Welcome to process mining. This guide gives a brief tour and explains the features of More Cowbell Unlimited’s cloud process mining software solution.
Process mining is a powerful emerging AI/ML technique with expansive use cases throughout the corporate & government world.
The first and most obvious use case is greatly speeding the discovery and accuracy of process models. But that is just the tip of the iceberg.
In a very general sense, it reduces the costs associated with managing and operating modern organizations, and it helps organizations make effective use of finite resources by understanding their processes in a quantifiable, data driven, repeatable, scalable, and sliceable fashion. Process mining, aka “Automated Process Discovery,” is platform agnostic. It analyzes IT system log data or “data exhaust” and surfaces latent processes within the data. Compared to traditional interview-based process mapping methodologies, process mining learns processes in a fraction of the time. This allows organizations to quickly understand their processes, shorten process times, target improvements without guesswork, re-measure the outcome, simulate change assumptions, and adopt additional bleeding edge technologies like robotic process automation (RPA). Continuous data-driven process improvement. Very powerful. The use cases are tremendous — from quickly understanding and fixing discrete processes to continual compliance/audit monitoring to enterprise digital transformation (DX) efforts to improving the lethality of joint warfighting systems — any organization that relies upon information technology systems to operate would benefit from this technique.
Process mining uses AI/ML to extract existing data from IT systems and visually reconstructs how processes actually perform. It creates full transparency and enables you to drive efficiency, quality and productivity across your entire organization.
It works for any industry, any organization, any system, any process.
On the home screen, you will see a login box. Place your login credentials here or contact us to request an account.
You may import data as Comma Separated Values (CSV) or IEEE XES format. XES, or eXtensible Event Stream, format defines a grammar for a tag-based language whose aim is to provide designers of information systems with a unified and extensible methodology for capturing systems behaviors by means of event logs and event streams.
You may upload your own data or use any of our test data in our example data repository. The repository also contains a CSV template for you to create an analyzable log file from your own data. If you upload your own data in CSV format, please be sure the file is sorted by CASE ID and then TIMESTAMP.
Upload Limits: Free software accounts are limited to uploads which are less than 100MB. Contact us for larger requirements.
Multiple Uploads: You may upload and process several files simultaneously. To do so, open multiple Import screen tabs within the same web browser instance, and then upload one file into each tab.
Please Note: You must be logged into the cloud solution in order to access and download the example log files.
Depending upon the size and the complexity of the example log data you use, it may take several minutes for your results to appear. Please be patient.
If you would like to use your own data, then you may do so. There is a CSV Template. It is important, however, that your data are formatted properly. You must have three data elements, structured as follows:
First Column: Case ID: This Case Identifier is the unique number assigned to each case in your log. It could be a job applicant ID, or a repair order ID, geopolygon ID, etc.
Second Column: Start Time: Date time format, for example 3/22/2018 14:59.
Third Column: Activity: These are all of the activities associated with your process. In a call center environment, some of these activities might include: Call Inbound or Outbound, Email Inbound or Outbound, Handle Case, Handle Email, etc.
In this space, previously uploaded files and corresponding results are listed in their own directories. Analyses are performed automatically after a file is uploaded.
After your process mining analysis is complete, you will have the file outputs and GUI dashboard outputs available in the corresponding project directory or folder. First, we will review the file outputs.
CSV: If you uploaded a CSV event log file, this file is included in the output, along with a sorted version of this file.
XES: You will also see your uploaded log analysis data. If you imported a Microsoft® Office Excel® spreadsheet or a CSV file, that file has been converted into XES or eXtensible Event Stream format. XES was adopted in 2010 by the IEEE Task Force on Process Mining as the standard format for logging events.
Descriptive Statistics ZIP and Excel Files: These files contain all of the descriptive statistics associated with the process model. See the Help Appendix for additional details about the reported statistics. The ZIP file contains numerous machine readable CSV files which are handy for turnkey simulation parameters, and the Microsoft® Office Excel® spreadsheet contains all of the descriptive statistics associated with the process model as individual tabs in the same file.
BPMN diagram: This is a machine-readable XML file which which represents the found process model and which can be imported into other popular programs, such as Microsoft® Office Visio® for further editing and analysis. Additionally, this file may also be imported into the web-based BPMN Modeler tool for additional visualizing and editing. To import your BPMN diagram into this tool: 1) right-click on the link with the “.bpmn” extension and copy the link, 2) go to the BPMN Modeler tool, 3) select “Open”, 4) paste the link text, 5) select or OK. Your BPMN diagram should appear in an editable format.
Graphviz Code for Editing Diagrams: Graphviz is an open source graph visualization software that provides a way of representing structural information, such as process models. The “DOT” files contain editable Graphviz code, as well as downloadable diagrams in PNG format. The downloaded Graphviz code may be copy/pasted directly into this web application and edited further. Two diagram code files are downloadable: one which contains activity rework (repeated activities) and one with the rework removed.
BPMN Social Network and Distance Metrics: Various network distance and centrality metrics are presented which help describe the process ecosystem further. See the Appendix for additional details.
Model Descriptive Statistics and Probability Distributions: Our log analytics engine produces a number of descriptive statistics and probability distributions, which are useful for understanding the process and simulating changes to the ecosystem. These data are presented as a color-coded heat map tables for easily understanding relative values. For example, it is might be important to know which process activities take the longest; this table helps highlight such information. Please see the Appendix for additional details.
Narrative Description/Commentary: This high-level narrative identifies some of the prominent findings from in the discovered process model. For example, the number of observed process cases, activities which take the longest, and capacity estimates. For example:
This process model was created by analyzing 608 cases. The average case time is 21.46 days, and the median case time is 11.92 days. The min case time is 10.70 hours. The max case time is 108.31 days. It appears that the case durations are log normal skewed to the right. There were 18238 total events processed. The activities which were estimated to take the longest amount of time are “Analyze Request for Quotation” at 6.94 days and “Deliver Goods Services” at 3.89 days. There were an average of 30.0 events per case, and a median of 36.0 events per case. There were a max of 88 events per case and a min of 4. The most frequent activities are “Analyze Request for Quotation” at 1107 sojourns and “Create Purchase Requisition” at 1107 sojourns. The process activities with the highest capacity estimates are “Deliver Goods Services” and “Send invoice.”
GraphViz PNG Diagrams: At the bottom of the page, two additional diagrams are depicted. These diagrams are the graphical renderings of the “DOT” files, described above. Again, these diagrams may be edited easily, as described previously.
BPMN: This file contains the XML code which represents the found process model, according to our algorithm. This file may be imported into popular programs, such as Microsoft® Office Visio® for further editing and analysis. Additionally, this file may also be imported into the web-based BPMN Modeler tool for additional visualizing and editing. To import your BPMN diagram into this tool: 1) right-click on the link with the “.bpmn” extension and copy the link, 2) go to the BPMN Modeler tool, 3) select “Open”, 4) paste the link text, 5) select or OK. Your BPMN diagram should appear in an editable format.
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