About This Book

Have you just found out about process mining and have become excited about the possibilities? Welcome to the club :)

Process mining is still relatively young, especially compared to other data analysis technologies like statistics or data mining, which have been around for several decades. At first, it looks deceivingly simple: You import a data set and the process mining tool automatically, almost magically, constructs a process map that shows you how the process was actually performed.

But in fact there are a lot of things that you need to know to get it right:

  • What kind of data is suitable for process mining?
  • How can you detect data quality problems?
  • How do you interpret the results from the process mining tool?
  • And what kind of questions can you answer with process mining in the first place?

Process mining is not just a tool but a new discipline that requires a smart human being who can make the connection between the data and the underlying business processes—with the help of the process mining tool.

We have been at the forefront of process mining since starting our PhDs in the process mining group of prof. Wil van der Aalst at the Eindhoven University of Technology in 2004. After the PhD, we founded Fluxicon to build a process mining tool that is accessible to business users. Today, our process mining software Disco is loved by professionals worldwide for setting the gold standard in performance and user experience. Many of the examples in this book will be explained based on Disco. However, even if you are working with another process mining tool like ProM, you will still get a lot out of this book.

The process mining tool does not tell you what the solution is. You have to apply your domain knowledge to interpret the results and develop improvement ideas. But the process mining tool does give you an overview about what is really happening. It shows you objectively where the problem areas are and helps you to confirm or disprove intuitions. This way, you can make decisions based on data and be pro-active in addressing the problems that you have discovered. And once a process change has been made, you can verify that it has actually been effective.

The beauty of process mining is that getting started does not require huge investments, no setup of new infrastructure, and no month-long “implementation projects”. All you need is to extract some data from your existing IT systems and to start learning.

Over the past ten years, we have on-boarded thousands of newcomers and trained hundreds of groups about how to use process mining in practice. In contrast to the Process Mining MOOC on Coursera, which focuses on the scientific algorithms behind process mining, this book will teach you what you need to know about the practical application of process mining, so that you don’t make the mistakes that others have made before you.

This book is a hands-on guide for the process mining practitioner. It is a living document and new topics will be added over time. Let us know if there are process mining questions that you would like to see covered or if you have Feedback anytime. With the increasing digitalisation and data availability, process mining will only become more relevant over time—and you are part of it.

Get ready for an exciting journey!

– Your friends from Fluxicon