Empowering Insights: Why Process Intelligence Should Capture Your Interest
Reading Time 8 mins
The profile of “process intelligence” is continuing to grow, but what is it, why is it relevant now and why it is worth serious consideration if you are yet to begin your journey? Process intelligence has emerged as a game-changing approach to drive significant benefits for companies. By leveraging process intelligence techniques, organisations are experiencing a wide range of advantages, including enhanced customer experience, cost reduction, informed decision-making, and accelerated automation. In this whitepaper we’ll be unpacking the differences, the benefits and some real-life examples of the impressive results the implementation of process intelligence can achieve and what it’s essential to have in place before your organisation starts its own process intelligence journey.
Process intelligence vs. process mining – what’s the difference?
Process intelligence and process mining are two related fields that use data and analytics to improve business processes.
Process intelligence is a broader term that covers the entire breadth of understanding and improving business processes. It includes activities such as process discovery, monitoring, optimisation, and automation.
Process mining is a subset of process intelligence that focuses on the analysis of event logs generated by a company’s IT systems e.g. CRMs, accounting platforms. Process mining can be used to visualise the flow of a business process and show volumes and timings of each stage, and where things might be getting stuck or following the wrong path.
Task mining is another often-used phrase in this field. It analyses user activity logs, by collecting data from a user’s computer, such as mouse clicks, keystrokes, and usage of certain applications e.g. MS Word, Excel, web browser etc. This data can be used to identify non-value add activity or tasks that are being performed incorrectly.
Why should I be interested in process intelligence?
Much like Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in previous years, there is considerable hype around process intelligence, but is it justified? The growth in the market and benefits being realised suggests that PI beginning to make a transformational difference:
· According to a recent survey by HfS, 25% of businesses currently use process intelligence, and this number is expected to grow to 50% by 2025.
· McKinsey found that businesses that have implemented process intelligence have seen a decrease in costs of up to 20%.
· Businesses that have implemented process intelligence have seen an improvement in customer satisfaction of up to 15% (Gartner)
· 82% of businesses that use process intelligence report a positive return on investment (Deloitte)
· By 2025, Gartner believes that 80% of organizations “will embed process mining capabilities in at least 10% of their business operations.”
What benefits are companies seeing?
Process intelligence brings forth a multitude of benefits, driving positive outcomes across various dimensions. From elevating the customer experience to cost reduction, informed decision-making, and accelerating automation, process intelligence is a catalyst for success. Here are some examples of the positive impacts you could expect see within your organisation.
· Increased customer satisfaction: process intelligence helps improve both the efficiency and effectiveness of end-to-end processes, which result in increases to customer satisfaction and retention.
· Improved productivity: process intelligence can help identify and eliminate bottlenecks, which can lead to significant gains in efficiency and productivity and reduced costs.
· More robust decision making: process intelligence is a powerful tool for helping leaders make good data-driven decisions, enabling improvements to be quantified and prioritised based on data and fact rather than ‘gut feel’
· Increased opportunities for automation: process intelligence helps to identify opportunities for automation and wider tech solutions, with specific data to inform return on investment. With the microscope that process intelligence applies, use cases are found to be prevalent across business functions.
· Increased compliance: process intelligence can help ensure that processes are compliant with internal standards, controls and external regulations, thus avoiding poor customer outcomes and potential regulatory sanctions.
Moreover, process intelligence is becoming increasingly affordable and accessible. Up until recently, process intelligence was costly and complex to implement. However, the development of new technologies has made it possible to collect and analyse process data more easily and affordably than ever before. This has made process intelligence a viable option for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
There are now many and varied examples of the positive results in introduction of process intelligence can achieve:
· A large insurance company used process intelligence to identify a bottleneck in its claims processing system. By making a few simple changes to the system, the company was able to reduce the time it took to process claims by 25%.
· A manufacturing company used process intelligence to identify a number of inefficiencies in its production process. By making changes to the process, the company was able to increase its production output by 15%.
· A retail company used process intelligence to improve the customer experience at its call centre. By identifying and addressing the root causes of customer dissatisfaction, the company was able to reduce customer churn by 10%.
Process intelligence can also cut across business functions, such as procurement, finance (accounts payable/receivable), inventory management, order management, and IT service management and all industries and sectors.
What foundations do you need to have in place before you start to help deliver process intelligence successfully?
Before getting underway with process intelligence, there are a number of important factors that facilitate a strong starting point:
· Sponsorship and financial backing from senior leadership to enable investment in the software and expertise
· A defined strategy for process intelligence – what problems are you trying to solve?
· End-to-end thinking: ensure that process intelligence is implemented with the end-to-end process in mind; don’t risk just moving problems up or downstream
· A partner to help you get started, with a plan to develop in house process intelligence talent to own the capability going forward
· Strong data understanding and foundations: awareness of where data is stored, the ability to access, analyse, integrate and interpret it
· Understanding of the technology ecosystem that process intelligence will need to interact with
· Process maturity: if processes are not well understood or mapped at some level, it is challenging to leap straight to process intelligence and achieve the benefits described earlier on. Equally understanding the process and its purpose is key to being able to maximise the potential from the results that process intelligence reveals.
There will be choices to make about which is the right process intelligence solution to adopt and support needed with crucial areas including developing business cases, support with training and ensuring the people side of change is carefully managed. Gobeyond Partners have extensive experience in delivering complex change programmes and a dedicated practice for organisational excellence.
An important part of the success of any process intelligence programme is defining and agreeing roles and responsibilities and crucially how the relationship will operate with a company’s central IT department. Who will be responsible for what, how issues will be owned and managed and an ongoing support mechanism are all crucial to ensuring continuity of service for employees and customers. Gobeyond Partners can assist with defining the solution that best fits with the company’s needs.
Navigating the Path to Success: Overcoming Potential Hurdles in Process Intelligence Implementation
There are a number of practical difficulties with process mining that we have seen, including:
· data protection and information security concerns, including the lengthy delays that gaining approval for their use can entail
· reliance on quality/availability of data
· ability to make correct inferences about processes from the lower-level log data, particularly when processes are low volume and/or complex
· complexity of the tools and the specialised skills needed to use them effectively
· the resource requirements (including computing power) required to run them
These are not insurmountable, and a delivery partner can help navigate through the potential pitfalls to help the goals of your process intelligence programme be realised.
What else needs to be considered?
A significant decision is which software provider to choose in a market that has increased substantially over the last few years.
Whilst some have been acquired by larger firms looking to bolster or diversify their existing offerings (e.g. automation, workflow) there are several new entrants too. And a lot of innovation around how data is gathered to show how colleagues work.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing a process intelligence provider:
· The size of your business: some providers are better suited for small businesses, while others are better suited for large enterprises.
· The industry you are in: some providers have a focus on specific industries, such as healthcare or finance.
· Your budget: solutions can range in price significantly from thousands to hundreds of thousands to get started and then manage ongoing
· The features and functionality you need: the breadth in functionality and ‘add ons’ is vast and can be bewildering
· The level of support you need: some providers offer more support for implementation and ongoing managed service options than others.
Again, this is another area where a partner can help navigate and provide a recommendation based on your company’s unique circumstances.
There is significant potential in process intelligence, when implemented in the right way, with the ability to give greater insight on how processes work and how they could be improved than ever before.