Why Process Discovery Outshines Process Mining

By Sean Ammon, Managing Director, CIBA

Many businesses are increasingly recognising the significance of mapping out internal processes for enhanced optimisation. Two popular approaches for this include process mining and process discovery. Despite sounding similar, these terms represent distinct methodologies with crucial differences that can impact the outcomes of your business initiatives, especially when integrated with Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

Understanding Process Mining:

Process mining involves mapping the visible digital steps within each process by analysing system logs through advanced algorithms. This automatically identifies and evaluates automatable work processes, extracting insights from event and application logs to understand and enhance business processes based on factual information, collected during their execution.

However, process mining has limitations. It relies on systems that produce logs, excluding activities in personal productivity tools like Excel or Teams chats. Additionally, legacy applications and virtual desktop environments like Citrix remain invisible to process mining, posing challenges for seamless integration with RPA solutions.

Enter Process Discovery:

Introduced to address these shortcomings, process discovery focuses on identifying how humans execute business processes. Using technologies such as computer vision and machine learning (ML), it captures both visible and invisible processes, including interactions with various systems, personal productivity tools, and virtual desktop environments.

Advantages of Process Discovery over Process Mining:

  1. No Dependency on Logs or Databases: Process discovery doesn’t require logs, databases, or API access, simplifying integration with systems.
  2. Comprehensive System Inclusion: It records user interactions across a wide range of systems, ensuring a holistic view of business processes.
  3. Real-time Monitoring and Adaptability: Process discovery continuously monitors processes, offering real-time analysis and rapid retraining to accommodate changes.

RPA Integration: Why Process Discovery Prevails

In the context of RPA, process discovery offers distinct advantages over process mining. By relieving integration hassles, incorporating computer vision and ML, and ensuring continuous monitoring, process discovery aligns seamlessly with RPA solutions.

In conclusion, while both process mining and process discovery aim to optimise business processes, the nuanced differences make process discovery the superior choice for businesses seeking a comprehensive, adaptable, and integrative solution – especially when embarking on RPA initiatives. Choose wisely to unlock the full potential of your business operations.


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