Mieke Jans Deloitte Analytics, Belgium

Mieke has not only a PhD in process mining, but also lots of experience with projects with an auditing focus. At camp, she shared the seven steps she is using in her process mining projects in an audit context.

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Fireside chat with Mieke Jans

As a warm-up for Process Mining Camp 2012, we asked some of the speakers for an up-front interview.

Anne: Can you still remember where and when you first heard about process mining? What exactly caught your attention and fascinated you about the topic?

Mieke: It was actually my supervisor of my PhD who pointed me to process mining. He had a thesis of a master student from Eindhoven University of Technology that introduced me to the topic.

At that time, I was already collaborating with a large SAP-using company for my dissertation, so I extended my research by combining their data availability and the new process mining possibilities.

Anne: Interesting to hear that you started out with SAP right from the beginning. SAP data is not the easiest to extract because the system is so complex and logs are not captured in a process oriented way. How difficult was it in your situation to get the data and put it together in a format that can be analyzed with process mining tools?

Mieke: No, SAP is not the easiest to begin with. I had a lot of difficulties finding the right tables and fields, because you need insights from both process owners and IT experts. I needed to couple the knowledge of different persons.

For example, one person knew exactly how the process (of procurement) took place at the front end of SAP, and another person helped me with the structure of the SAP-tables. I then had to connect the knowledge of these two different people in order to get the right information for process mining.

It took me 8-9 months to find the right data, have them extracted for me, and restructure everything into the right format. In the next step, I used PromImport at that time to convert my final flat file into MXML. A lot of TU/e people helped me with this last step.

Anne: Although 8-9 months is an extreme case to get to the right data, your example nicely illustrates why different kinds of people need to be involved in a process mining project. Both domain knowledge as well as knowledge of the underlying IT systems must be brought together, and in the middle is the process miner who bridges the gap between raw data and analysis. Which skills exactly do you think a person should bring or develop to become a good process miner?

Mieke: 8-9 months is indeed a long period of time, but this includes all the waiting time in between interviews and the learning time for myself to work with SAS to restructure all the SAP tables into the right structure.

A good process miner, I think, has an open mind and is eager to learn from both information technology specialists and domain experts. She also needs to keep on learning and adapting to new environments.

Anne: This is great advice for anyone who wants to get into this field. Thanks for the interview, Mieke!

Process Mining Camp 2012.

We had a great time at Process Mining Camp 2012, which was held on 4 June in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Catch a flavor of the talks at Process Mining Camp 2012 below!

Process Mining Camp 2012 was organized by Fluxicon and supported by TU Eindhoven, the IEEE Task Force on Process Mining, the Ngi, and the BPM Roundtable. We also want to thank Elham Ramezani and Tijn van der Heijden for their great support.

Why camp?

Process Mining Camp is where professionals gather to learn from seasoned experts. A place where you can meet fellow explorers and exchange ideas and business cards. Old-timers and greenhorns alike, this is where we get down to business and share stories from the frontier at the campfire.

Whether you are an expert or have just recently heard of process mining, here you can meet other people who are just as curious and passionate about process mining as you are. Learn about how others are using process mining, and what they have to tell you.

Christian W. Günther Fluxicon, Netherlands

The Fluxicon co-founder welcomes the campers with a story about process mining in the 19th century and shares some glimpses of our vision for process mining.

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Frank van Geffen Rabobank, Netherlands

Frank is applying and promoting process mining within the Rabobank. He told us about the added value he has found, and also about organizational challenges, like identifying the right people.

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Mieke Jans Deloitte Analytics, Belgium

Mieke has not only a PhD in process mining, but also lots of experience with projects with an auditing focus. At camp, she shared the seven steps she is using in her process mining projects in an audit context.

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Léonard Studer City of Lausanne, Switzerland

Léonard is setting up an internal control system using process mining at the City of Lausanne. He talked about the benefits of process mining in a resource-constrained environment.

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Wim Leeuwenkamp Dutch Tax Office, Netherlands

Wim shared his experiences from a pilot project in the audit department of the Ministry of Finance in the Netherlands. He told us about the challenges involved in the construction of event logs in a legacy environment.

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Bram Vanschoenwinkel AE, Belgium

Bram is one of the process mining veterans. He presented three case studies in payroll accounting, public administration, and postal services, and shared tips, tricks, problems he encountered, and lessons learned.

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Anne Rozinat Fluxicon, Netherlands

Anne showed us how a typical process mining analysis looks like, live on stage. She quickly simplified a complex service refund process data set, cleaned incomplete cases, and tracked down a bottleneck in the forwarding company.

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Wil van der Aalst TU Eindhoven, Netherlands

Wil is an icon in the field of process mining, and he is heading the leading process mining research group at TU Eindhoven. He gave us an exclusive overview about current research from his process mining group.

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