Businesses are always seeking new ways to improve their efficiency. This really shouldn’t come as any surprise. After all, improved efficiency means a reduction in costs, which in turn means greater revenue.
An efficient business will simply have more chances for success than an inefficient one. Achieving that high level of efficiency, however, is the real challenge. Companies have experimented with different strategies, always willing to try something new and adopt a new technology in order to acquire peak levels of efficiency. But as the business world moves into the big data era, analytics may hold the key to reaching this goal. More specifically, big data could help businesses leverage greater efficiency through the use of business process mining.
What is business process mining?
Process mining is not necessarily a new concept, particularly when it comes to businesses. In many senses, it’s similar to data mining where information is gathered on a large scale, then analysed to the tiniest detail to discover whatever the intended goal is. The business world has been using process mining for quite a while, but not at the level that big data offers them now. This is in large part due to the abundance of information now available to companies at virtually every point. Through the use of converged infrastructure, cloud computing, all flash array systems, and much more, businesses are awash to in data that they can generate and analyse. Many have already put this data to good use by visualising how company processes are conducted.
The problem that has arisen, particularly in the last few decades, is that business processes have become incredibly complex, and the more complex they are, the more data is generated and the less efficient the business is. With so much more information to sort through and more complicated processes to optimise, efforts to improve efficiency have been met with significant difficulty. Luckily, as often seems to be the case, the answer lies in using the latest technology. Big data is proving to be extremely valuable with the use of machine learning techniques to properly map out the vast amount of business processes companies now have and identifying the areas where those processes can be improved.
What does this mean for businesses?
With the increase in complexity, businesses in the past have often needed to turn to outside consultants and firms in order to pinpoint where processes can become more efficient. That doesn’t have to be the case anymore now that various startups have begun to specialise in business process mining. They provide software that organisations can use to visualise their processes and analyse the data as it comes in. Extracting true value from that data is the goal, and by optimising processes, companies can make better business decisions that impact their bottom line. This data visualisation is especially powerful in part because it provides a big picture view of the whole organisation. Through visualisation, businesses can see where bottlenecks are forming or where processes deviate from the norm.
Equally valuable to this optimisation effort is the automated nature new process mining software provides. Machine learning, as the name implies, is an algorithm that is constantly learning and improving on itself and its primary functions. Over time, the algorithm adjusts itself automatically, leading to better results at every interval. That means businesses don’t have to constantly be managing and maintaining it themselves. This opens the possibility of using process mining and advanced business process modeling for smaller organisations that normally might not have the funds or resources to do so. They also wouldn’t need a team of data experts to pore over the information they collect in order to optimise their processes. In other words, it’s a winning scenario for all businesses involved.
Companies are right to want to make their processes more efficient. For any wondering what would be the best way to do it, business process mining is proving to have a significant impact. While more work needs to be done to understand and effectively use the technology, process mining is a key ingredient in making sure that all businesses are working at an optimal level.
I’ve been blessed to have a successful career and have recently taken a step back to pursue my passion of writing. I love to write about new technologies and how it can help us and our planet.