Key Criteria for Evaluating Process and Task Mining Solutionsv1.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Process and Task Mining Solutions Primer
  3. Report Methodology
  4. Decision Criteria Analysis
  5. Evaluation Metrics
  6. Key Criteria: Impact Analysis
  7. Analyst’s Take

1. Summary

Task mining empowers organizations to understand how tasks are performed by monitoring user interactions with their workstations. Enabling technologies for task mining include optical character recognition (OCR), data mining, pattern recognition, and natural language processing (NLP).

Process mining has a broader purview and is aimed at discovering, analyzing, and monitoring end-to-end processes and sub-processes using event logs from information systems. For the purpose of process mining, a process is a sequence of events comprising individual process steps. Process mining algorithms exploit data from event logs, which can be different types of databases and files from enterprise information systems and enterprise applications (for example, an enterprise resource planning or ERP application). The data is then visualized in the form of a process flow that presents an individual process as it is actually executed.

Table 1 provides a comparison of task mining and process mining.

Table 1. Task Mining versus Process Mining

SCOPE Steps and actions associated with a task End-to-end processes
APPROACH User-centric Process-centric
ENABLING TECHNOLOGIES OCR, data mining, pattern recognition, and NLP Data mining algorithms, process modeling
SOURCE Keystrokes, mouse swipes and clicks, copy and pasting, and screen jumps Event logs from information systems
LEVEL of DETAIL Steps and actions Tasks
Source: GigaOm 2022

Traditionally, business process management (BPM) has focused on determining what an ideal version of a process is (that is, the “to be” process). Process mining, in contrast, provides a map of the actual process (the “as is” process). In a nutshell, process mining presents a practical, data-based view of process performance. This map is of interest to senior executives who can use the output of process mining to identify both issues and opportunities, as part of their focus on data-driven decision making.

Task mining allows organizations to track the KPIs of individual tasks that are often manual. Organizations can track task productivity and make data-driven process improvement decisions by analyzing user interaction data. Task mining focuses on analyzing employee interactions with one or multiple applications or information systems (such as Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word) while maintaining data security and privacy for sensitive information. Such an approach allows organizations to assimilate information regarding individual steps that may not be recorded in their information systems or applications and therefore, are not discoverable using process mining.

As shown in Figure 1, process mining and task mining are complementary approaches that can be combined to gain a transparent and comprehensive view of an organization’s processes.

Figure 1. Task and Process Mining Combined for a Comprehensive View

The GigaOm Key Criteria and Radar reports provide an overview of the process and task mining market, identify capabilities (table stakes, key criteria, and emerging technology) and evaluation metrics for selecting a process and task mining platform, and detail vendors and products that excel. These reports will give prospective buyers an overview of the top vendors in this sector and will help decision makers evaluate solutions and decide where to invest.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:
Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.
GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.
Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.

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