Process mining in the eyes of an experienced BI expert | QPR

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25 February 2016

Process mining in the eyes of an experienced BI expert

Over the past seven years I've had the privilege to gain extensive experience through several large-scale BI projects in different industries and among many customers. As a member of an analytics delivery team at Accenture I’ve come in touch with multiple BI solutions. For the last month I’ve familiarized myself with a new topic (process mining) and technology (QPR ProcessAnalyzer) as a Process Intelligence consultant at QPR Software. 

BI projects often last several months and the ETL part where data is first extracted from a source system, transferred to reportable format and finally loaded into a reporting data warehouse, is heavy and time-consuming. Thus I was surprised how fast you can get the relevant data from different ERP systems to QPR ProcessAnalyzer and start performing interesting process analyses. 

I would say that process mining and QPR ProcessAnalyzer are a powerful combination for both getting a high-level understanding of your company’s processes and for drilling deeper down to the possible root causes of process related problems. QPR ProcessAnalyzer is easy to use and visualizes business processes neatly. Whereas millions of rows of process data might prove difficult to tackle using traditional BI methods, you can get an understandable, visualized overview of your processes in a single Excel sheet using QPR ProcessAnalyzer. One of the most sophisticated features of the software is Influence Analysis. Once you have identified a bottle neck in your process, you can examine the root causes using the statistical methods based Influence Analysis. 

QPR ProcessAnalyzer is integrated with QPR Metrics which means that combining traditional BI dashboard reporting with intelligent process analytics is fast and agile – something that’s fully lacking in traditional BI software. QPR ProcessAnalyzer also takes care of the two questions I’ve often ran into: “How can we export the data from our BI tool to Excel for further analysis,” and “how can we be sure that the data in the report is correct?” Conveniently QPR ProcessAnalyzer can be installed as an Excel add-in, and thus you have the data automatically in Excel for your own calculations. BI solutions typically aggregate data at the warehouse level before it is in reportable format. For this reason it’s impossible to drill down to the source data level. In contrast, not only does QPR ProcessAnalyzer give you insights of high-level aggregated data, but it also lets you drill all the way down to single case IDs and verify the values in your ERP system. 

As a “statistics freak” I’ve enjoyed playing around with QPR ProcessAnalyzer software and analyzing real-world customer data starting from my very first month here at QPR. I’m looking forward to crunching some more process data, to understanding our customers’ processes better, and to learning more about the advanced features of both QPR ProcessAnalyzer and the whole QPR Suite. And of course, I’m super excited about developing new predictive analysis features for QPR ProcessAnalyzer. 

Thanks for reading this far, and if you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of process mining in relation to traditional BI, please contact me and let’s chat! 

Have a great beginning of spring, or for our readers from the Southern Hemisphere, enjoy the end of summer!

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Jaakko Niemi
Process Intelligence Consultant