How We Got From Business Intelligence to Process Intelligence

Digital Transformation is everywhere and now you can see your process in action

Businesses have goals to achieve and numerous objectives to accomplish. It could be the delivery of products or the offering of services. It could be the transformation of raw materials into parts that create a final product. It could even be the procedures for financial transactions for purposes of budgeting and financial management.

The accomplishment and achievement of these goals and objectives require the performance of a task or activity, or a series of tasks and activities. These sets of activities or tasks, which are logically related and often follow a logical flow, are referred to as business processes.

The day-to-day operations of businesses and organizations, regardless of their nature, structure, and even the industry they belong to, are basically comprised of business processes. Logistics itself is considered a business process, but it is a very broad one, considering how it also encompasses other business processes, such as picking, pulling preparing, moving and many other steps. Finance is just as broad, involving lesser but nonetheless vital processes, such as billing, invoicing, and budgeting.

The success of an organization largely depends on how efficiently and effectively its business processes are executed and managed. Traditionally, Business Intelligence (BI) techniques have been used to measure the performance of business processes. Such techniques visualize the process related data as charts/graphs instead of visualizing the actual process itself. As processes become more complex, traditional process management techniques become less effective. Business users prefer to see their processes “as-it-is” or in its “current state” in reports and dashboards rather than in the form of raw data. This allow users to analyze their processes, generate actionable insights and make timely, informed decisions.

Today, technological advancements in software solutions like TimelinePI, enable users to visualize business processes in mere seconds.

Here is an automatically “out of the box” discovered process map showing various activities, alternative paths and bottlenecks in an insurance claims process:

What does the TimelinePI solution offer?

Built-in process discovery capabilities

  • Timeline Analysis
  • Schema (Process map) Discovery
  • Execution Path Analysis

Built-in process analysis capabilities

  • Process Query
  • Time Interval Measurements
  • Workflow Analysis

Built-in process monitoring capabilities

  • Compliance Monitoring
  • Real Time Alerting
  • Operational Dashboards

BPI techniques can be applied to any business process

  • Structured processes: Any Workflows | Order to Cash | Procure to Pay | Order to Cash
  • Less structured processes: Customer Journey Mapping | Call Center Operations | Ticket Resolution | Complaint Management

Quickly Uncover:

  • Time metrics – e.g. how long does it take?
  • Cost metrics – e.g. how much does it cost?
  • Frequency metrics – e.g. how many times does something happen?
  • Bottlenecks
  • Root causes (drill-down)

What does your organization need?

In order to use a process intelligence tool like TimelinePI, an organization would only need three data fields from its IT/business systems.

1.) Case ID: unique ID of the process instance. e.g. PO number, workflow ID, claim number etc.
2.) Activity: steps or statuses in a business process. e.g. Step – Create PO, Status, events – Completed.
3.) Time-stamp: execution date/time of the activity. e.g. 02/10/2017 10:35:32 AM

Although just those three data points can show a lot about the process, it would be rather boring. For the reason, it would be beneficial to include other data from other systems of record that would empower users to drill in and breakdown to find pain points or identify specific areas of improvement such as a specific departments or employees.

Who Can Benefit?

Any organization, irrespective of the industry or the complexity of their processes, can benefit from a solution like TimelinePI. In fact, the more complex processes are, the greater value we can create from them.

  • Do you have a single, holistic view of your end-to-end business processes?
  • Are you identifying process bottlenecks and improvement opportunities as quickly as possible?
  • Are your operational/process excellence initiatives not supported by clear monitoring and analysis tools?

If the answer to any or all of these questions is ‘no’, then it’s time to consider implementing a process intelligence tool like TimelinePI.

Your interest might not be to implement a long term BPI solution, but to your organization still wants to improve/optimize your processes as a one-time project. This is where Lean Six Sigma and TimelinePI complement each other.

About the author

Ryan Raiker is an accomplished business consultant with experience working with small and medium enterprises. Ryan has worked in project management in State, and Local government. He studied Business Analytics and later earned his MBA from Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania. Currently Ryan is focusing on Brand Management and Product Development for TimelinePI.