Task Mining vs. Process Mining: What’s
the Difference?

Task Mining vs. Process Mining: What’s
the Difference?

Published By : Jimmy Hewitt February 7, 2023

Businesses worldwide are incorporating intelligent automation to maintain a competitive edge. Automation opportunities are everywhere, and standardizing and optimizing business processes is one of several ways to reap its benefits. The desire to understand and streamline an organization’s workflow necessitates using transformative technologies such as task and process mining.

Businesses can better focus on their core operations by automating their processes. Task and process mining are tools to help enterprises increase decision-making speed, provide performance feedback and improve internal and external communication. They identify areas that would benefit from automation, which leads to cost savings and happier employees and customers.

What is the difference between task and process mining? Both focus on business processes, but task mining is about front-end data, while process mining deals with the back end. They are necessary to help leaders understand how the work gets done and identify ways to improve operational processes.

What Is Process Mining?

Process mining combines data mining and progress analytics to learn about, assess and improve operational workflows. Mining log data from a company’s information systems helps business leaders understand their processes’ real-world performance. With this quantifiable data, leaders can objectively allocate resources and make informed decisions.

Process discovery provides real-time analytics of performances. You can analyze millions of transactions with suitable applications and software. The better you understand end-to-end processes, the more you can focus on improving them.

How Does Process Mining Work?

Process mining captures operational process activities and data and creates visualizations of each end-to-end process. It also analyzes the data, so managers and business owners can determine what’s behind the event logs. Fully automated process mining lets employees complete their work while the software collects data in the background.

The steps that go into process mining include the following.

  • Analyzing digital footprints: Process mining captures all the event data related to your processes, reads it, then transforms it into an event log containing three crucial pieces of information — time stamps, case ID and activities. 
  • Creating process graphs: The software transforms the event log into a process graph and provides a visual representation of your business processes, including the timing and any deviations in the flows. This fact-based information is the perfect starting point for optimization and automation.
  • Providing actionable priorities: Many process mining tools have visualization capabilities that go beyond insights detailing your weak areas. They can also tell you how to fix them and the likely outcome of your changes. 

Process Mining Use Cases

Many businesses are already using process mining to boost efficiency and access robust data. Here are some examples.

  • Increase process efficiency: Process mining can assist your business in identifying and correcting procedural bottlenecks and provide strategies to address these inefficiencies. 
  • Discover opportunities for automation: The data gathered from process mining provides your business with opportunities to automate your operational processes, further enhancing your overall efficiency and freeing your employees up for meaningful work. 
  • Enhance compliance: Process mining gives you real-time data, provides performance checks and conducts root cause analysis, helping you stay audit-ready. 
  • Pinpoint opportunities for improvement: Armed with actionable process mining data, you can pinpoint inefficiencies and assign resources to address them. 
  • Improve customer satisfaction: Process mining speeds your processes, so customers get faster service. 
  • Strengthen risk mitigation: Process mining provides constant monitoring, which is especially crucial when rolling out innovations. You have a better idea of the risks and actionable data to address them. 

Benefits of Process Mining

Process mining has many tangible advantages for businesses.

  • Reduced costs: Process mining helps you identify the processes in your business operations that would benefit the most from automation. With this essential data, you can identify workflow bottlenecks and take measures to rectify them. 
  • Ingrained problem-solving culture: Effective leaders empower their teams to solve problems. They will pick up on challenges earlier and have accurate data to formulate their next steps. A team with a problem-solving focus has better employee satisfaction and higher productivity. 
  • Increased transparency: Process mining software captures detailed data on all your processes and allows you to easily access and understand them. With complete transparency, you can focus your team’s energies on enhancing strengths and addressing opportunities for improvement. 
  • Continued improvement: You can use process mining in many ways, as frequently as you would like. It gives you a comprehensive picture, allowing you to make data-based decisions and address challenges in real time. 
  • Reduced risk: Insight into your processes provides a clear picture of risky and non-compliant areas. You can act quickly and back your actions up with data, avoiding heavy fines and costly incursions. 
  • Improved customer experience: When you improve customer-based processes, you can provide clients with a better overall experience. Automating repetitive tasks allows employees to focus on meaningful work and gives your business a competitive advantage. 
  • Informed decisions: Accurate data gives you the best understanding of your current processes’ efficacy. You can base your business decisions on accurate and actionable data. 

What Is Task Mining?

While process mining is a fantastic tool for gaining insight into business processes, task mining focuses on each employee’s productivity. Task mining involves installing specialized software that automatically records activities like keystrokes and mouse activity. In other words, you can capture your team’s actions as they perform them. Task mining provides more automation opportunities than process mining, focusing on smaller components of extensive multi-step processes.

How Does Task Mining Work?

With task mining, the first step is collecting data from users’ machines, including recordings, keystrokes, screenshots and user input. Machine learning then analyzes the data and adds context for a better picture of users’ daily processes. It can structure the data appropriately and recognize activity clusters. This view of the data allows you to identify unproductive or challenging areas and make the necessary changes to streamline operations.

Task Mining Use Cases

Task mining can revolutionize business processes on all tiers of your organization. Some task mining use cases include the following.

  • Drive automation initiatives: Task mining allows you to identify time-consuming and laborious tasks, which are perfect opportunities for automation and increasing productivity. 
  • Improve operational efficiency: Output and efficiency are always on business leaders’ priority lists. Task mining enhances productivity throughout your organization. 
  • Increase employee and customer satisfaction: Task mining doesn’t only track work. It analyzes employee performance and pinpoints bottlenecks and inefficiencies. This information empowers users to improve their processes and perform in alignment with key performance indicators, making employees and customers happier. 
  • Remove redundancies: With task mining, you can identify the most time-consuming, repetitive and monotonous processes. Then, you can streamline workflows by leveraging automation opportunities. 

Benefits of Task Mining

Task mining has many advantages for businesses.

  • Improved task tracking: Task mining enables your business to track key performance indicators for individual tasks, many of which get overlooked in day-to-day operational processes. 
  • Enhanced decision-making: Accessing robust data in real time gives you all the information you need to make the best decisions for your business. 
  • Increased employee satisfaction: Employees are happier when they feel their work is meaningful. With task mining, you can identify error-prone, laborious, repetitive manual tasks and automate them, freeing employees to complete mission-critical work and giving them an enhanced sense of purpose within your organization. 
  • Elevated automation capabilities: Task mining provides powerful and data-driven insights, so you can spot automation opportunities within your business model and back them up with actionable data. 
  • Increased compliance: Accurate and accessible data allows you to quickly meet compliance and regulatory standards. 

As complementary methods, task mining and process mining work best when combined. Though both approaches have distinct advantages, pairing them provides ideal outcomes.

Task Mining vs. Process Mining

Task and process mining are compatible but have notable differences in goals and methods. Some of the critical differences between task and process mining include the following.

  • Project scope: Process mining covers end-to-end processes and subprocesses, while task mining focuses on the steps and actions within each task. 
  • Source of data: Both rely on data collection, but process mining pulls information from event logs and IT systems. Task mining data comes from mouse clicks, keystrokes and other user actions. 
  • Techniques: Each uses different data collection methods. Process mining uses data-mining algorithms and process modeling. Task mining uses text and pattern recognition, natural language processes, text mining and optical character recognition. 
  • Focus: Process mining is invariably process-oriented. Task mining is more user-oriented.

Task and process mining automate and optimize processes for maximum efficiency. As stand-alone tools, they each have advantages and limitations. Combining them will enhance your business efforts and provide better visibility and transparency, with benefits that include the following.

  • Elevated transparency: The two approaches fill in the blanks between analyzing tasks and reviewing processes. They provide accurate and actionable insights to build your business strategy and address opportunities for process improvements. 
  • Improved productivity: With process and task mining, you can automate your tasks, reassign underused resources and make data-informed decisions about process improvements within your organization. You can improve your team’s efficiency, engagement and satisfaction with these processes. 
  • Increased compliance: Effective monitoring of tasks and processes allows you to monitor employees’ actions and mitigate compliance risks with improved auditing and user-friendly dashboards. 
  • Accelerated automation: Combining task and process mining provides you with a competitive edge and the ability to fast-track your automation. 

Task and Process Mining Trends for the Future

Task and process mining change how businesses operate and think. With these two tools, you can take an organic viewpoint on your business and its processes, focusing on workflows and tasks rather than merely reporting. There are many exciting trends and innovations to expect in the future as more businesses adopt these innovations and reap the associated benefits.

We can look forward to further advances in process automation as businesses recognize the role process mining plays in workflow automation and that task mining plays in robotic process automation, for instance.

Process mining has focused on end-to-end processes in the past, but the opportunities for customer-oriented process mining are becoming more apparent. All initiatives to improve internal processes can aim toward customer satisfaction.

Task and process mining are likely to become more predictive as businesses call for a proactive approach to streamlining their operational processes. The ability to predict and address weaknesses before your business suffers the associated losses could change the game altogether.

The opportunities for technological innovations are endless. Businesses must stay abreast of trends and incorporate practical innovations to maintain a competitive advantage.

Why Choose Salient Process?

Digital transformation is a massive yet necessary process. Businesses need to automate critical processes to minimize the margin of error and maximize operational efficiency to cope with the rapidly changing digital world. Automating your digital processes allows you to focus on your core business operations, and partnering with Salient Process gives you the power to do that.

Since our inception, Salient Process has helped businesses map thousands of processes. We can help you speed up your decision-making based on actionable data, improve communication, increase efficiency and protect your bottom line. Partnering with us will benefit your team by using additional products, such as the automation compass, making automation identification a breeze with a collaboration with IBM Watson. You can also benefit from Blueworks Insights — process mapping with extensive reporting and analytics capabilities, easy user management and more.

We are the perfect partner with the pedigree and experience to get your business where you want it to be.