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Blog | Apr 27, 2022

Process Mining vs. Task Mining: The Tools That Work Best Together

Process Mining and Task Mining: The Perfect Combination for Successful RPA
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Process mining and task mining are vital tools for digging up automation opportunities. In this blog, we’ll clear up some confusion about the tools and whether they’re interchangeable.

Simply put, process and task mining serve different business purposes. But when used together, they help make business operations more efficient and automation goals more strategic.

What’s the Difference Between Process Mining and Task Mining?

Process mining looks at the actual flow of processes and performs process discovery, while task mining captures user interactions and activities to understand how employees perform their tasks.

Together, they help organizations identify opportunities and bottlenecks within their workflow.

Process and task mining in accounts payable

Let’s say a business wants to improve their accounts payable workflow. With process mining, they review their process performance, from entering invoicing data into the accounting system to issuing payments. Then with task mining, they look at each step an employee takes to undergo specific tasks, such as data entry.

In a broader business sense, process mining examines how well a system flows between people or machines. Task mining uncovers how efficiently individual parts of a process are managed. They’re complementary because they take different perspectives on how to improve an overall system.

What is Process Mining?

Process mining is a set of techniques that organizations use to understand business processes and sub-processes, monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) and identify potential problems. It uses event log data to accurately create process maps showing how specific processes are executed, compared to how they should run.

Users get a process analysis of complete end-to-end processes, including elements that run across different IT systems and teams. That means it’s possible to look at how each step relates to the other and how they contribute to a specific outcome or set of outcomes.

What are the use cases for process mining?

When undertaking process mining, organizations can identify what makes the process inefficient. Example use cases for process mining are:

  • Missing steps
  • Duplicate steps
  • Bottlenecks
  • Root cause problems

A good example of using process mining is for staff onboarding. This involves multiple steps, teams across the organization and various outputs — all of which must happen before a new team member can start working. It could involve checking professional qualifications, producing security passes, creating an IT system login and setting up payroll, pension and benefits.

Process mining helps organizations visualize each stage of onboarding: which steps happen when, who’s responsible for each task and where there are interdependencies. For example, a new team member has to provide their home address and banking details before payroll can be set up. IT needs to know which apps and systems the new joiner should have access to before they can provide an email address and password.

A process map is a visualization of what processes are discovered and shows the real process flow with all the variations, cases and paths based on event logs.

What is Task Mining?

Task mining works on the smaller components of a process or subprocess and is usually performed on the employee’s computer. It drills into the granular clicks of an individual or compares the clicks of multiple users to see how different people complete a task.

With task mining, organizations can see frequency, complexity and cycle times by recording keystrokes and clicks, as well as copying or pasting activity to build a picture of how a task is typically undertaken.

Task mining provides an accurate picture of how tasks can be optimized and improved, where they can be automated and how you can improve employee and customer experiences.

What are the use cases for task mining?

Tasks might involve copying data from a CRM or finance system, moving between multiple systems to identify data or analyzing incoming information with toolsets.

For example, let’s say a customer at a financial institution applies for a credit card. Task mining software would be installed on the systems used by the employees in the credit card application process. The software will then capture every interaction the employee makes within various applications.

The task mining tool can then create a visual process map of the application process based on the collected data, identifying the sequence of tasks, the time each task takes and any deviations from the standard process.

Task mining can even ensure employees follow the prescribed processes with compliance monitoring, which is highly valuable in regulated industries such as finance.

    Task Mining Versus Process Mining

    Process Mining

    Task Mining

    What can be achieved

    Understand process flows and how to improve them with automation.

    Analyze users’ tasks undertaken and determine where they can be simplified and automated.

    Data source

    Core IT systems

    End users’ PCs

    End results

    More efficient, automated end-to-end processes

    Simpler, more effective tasks undertaken by users

    We’ve seen how process mining and task mining work on their own. Now, let’s combine the two.

    How Process Intelligence Combines Process Mining and Task Mining

    SS&C | Blue Prism® Process Intelligence (BPPI) combines process mining and task mining to provide detailed insights into processes and tasks. This helps organizations develop, deploy and monitor process automations.

    3 ways Process Intelligence adds significant value

    Process Intelligence is specifically designed to deliver key insights to optimize your intelligent automation (IA) program.

    IA is RPA, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) working together to automate end-to-end processes. But determining which processes to automate can make all the difference for your return on investment (ROI).

    Here’s how Process Intelligence helps your IA initiative:

    • It creates a complete history of every process iteration from beginning to end, even when some steps are performed using multiple systems. Processes and tasks are recorded as timelines so they can be compared, filtered, searched and aggregated to identify inefficiencies and opportunities.
    • It alerts process owners about any deviation that could cause delays. It enables continuous process improvement.
    • It allows organizations to define process rules and then trains the system to identify problems and alert the business. This approach can extend to alerting a human to step in and fix the issue.

    Why Process Intelligence is the Perfect Blend for Intelligent Automation

    It’s impossible to achieve results quickly using traditional methods, such as interviewing process owners and those undertaking tasks. It’s time-consuming and can introduce bias.

    Organizations that use only process automation or task automation tools are missing an automation opportunity. To succeed with digital transformation, organizations need visibility into how people, processes and tasks operate within their businesses, where the bottlenecks are and how well their automated processes perform in practice.

    With Process Intelligence, organizations can rely on data-driven, real-time insights that elevate to the next level of intelligent automation.

    Contact us to find out more about how Process Intelligence can transform your organization.

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