Big Data Breakthrough: Process Mining

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In this special guest feature, Alexander Rinke, co-CEO and co-founder at Celonis, explains how big data – and more specifically process mining – can help organizations gain full transparency into their operations, in turn allowing them to improve margins, business agility and customer service while reducing operational costs. Alexander is an enterprise software entrepreneur. He co-founded Celonis in 2011 and serves as co-CEO and Chief Product Owner. Celonis is the market leader in process mining software, a new discipline in Big Data Analytics. Celonis became one of the fastest growing enterprise software companies in the world, helping customers such as Siemens, 3M, Dow Chemicals, Vodafone and many others save millions through improving their core business processes.

Corporate performance relies heavily on operational efficiency, and the larger the organization, the more complex it becomes to optimize operations. Businesses are faced with the challenge of improving business processes and core operations like purchasing, logistics, and production to achieve better corporate performance. Decision makers often feel like they have a good grip on these business processes, but they usually have far less visibility and control than they imagine. This lack of transparency is caused by the massive amounts of data available across enterprise systems – and in this context, identifying issues within core processes can be like finding a needle in a haystack.

That’s where Process Mining – a breakthrough approach to big data analytics – comes in. Powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence, Process Mining technology leverages the digital logs in every company’s existing IT systems to create a visual map of an organization’s business processes. With Process Mining, decision makers can easily visualize and analyze cross-departmental processes like purchase-to-pay, order-to-cash, production, logistics, IT service management, accounts payable, and accounts receivable, to achieve complete transparency into how these processes are working in real life. The technology uses the tremendous amount of data accumulated in a large organization to understand human behavior, automatically reconstruct the way the organization works, and find ways to improve.

One exemplary case of Process Mining use was by global telecom giant Vodafone, which needed to transform its massive purchasing operations and adapt back-end processes to support the ever-changing needs of its customer base. Vodafone annually manages more than 800,000 purchase orders, 5 million invoices, and 40 million assets – and company executives lacked the necessary insights into how processes were performing in their “as-is” state compared to the desired “to-be” state. To streamline operations and improve efficiency and agility, the company turned to Process Mining to detect hidden vulnerabilities and suggest improvements automatically.

Process Mining software creates a process X-ray and advisory machine for the day-to-day business, which allowed Vodafone to build a bridge across the information gap between performance losses, and to uncover the appropriate course of action. With 100% transparency into business operations, Vodafone determined where inefficiencies and deviations were driving up costs or increasing delivery times. Having pinpointed where, what, and how these issues were occurring, the organization was able to implement effective solutions that not only cut costs by 11%, but reduced time to market by 20%, helping Vodafone maintain its global-leader status in the highly competitive telecommunications market.

Unlike traditional analytics, Process Mining analyzes and maps out processes in an organization in real-time, revealing weaknesses and providing unbiased insight to make processes more transparent, faster, and more cost-effective. Organizations use Process Mining to find answers to tough questions on critical business issues like time lost between shipment and invoices, vendors missing commitments, and lost productivity from unnecessary steps in business processes.

Finding solutions to known problems is tough enough already – but it’s nearly impossible for businesses to find solutions to problems they don’t know exist. With Process Mining, companies don’t have to function in the dark when it comes to the inner workings of their organization’s business processes. Businesses can finally “turn on the lights” to clearly see what’s happening, and why, while providing prescriptive recommendations to fix problems with processes.


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  1. Hirendrasingh Chauhan says

    comprehensively covered. I think Process Mining has capability to bring next level Efficiency in the Enterprise.. Its going to be must have application for all multi location , high volume organiztions