Robotic process automation (RPA) and data mining are a natural pairing. One is an automation tool, perfectly suited to managing highly repetitive, data-heavy tasks, and the other is…well…a highly repetitive, data-heavy task.
RPA has many uses: saving time by processing invoices, increasing engagement as a chatbot, or even running recruitment processes – but datamining is perhaps the ideal application. However, many businesses jump into RPA without first really understanding what it is they need to automate. The complex nature of data mining can make this a costly mistake.
That’s where process discovery comes in.
What is process discovery?
Process discovery is the act of focusing on the moving parts of business processes to paint an accurate picture of how each process works. It provides organizations with a better idea of how departments and teams carry out daily tasks. It also helps to show which processes are working and when they need to be optimized.
Process discovery does not necessarily require process discovery software straight away. However, the larger the organization or more complex the processes are, the longer it will take to manually track and map – and the more likely people are to make mistakes. For these reasons, businesses tend to use process discovery software to save time, reduce workloads, and increase accuracy.
In this blog, we’ll look at RPA and data mining and how process discovery can help to improve data mining outcomes.
Why RPA is the perfect automation tool for data mining
If we think of RPA as a bot that you can program to carry out certain tasks, it’s logical that you can program it to manage data mining. After all, manual data mining is an extremely intensive and slow process. Having a bot manage the process means your data technicians won’t suffer a demoralizing, input-intensive workload.
This in turn means that your data technicians will have more time to work on higher-value tasks. It might even be beneficial to bring them in on your process discovery operation, which we’ll cover later.
RPA doesn’t just make data mining easier; it also makes it much more accurate. By removing the human, you remove the risk of human error. When dealing with data on such an enormous scale, even a 1% reduction in error can have a huge impact.
How process discovery improves RPA datamining outcomes
Imagine that you were tasked with buying decorations for a party. You’re given an envelope containing money to buy the decorations, but you aren’t allowed to look at how much money is in the envelope, nor are you allowed to look at the prices of the decorations. Using that money wisely would be difficult.
Now imagine that you can open the envelope, count the money, and see how much all the decorations cost in the shop. You’ll then be able to ensure that you make the most of the money and purchase the right decorations. This is loosely the same principle as process discovery.
Having greater visibility over your business’s processes means that you’ll be able to optimize them and make the most of the resources at your disposal. Process discovery software helps you to identify key processes, with tools like process mapping giving a visual layout of how different stages in each process play out.
Getting ahead with process discovery software
Building process discovery into your process optimization plan is a good start, as is finding the right process discovery software for your business needs. Once you’ve made these changes, however, you still need to find a way of capturing and recording the processes that take place in your organization.
There are a few ways you can do this:
- Employee activity recording
- Using data from event logs
- Process mining workshops
Employee activity recording
This approach uses machine learning to record individual employees’ activity throughout a regular workday and identifies the individual activities they take part in that make up processes.
To use a data mining example, an employee may use a number of different siloed data sources when running data-mining programs. By tracking their activity, moving between data sources, the recording software can automate this process and give the employee the data from multiple sources automatically, without them having to jump between platforms.
Using data from event logs
One popular method of process discovery is using event logs to see how employees engage with your business processes. Event logs contain information about how your networks are being used by employees so you can see where there are issues and begin to optimize.
This could be useful in data mining to identify any issues with access to data sources, or for finding insecure, inefficient, or non-compliant workarounds that employees might be using.
Process mining workshops
Process mining workshops involve getting teams together to work through daily processes and discuss initiatives to take moving forward. This allows you not only to see how processes currently work but to hear from the people who actually use these processes on how they think their work could be improved.
Regular workshops can help the data mining process by identifying inefficiencies and finding solutions. These workshops should be viewed as an ongoing commitment to process excellence and continual improvement, to ensure that your approach to datamining continually evolves.
How Nintex and Nintex Kryon can help improve RPA and data mining outcomes
At Nintex, we believe that automation tools can make any business more successful. RPA is a great example of how automation can create processes that are quicker, efficient, more secure, and more accurate – what we call process excellence.
Process discovery is the first step on that journey to process excellence. It gives you the foundation you need to put intelligent automation solutions in place that will help drive your organization’s digital transformation forward.
We recently acquired the creators of best-in-class RPA and process discovery software, Nintex Kryon. With the invaluable insights that Nintex Kryon brings to our partnership, Nintex products now offer unrivaled automation power that can help your business meet its goals.
Interested in finding out more about Nintex Kryon? Start your 30 day free trial today.