your Process Mining results across applications, making it easy to collaborate for process improvement. Pairing these two allows us to democratize BI and Process Mining – making its benefits accessible to businesses across the globe.

Do you have more questions about Process Mining, PAFnow, or Power BI? You can reach out to us anytime via e-mail, visit our training page, or create an account and sign up for a demo. For a more in-depth analysis of the information above, take a look at our Process Mining 101 series.