How process & data visualization tools can be combined and applied to various business domains in order to increase process awareness which will lead to intelligent process management.
Intelligent Process Management & Visualization Technologies
Abstract. While process visualizations are perceived by many as very cool technologies, companies are not yet willing to embrace them as warmly and quickly as expected. Managers still demand more convincing and significant added value. Another issue might be with offering process visualization technologies as somewhat detached solutions, or not taking into account Business Intelligence solutions which might already exist in the company. The keynote aims to demonstrate how process & data visualization tools can be combined and applied to various business domains in order to increase process awareness which will lead to intelligent process management.
Keywords: Process mining, visualization technologies, intelligent process management
In the keynote, a live demo with real-life scenarios will show how various process analysis and monitoring techniques can be applied, and what kind of insights and added value can be gained with the visual deliverables generated.
The use cases discussed will cover analysis and monitoring of running processes (e.g., purchasing, service calls, warehouse management), inspection & fine-tuning of a new ERP implementation, discovery of work orders flow among machines on the production floor and extending Business Intelligence (BI) to Process Intelligence (PI).
Insights will be shared about process visualization topics such as: who are the "beholders" (users vs. customers), the challenges in "deciphering" visual deliverables, offering tools vs. services, integration with IT systems vs. stand-alone solutions, the roles of the software providers, how to handle rejections and barriers and ideas for future developments and extensions.
In many organizations, business performance is measured in terms of financial data such as revenue, profits, cash flow, etc. However, it is not generally possible to manipulate the values of these financial indices directly; rather, they reflect the results of operational activities derived from the organization’s standard business processes. Hence, addressing financial data only, without considering current business processes, significantly impairs an organization’s ability to improve their business performance.
Process intelligence essentially combines automatic process discovery (APD) with advanced business discovery technology. Briefly, automatic process discovery looks at historical event log data and analyzes these data to generate visual models of an organization's business processes and establish patterns linking external and internal events. The results of these analyses can be used to improve operational efficiency. In parallel, business discovery technology allows management to monitor operations and key performance indicators in real-time and alerts management of any anomalies.
Advanced process discovery analyzes log data captured by existing IT systems and provides answers to specific questions such as: where are the bottlenecks in this process, when and why do people deviate from the defined process, are all requirements (e.g., SLA terms) being met, why does performance vary from one employee/department to the next, which business rules and alerts are actually in use, what are the actual costs of this process.
The analysis yields deliverables such as: operational data (throughput time, costs, quantities), visual models and animation of the actual processes, discovery of anomalies, performance benchmarking and deviation from business rules (times, quantities).
Significant benefits of advanced process discovery for a company are gaining a multi-dimensional and objective view of how their organization was performing in the analyzed period, and defining or refining their operational goals.
In order to keep track of how these goals are achieved, as a process is being executed, process dashboards can be used. These dashboards enable managers to proactively and continuously adjust business processes for optimal performance at a very fine resolution, instead of taking action only after a problem has been discovered.
Adding gauges to process dashboards can visually alert about deviations from desired goals. In order to reveal and analyze the possible root causes for such deviations, a process discovery tool can be used. Data of the process in question are exported directly from the dashboard in the requested format.
Some benefits of such solutions are: maintaining and managing the process data in the BI database, enriching process data (i.e., event logs) with business data for an extended analysis, fine-tuning goals and KPIs, and, last but not least, creating a common language among business and process managers who can share the visual deliverables and gain better insights in a collaborative manner.
All these benefits help a company to replace “crisis-management” with a proactive approach and achieve intelligent process management.
About the Technologies
Disco - Automatic Process Discovery tool
Disco is process mining tool developed by Fluxicon (http://fluxicon.com), senior process mining experts from the renowned process mining research group of prof. Wil van der Aalst at Eindhoven University of Technology. Disco is the result of ten years of process mining expertise and more than 100 process mining applications in a wide range of industries. The founders, Dr. Anne Rozinat and Dr. Christian W. Günther have been part of Wil’s process mining group for more than 7 years. They have done their PhD research on process mining, and after that they started Fluxicon as a company for process mining software and services. Fluxicon have invented many of the relevant process mining techniques that are used today across all industries.
Fluxicon manifest a successful bridge between the academia and the industry because they speak in a language that human beings can understand. Apart from their friendly tool, they regularly blog at http://fluxicon.com/blog/ about process mining, publish guides and case studies, and conduct workshops and annual process mining camps, which enable a practitioner to pick up process mining quickly, and come up with significant results very fast.
Their global academic initiative (http://fluxicon.com/academic/) helps to promote process-oriented thinking and skills in a wide variety of academic institutes and programs.
QlikView - Business Discovery Platform
According to Gartner, visualization-based data discovery tools are characterized by three attributes: a proprietary data structure to store and model data gathered from disparate sources, which minimizes reliance on predefined drill paths and dimensional hierarchies; a built-in performance layer that obviates the need for aggregates, summaries and pre -calculations; and an intuitive interface, enabling users to explore data without much training.
QlikView is a Business Discovery platform which delivers an associative experience across all the data used for analysis, regardless of where it is stored. Users are not limited to pre-defined drill paths and preconfigured dashboards.
QlikView Desktop is used for extraction and transformation of data, designing analytics, and building dashboards and reports. SQL-like scripts are created to collect and transform data from multiple sources into an associative model. The visual representations of the data are selected from a wide array of available options—including out of the box, custom-built, and third-party visualization.
About the Speaker
Dafna Levy is the founder of NooL, an initiative which aims to create synergies among companies, professionals and academia, mainly in the BPM (Business Process Management) domain. Dafna has been involved in the development of a large variety of information systems for more then 30 years. Ten years ago, she decided to assist managers, consultants and developers alike to extend their awareness of, and capabilities in, process-oriented management. To achieve that, she is constantly looking for contemporary methodologies and tools. For the last 5 years, she is an enthusiastic practitioner of process mining technologies. Currently, she is developing Process Intelligence (PI) solutions which integrate process mining and BI technologies. More info about the solutions and real-life examples can be found at http://bpmintro.wordpress.com/intelligent-process-management/