A Conversation With Young Sik Kang

Young Sik Kang - The winner of this year's BPI Challenge

In one of our annual traditions, we asked the winner of the 2013 BPI Challenge, Young Sik Kang, for an interview on this blog.

Young Sik Kang is an associate professor at Myongji University, Korea1. He is leading a Process Management and Process Mining Research Center called APPS. His team has successfully conducted several process mining projects in Korea.

The interview

Anne: Young Sik, congratulations to you and your team on winning this year’s BPI Challenge award! You submitted your contribution together with seven colleagues. How did they receive the news?

Young Sik: Thank you for the congratulations. I’d like to express our thanks to the organizers and the jury. The corresponding organizer, Boudewijn van Dongen, informed me that my team is one of the top three. Thus, I attended the BPI workshop for confirming the final winner. When my team was announced as a winner, I brought the good news to my team members via one of our social networking services.

Anne: With social networking services you are referring to the process mining community that you started in Korea?

Young Sik: Yes, I started the process mining community (http://cafe.naver.com/processminer) to let Koreans know the potential benefits of process mining and process management. My team members are helping translate Fluxicon’s good blog postings in Korean, and several researchers and consultants are writing postings on process mining and process management. Recently, an increasing interest in big data and process analytics is attracting more Koreans into the community.

Anne: I know that you have been active with process mining for a long time. Can you tell us a bit about your process mining journey? When did it start, and how has it developed?

Young Sik: After being introduced to process mining about 4 years ago, I was sure that it is a very important line of research. However, to make full use of process insights gained from using process mining, I thought that process mining needs to be combined with a substantial body of knowledge, a plethora of methodologies, tools, and techniques in the area of process management.

Therefore, to explore the potential synergy between the two research areas, I established a research institute and have received research funds from Myongji University three times. We have conducted several process mining projects and offered process mining courses with KMAC, one of the leading Korean consulting firms. Furthermore, more than 100 persons from leading Korean public and private enterprises attended our process mining seminar held in last August 30. We confirmed Korean organizations’ great interest in process mining.

Anne: That’s impressive. We have to include one of the photos from the seminar in the interview blog post (see below).

It’s smart to partner with an established consulting firm like KMAC. Did it take long to convince them that process mining adds value to their traditional process management service offerings?

Young Sik: At first, it was not easy to persuade KMAC to adopt process mining. The reason is that by replacing a consulting firm’s time-consuming process analysis efforts, process mining may decrease its revenue. However, recently, KMAC realized the potential benefits of process mining and is giving us chances of conducting process mining projects in the large public enterprises. As more client companies get to know the benefits, they are likely to convince consulting firms to adopt process mining.

Anne: Why do you think that many Korean organizations will be interested in process mining?

Young Sik: According to Google Trends, South Korea’s interest in Big Data is the second in the world. Furthermore, Korea ranked atop the E-Government Survey 2012 drawn up by the United Nations Public Administraton Network (UNPAN). The Netherlands (second), UK (third), Denmark (fourth), and U.S.(fifth) joined Korea among the top ranks. Therefore, I think that Korea has a solid foundation for the application of process mining. I’m sure that several successful process mining case studies of Korean organizations will excite interest in process mining in Korea.

Anne: I am sure they will. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts here in this interview, and Congratulations again for winning the BPI Challenge!

Young Sik: It’s my pleasure to have this interview. I’d like to appreciate you and Christian for letting us use the excellent Disco tool with the data for this challenge on a free basis. If I get another interview chance in the future, I’d like to share my experience of a planned process mining project with a big Korean public enterprise.

Anne: That would be great! Thanks so much. We look forward to hearing from you the next time.

Process Mining Seminar with more than 100 participants in Korea

Photo from the first Korean process mining seminar in August 2013 with more than 100 participants.


  1. Myongji University is one of our more than 130 academic partners