The possible challenges that can cause delay or complicate Process Mining projects
More and more companies want complete transparency in their processes to save costs, increase customer satisfaction and free employees from tedious tasks in order to do more value-adding work. For this reason, the demand for Process Mining, a technology that can normally be used to examine complete end-to-end processes within a very short time using data from IT systems, is growing.
Until now, users have tended to be larger companies, while small and medium-sized enterprises have had a high barrier to entry. Due to the growing supplier market and the idea of the software providers to spread Process Mining more and more products and license models are emerging, making Process Mining accessible for everyone.
Nevertheless, there are some criteria that need to be considered in order to correctly estimate the effort of the final implementation.
Types of source systems
While commercial process mining took its first steps with the big players like SAP, more and more IT systems were introduced. In the meantime, data extraction and transformation from systems used primarily by medium-sized companies has also been standardized. Software Provider developed ready to use Process Connectors to other ERP or different IT systems. It significantly increased the ability and the speed to extract and transform the raw data.
If a direct connection to the system is not possible, Process Mining as a Service focuses on the extraction of log data as CSV files. Uploading the files to the software and manually transforming the data takes longer processing time. However, it breaks through the limitation of non-systematic data extraction.
Various source systems
The complexity of tracking one specific item through the process flow increases with the number of systems considered in the process.
Through the up-lifting trend of integrating multiple systems, some specific document IDs do not change or get transferred to the other systems.
If individual attributes such as an invoice number are not transferred across different systems, it is necessary to create these item IDs after a close examination of the IT systems by yourself. By combining several attributes of an item, each item can be distinguished from the others and thus be tracked through the process.
If even this is not possible during the transition between two systems, further bridging aids can be applied or the process can be divided into sub-processes.
Structured data, however, is essential for achieving high quality analyses and reduces time and effort for mining processes.
However, data might be incomplete or unsorted in some cases. The solution for this issue is to manually adjust the data or use bots.
Due to the deep insights that both the visualization of processes and analyses and the raw data itself provide into business processes and relationships with business partners, data security is a top priority for every project. For this reason, Business Consulting House is committed to a thorough analysis of all security precautions taken by providers of process mining software. Only after certifications, server characteristics and other criteria are guaranteed, a contract can be concluded.
Data privacy (GDPR)
The visualization of log data provides deep insights into the daily work. Therefore, data that might expose employees must be treated confidential.
There are different options that can be applied for data privacy protection.
- Avoid exporting the data which sites the users’ identity
- Choose the option to not upload the sensitive data
- Anonymize or pseudonymize the data. This method allows you to still access other tracking information e.g. the department the data is from.
- Manage different authorization to the users within the software, control the visibility of sensitive data.
In summary, one can say that the complexity of Process Mining, like many IT projects, depends on the input factors. Before each Process Mining project, Business Consulting House customers go through a questionnaire to identify possible challenges. This ensures that the right initiative is chosen and a return on investment is realized as quickly as possible.