Understand Task Mining and Process Mining

Amit Bhadauriya

As per the Market and Market report, the global process analytics market is expected to grow from $185 million in 2018 to $1.42 billion by 2023, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 50% during the forecast period.

As per a Forrester report, 83% of business decision-makers plan to increase the adoption of process optimization in customer journey mapping, and 57% of them are planning to surge it significantly. Process mining is a dominant tool in the process optimization toolkit, indicates the solid future growth for process mining tech.

Task mining is relatively less popular compared to process mining as you can infer from the snapshot below. But trends are indicating growth in task mining in the coming time.

Driver for Process Mining and Task Mining Growth

The value of digital transformation for analyzing and understanding business processes is one of the main drivers for growth in mining technologies. The rise in technologies like AI and robotic process automation (RPA) has contributed to the growth of process and task mining. The pandemic pushing the need for digital and process transformation has accelerated the demand.

Also, collaborations between enterprise applications like process analytics and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and the rise in the implementation of task-level automation are propelling the market growth further.

Understand Task Mining and Process Mining

As per Gartner Report, “Process mining is a technique that marries the concept of data science with process science to discover, monitor, and improve actual processes (not assumed processes) by extracting knowledge from event logs that are available in the different systems.”

Per Gartner, “Task mining is a complementary approach to process mining that infers useful information from low-level event data available in UI logs or captured through computer vision. These UI logs describe the single steps done by a user (for example, in using a workstation) based on keystrokes, mouse clicks, and data entries.”

Process Mining vs. Task Mining

There is a lot of confusion when it comes to process mining and task mining as most of the process mining vendors provide task mining capabilities as well, and they have been using these words interchangeably. Also, when it comes to outcome, both these mining technologies complement each other and helps organizations to be optimized and perform better.

Enterprise architecture and technology innovation leaders need to distinguish between process and task mining (different but complementary disciplines) to improve the success of mining initiatives.

We can distinguish between process mining and task mining based on the scope, use case, and goals.

The following table summarises the difference in brief:

 Process MiningTask Mining
Scope End-to-end process Completion of single task or a set of single tasks on a desktop
Granularity, abstractionTasks Steps and actions within a task
Sequencing Control flow Control flow plus data flow
Instance Unique identifier of instance can be found in each taskNo unique identifier can be found in each step of a task
Detailed dataNot all info in log (e.g., address) All I/O data attributes
Attributes of eventsIncompleteComplete
Discovery of eventsBy-product of transactionsExplicitly recorded for analysis
Underlying techniquesAlgorithms Algorithms, machine learning (ML), rules mining, computer vision

To understand the detailed difference between process and task mining, download the complimentary Gartner report onInnovation Insight for Process Mining and Task Mining”.

In simple words, process mining is the technology that helps to uncover entire business processes in your organization. Task mining discovers the tasks that complete the individual steps of that business process.

Task Mining or Process Mining: Which is Right for You?

Now, as we understand the differences between task mining and process mining. The next question that comes is: what is the right technology for me? Should I implement process mining or task mining?

There is no straightforward answer for this. Both mining technologies deliver tangible benefits and can contribute to higher-level outcomes like improved efficiency and increased automation. There are different use cases of task and process mining, which can help you find the suitable mining tech for you.

If your main goal is to identify, monitor, and optimize your end-to-end business processes – Process mining can do the job. If your goal is to understand the way work is being done, want to improve workforce efficiency, and look for more automation opportunities – Task mining is the right fit.

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Both process mining and task mining have their strengths and weaknesses. Together, they provide very accurate insights into the operations of any organization and give enterprises the complete possible view of how their processes run — including all the additional steps that wouldn’t generate event logs, like checking an email or consulting a spreadsheet.

A robust process transformation strategy should include the use of both process mining and task capture for continuous process improvement and scaling automation. That’s where Hybrid Process mining comes into the picture. It combines Process Mining and Task Mining within its overall Process Discovery capability. With Process Mining functionality one can leverage Event logs/ Application logs alongside task capture technology to provide the most in-depth and advanced data-driven insights across multiple lenses. This provides a rich understanding of the process in its current state and establishes a baseline metric/signature within the organization for any given process.

Gartner Innovation Insight for Process Mining and Task Mining, Marc Kerremans, Tushar Srivastava,10 August 2021.

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