Run SAP Business Processes with SAP Signavio Solutions

Process Mining in Practice for Business Users

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Learn high level overview: SAP Signavio Process Intelligence
  • Understand data within Process Mining projects

Purpose of Process Mining

Why is Process Mining Required in Practice?

Have you ever asked yourself what stories are hidden in your data? Well, in this lesson, we're about to find out. Before we jump in, it's important to determine which processes we want to analyze and why.

Starting a Process Mining project is useful for any organization wanting to have tight control over its processes and abilities to quickly identify opportunities for improvement. Still, you probably won't launch a Process Mining initiative without a specific reason for action. Let's take a look at some common starting points.

Individual Process Improvement

Some of your processes are clearly inefficient and not running according to the corresponding as-is documentation (e.g., a set of production plans uses the same facilities, but their output varies significantly).

Goal with Process Mining: Analyze, impact, and develop steps for improvement.

Continuous Process Improvement

You are constantly under pressure to fix cases that go off the rails and cause tremendous financial damage. For example, in a financial organization auditors raise concerns due to overly risky transactions slipping through risk management's controls.

Goal with Process Mining: Identify potential risks before they occur and ensure compliance.

Process Performance and Benchmarking

You need data on how your processes run for reporting, but you don't have insightful, aggregated data (KPIs) available. For example, the manager of a Service Department wants to know how the unit performs in comparison to industry benchmarks, but struggles to identify the department's KPIs.

Goal with Process Mining: Identify inefficiencies and use KPIs to have a benchmark.

What's Required to Start a Process Mining Project?

Most businesses start Process Mining projects to better understand their processes and develop solutions for improvements. In order to do this, businesses need process data, or an "as-is" process specification and process mining software to gain these insights.

Step 1 - Process Data

In today's digital economy, data always exists, be it in a workflow engine, an ERP system, or spread out among a set of specialist enterprise applications.

Step 2 - As-is Process Specification

If you haven't thought about how your processes should run, now is the time to start documenting business processes. We recommend establishing a basic degree of process awareness in your organization- this alone can help solve the most obvious problems. Get started with the SAP Signavio Process Manager and take the next step with Signavio Process Intelligence once you have documented your "as-is" processes.


In short, you should start with Process Intelligence once you have documented your core processes and are now looking to ensure they run as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Process Intelligence

Process Intelligence Data

Process data are hidden in systems and it's up to us to have it tell a story. Data needs to be extracted and transformed first before they can provide these valuable insights. That requires the right people and a clear course of action to ensure the success of a Process Mining project.

Turning Data into Process Intelligence Insights

We can see the actions at each step.

Data Sources

Start by extracting data/log files from your IT applications.

Ensure Your Data is Complete

Check if all data and certain properties are present in the files.

Data Preparation

Prepare the data so it can be provided via connector from the source system or manually through separate log files.

Start Your Analysis

Now, you can analyze the data in Process Intelligence and create dashboards based on the widgets.

Adjust the Process Model

After the analysis, you can now see the true path of your processes. This will allow you to readjust processes that do not work, simulate, calculate, and report certain models and attributes.

Share and Roll Out the Changes

Share your knowledge through specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Widgets in the Collaboration Hub.

Make Your Process

Execute processes with digital workflows and generate more data for PI Investigations.

Narrowing the intelligence domain and identifying the business challenge (e.g. poorly performing production equipment) is only the first step for a Process Mining initiative. Typically, you need to involve multiple departments in order for it to be successful. Experts recommend to first narrow down the possible cause of the problem by defining the processes and data involved. This will help you identify what's needed to begin your Process Mining project.

Roles in Process Mining Projects

Every organization is made up of processes. In an ideal world, these processes all run smoothly, interact neatly, and work together to achieve an overall goal.

Sadly, we do not live in an ideal world! Too often, you are left to your own devices to discover the business question of "how can I evaluate the enormous amount of data that feeds into and is generated by my processes?"

It's hard to manage this alone. See below the key roles below for a Process Mining initiative.

Step 1 – Process Modeler and Process Owner

The Process Modeler usually has a general sense of how the process is executed from the conversation they had with the Process Subject-Matter-Experts. Process Mining then supplements this conversation by introducing an additional layer of facts, rather than intuition, which drives process analysis and improvement.

The Process Owner is responsible for organizing process analysis resources to improve processes.

Step 2 – Process Analyst

The Process Analyst interprets the data and knows where to dig deeper, investigate unexpected outcomes, and monitors the success of any action taken. In some organizations, the Process Modeler or Owner also acts as a Process Analyst.

Step 3 – Data and IT Expert

IT-Data Experts extract data out of processes. They transform that data to deliver valuable insights.


SAP Signavio Process Intelligence offers tremendous benefits as it allows you to visualize the "as-is" process, foster data-driven discussions, and enable organizations to take corrective action based on meaningful insights. However, it does require collaboration of different roles to extract and transform the right data, interpret the findings, derive measures, and roll-out changes.

It helps companies to reveal the "as-is" state of a process, but only a person can judge if tasks and process flows are right or wrong, and develop measures for improvements.

Different Roles with Different Responsibilities

Different job titles have different roles in Process Intelligence. It's important to understand everyone's role so we can better manage our project goals.

The picture below shows three different roles and the specific tasks they manage. Look to the bottom right-hand side of the picture to see the different roles involved.

In the next section, you will learn about the 4 steps to turn your data into a story.

Step 1 – Make Your Data Available and Map it to Your "To-Be" Process

To collaboratively model high-quality BPMN 2.0 process models, you can use the Editor in SAP Signavio Process Manager. Once a process model has been created, it can be linked within SAP Signavio Process Intelligence in order to map the process data to the task in the model. For the data part of your process, you only need a list of activities with the following properties per activity:

  • Unique case ID number (e.g., order or invoice number)
  • Timestamp
  • Activity name (e.g., "Send invoice"). All further activity properties, such as the role or IT system that executes an activity, are optional. However, for some Process Intelligence scenarios, they could still be very important.

Step 2 – Import Data, Map it, and Go!

For your first project, you can transform the data to simple CSV tables and load it to SAP Signavio Process Intelligence with a couple of mouse clicks. You can set up a database connector later for real-time monitoring. In SAP Signavio Process Intelligence, you can then map the data to the elements and properties of your as-is" process.

Step 3 – Identify Your "As-Is" Process and Find the Exact Pain Points in Your Processes

Now the real action begins. SAP Signavio Process Intelligence visualizes your process data, providing you with basic metrics for your KPIs. For example, you might identify that time spent waiting on shipments is significantly higher in one of your production plants. In a different view, the system aggregates the process data for cases with similar behavior, also known as "traces", and provides you with your KPIs per trace, as well as with process diagrams for all traces.

In the trace overview, you can easily identify traces with outlier KPIs. Poor KPIs point you to under-performing traces which indicate inefficiencies, bottlenecks, or compliance violations. Pick a trace, and SAP Signavio Process Intelligence will show you a detailed visual comparison to the "as-is" process. This allows you to identify nonconforming behavior and activity-level parameters that need improvement.

Step 4 – Facilitate Continuous Improvement with Process Intelligence and Report Your Findings

The findings of your Process Mining initiative, point to the activity-level issues you need to improve. This enables you to immediately create an action plan from your results report. You can then communicate the action plan and roll out the optimized process as soon as possible.

You should not stop after a one-time process mining project. To ensure your operations run smoothly, we recommend you continuously monitor your process data. As mentioned in step 1, you can set up a database connector for a real-time integration of SAP Signavio Process Intelligence with your process data.

Once you have fixed critical causes for bottlenecks, unnecessary costs, and risks, you can move on to take measures and derive improvements.

Process Mining is IT-driven

In contrast to traditional business process analytics that rely on groups of consultants who gather and crunch process data manually, Process Mining is IT-driven and automates everything but high-level decisions. This reduces costs, minimizes errors and interruptions, while fostering a continuous and deep analysis of your process landscape. Continuous analysis helps you quickly react to the next business challenge.

Process Intelligence Results are Available Quickly

SAP Signavio Process Intelligence gives you your first process intelligence results within a week. More importantly, SAP Signavio Process Intelligence allows you to keep your finger on the pulse of your process landscape at all times, helping you stay competitive in a constantly changing business environment. To be efficient, it's important to manage PI user roles.

Key Takeaways

Try it out!

SAP Signavio Process Intelligence is the real-time guardian of your operational success. Process Intelligence delivers next-generation Process Mining at scale, providing powerful fact-based insights into potential risks and ongoing improvement opportunities to create smarter business decisions.

SAP Signavio Process Intelligence, with Live Insights, unlocks next-generation Process Mining and business transformation at scale through providing improvements to drive automation throughout enterprises. The powerful combination of process discovery, process analysis, and conformance-checking, supports a collaborative approach to process improvement by giving you game-changing insights into your business. Unearth the truth about your processes and make better data-based decisions.

Learn more about how SAP Signavio Business Transformation Suite can help your organization.

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