Can Process Intelligence be the key to optimising your business?


The term “efficiency” is widely used by organisations across various industries and sectors, and for a good reason. In order to operate sustainably and achieve their full potential, businesses need to make the most of their available resources, particularly in times of economic downturn.

However, achieving efficiency often requires organisational change, which can bring about many difficulties. Evaluating current operations and workflows can be a complex task, and even when opportunities for improvement are identified, disrupting core processes can be met with resistance from employees. Research indicates that the majority of attempts to digitally transform processes (about 70%) end up failing, resulting in further losses of time, money, and employee engagement.

Despite these challenges, businesses must still innovate and make changes to address inefficiencies that impede their operations. Fortunately, decision-makers now have access to process intelligence tools, which provide them with relevant data and insights to help them make informed decisions and automate processes effectively.

Process Intelligence

Process intelligence is an advanced technological solution that analyses workflows within an organisation to pinpoint areas of improvement such as bottlenecks, opportunities for automation, and other inefficiencies.

By having this deeper understanding and enhanced perspective of operations, businesses can dramatically improve their efficiency – but only if they take the right approach.

It must be driven by insights generated through both task and process mining, using timestamps at various points throughout a timeline to generate a model that allows for easy identification of discrepancies.

What is Task and Process Mining?

Process intelligence encompasses two interrelated concepts: task mining and process mining. Task mining is concerned with the micro-interactions of employees such as mouse clicks and keystrokes, which are recorded as they complete tasks. On the other hand, process mining analyses event logs and the underlying movements within the larger process. These two concepts can be differentiated as the “front-end” and “back-end” of the process intelligence practice.

Task mining and process mining are two distinct concepts that work in tandem to form the larger practice of process intelligence. The difference between the two can be described most simply as “front end” vs. “back end.” Task mining focuses on employees’ micro-interactions like keystrokes and mouse clicks that occur while completing tasks, while process mining examines event logs and behind-the-scenes movements throughout the larger process.

To make the most of these insights, businesses should augment process mining with task mining together. Task mining allows for steps to be standardised at the individual level, yielding more predictability, and requiring less guesswork when determining how long employee tasks will take. Process mining can then provide more effective and reliable solutions as there is less variance at individual points in a timeline.

Utilising Process Simulation

While process mining enables the scrutiny of past and present processes, how can businesses improve insights into the future?

Process simulation is an advanced application of process mining that provides decision-makers with predictive capabilities. This technology enables experimentation with various workflows while considering the numerous variables that can impact operations. Typically, organisations create processes based on a theoretical “happy path,” which represents an ideal and efficient scenario for user experience. However, most businesses operate in complex landscapes, as such, one-size-fits-all solutions are rare. In this context, process simulation can be used to design a “primary path” that accounts for various complexities, allowing for flexibility and the ability to adapt to specific situations.

Imagine a flight simulator. A prospective pilot can gain the experience needed to handle any situation or variable that might be encountered – barometric pressure, inclement weather, equipment failure, refuelling – without the risk of experiencing it first-hand.

Process simulation is similar in its depth and complexity, allowing users to design an optimal workflow informed by as much data as possible before implementation. Instead of a pilot adjusting hypothetical wind speeds, however, an insurance provider can see how hiring additional agents might affect a claims process, or what would happen if a certain step was completed at twice its current speed. This forecasting ability enables organisations to be proactive in optimising their workflows with highly specific variables in mind.

Prioritise Employee Buy-In

The impact of digital transformation on the labour market has been significant, resulting in the elimination or reduction of some jobs while also creating new, profitable opportunities. As automation continues to replace tasks previously performed by humans, the word “automation” can have negative connotations for employees who fear for their job security. Thus, informing employees about plans to implement a system that identifies inefficiencies and automation opportunities may not be received enthusiastically.

However, process intelligence isn’t about trading your human employees for robots – it aims to use human capabilities more effectively. By identifying the correct steps in a process to automate, businesses can lighten the load of repetitive and monotonous tasks that employees are assigned and instead delegate them more creative, cognitive, and rewarding projects.

This symbiosis between intelligent automation and human ingenuity improves experiences for both the business and its customers. Illustrating this mutually beneficial relationship is crucial for getting employees on board for process intelligence.

The Bottom Line

While process intelligence may not provide an instant solution, implementing it can present its own set of obstacles. With this in mind, what benefits can organisations expect from process intelligence that make it worth the effort?

According to a survey, 54% of UK organisations reported that using process and task mining tools increased their efficiency, while 32% reported increased revenue. In terms of ROI, 65% of surveyed UK companies claimed that process automation generated twice the value of their initial investment, with only 3% reporting negative returns.

When approached correctly, process intelligence can provide significant benefits to companies in terms of efficiency, revenue, and overall employee and customer experience. As the world continues to embrace artificial intelligence and automation across a wide range of use cases, it is essential to stay informed and knowledgeable about these practices. In 2023 and beyond, decision-makers must avoid resisting change and embrace progress.