How to improve business processes using process mining

This article will share more detail around process mining and how when combined with Business Process Management (BPM), this powerful pairing can optimally improve processes – and strengthen operations. It also includes use cases in how to apply at any organization.

What is the definition of process mining?

Process mining is an approach that analyzes data from IT systems to gain objective insights and uncover hidden problems. This approach is conducted using software that combines data science and process management to discover, check conformance, and enhance actual processes.

  • Discover: The first step is to discover the inefficiencies. The process mining software does this by extracting event logs from information systems such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tools.

  • Check conformance: Next, the process mining tool will review the event logs and turn it into data to identify trends and patterns, and automatically create an "as-is" process model that reflects what really happens in operations.

  • Enhance: Lastly, the software will identify precisely where the bottlenecks and inefficiencies are occurring that are causing delays and suggest potential reworks. One can also check conformance by comparing actual processes with BPMN models and optimize them.

How does process mining work

As mentioned earlier, process mining software works by extracting event logs (contained in information systems) to construct processes based on three main attributes:

  • Case ID: this allows the software to link back an event to a person or a case

  • Timestamp: this datapoint records the time of execution to help sort a sequence of events

  • Activity: this attribute corresponds to an activity that was executed in the process


These attributes provide enough detail for the software to identify what stage the process is in. In the example to the right, the phases are “Registered,” “Completed,” “In progress,” or “At specialist.” When an activity is updated for a particular case, the time is also recorded. When looking at the different activities in a macro view, it is possible to construct a process that depicts how cases are actually handled.


Using the event logs and turning it into data, process mining software can identify deviations, bottlenecks, and waste, or investigate their causes and show ways to improve KPIs such as time, cost, quality, or risk. The result of an analysis may be to add more resources at peak times, or to build in support at times where bottlenecks tend to occur.


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