Is Process Mining BI?

We get this question a lot, be it from clients, friends, or family with experience in business marketing. That’s why we have decided to give you a clear answer to the question.

But before we get there, we first need to understand what Business Intelligence and Process Mining are. Forrester Research defines Business Intelligence as “a set of methodologies, processes, architectures, and technologies that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information. It allows business users to make informed business decisions with real-time data that can put a company ahead of its competitors.”

Now, what is Process Mining? Simply put, Process Mining is a set of techniques that analyze and support the analysis of processes based on event logs, which, if you look closely, does fit the definition of BI.

Process Mining and Business Intelligence Do Overlap

This is a simple fact that cannot be denied by anyone with knowledge of both Process Mining and BI. Although their underlying goals, methodologies, and results may differ, the definition of BI is so broad that this overlap is inevitable. Process Mining may seem like just one of the many tools that BI can offer. However, the reality is very different.

From a business perspective, BI enables the collection and usage of business data and information primarily through standard information channels and reporting. Process Mining, on the other hand, dives into your operations and displays the reality of the operational, financial, and ‘value’ flows throughout the organization. It’s an approach that focuses on bringing the often-hidden structures and process architecture of the organization to light. The primary goal here is not to enable more effective decision making but instead establishing the precise foundation on which that decision making relies on.

Process Mining is not a tool that, combined with business insights, leads to better decision for your operation – it is your operation. Process Mining can (and should) be used to aid and enable effective decision making, which, at its core, is the main function of BI.

Process Mining has Strategic Value

Process Mining enables you to perform analyses, break down single or multiple processes into simple, well-defined pieces, and look at your operations from a perspective that BI tools cannot provide. This ‘Process Mining Perspective’ is the operational baseline and foundation of your organization, and the basis for fact-based decision making that can improve process architecture, remove bottlenecks, increase efficiency, and fully understand supply and value chains. This is very different from merely reporting, measuring, and monitoring targeted KPIs that several BI activities perform.

Quantum computing is different from (classical) computing, but it still is computing. In the same way, Process Mining is different from Business Intelligence, but it is still part of the Business Intelligence landscape.