What is Process Discovery?

Process discovery is an assortment of technologies and techniques to identify how people perform business processes.

It’s a step beyond conventional process mining to determine what occurs in the “white space” between system logs of events in processes. White space is the various things people do to create business process events (such as the various steps to pay an invoice, for example), from specific mouse clicks to opening files, documents, and web pages—and transferring information between them.

The goal of process discovery is to improve business process efficiency. It uses machine learning and Artificial Intelligence to show organizations what steps they can take to automate existing processes to achieve this objective. It also illustrates new processes they can automate to streamline critical work functions like human resources or customer service.

What can Process Discovery Do For Me?

Process discovery provides an ideal blueprint for automating critical business processes. This software records actions between users and workflows to reveal exactly what’s required to optimize them with tools like Robotic Process Automation. It’s primary benefit is filling in all the blanks of exactly what’s done—by people and their IT systems—to automate these jobs.

Consequently, it’s a key enabler for organizations to accomplish more work with fewer resources, lower costs, and less errors. It also reduces risks for regulatory compliance and security by ensuring what should be done actually is done—which isn’t always the case when performing tasks manually. Specific benefits include:

Why should I implement RPA?

Increased Productivity
Overcoming Bottlenecks
Transparency
Risk and Compliance
Scalability
Greater Customer Satisfaction

Increased Productivity

By using process discovery to initiate or improve existing automation efforts, companies can improve the performance and quality of important job functions like processing insurance claims. Workers can complete these processes quicker—and in greater quantities—by automating their various requirements.

One of the outcomes of process discovery is to identify bottlenecks that consistently delay and reduce the number of processes completed, like contacting customers when payments are due. Process discovery achieves this objective by illustrating everything that can be automated for a business objective (including time-consuming tasks) so organizations can address them.

Process discovery makes even the most complicated, drawn-out processes transparent. With techniques like computer vision, process discovery gives organizations unparalleled visibility into how processes work so they can improve them and make them consistent with RPA.

Process discovery lets organizations see exactly which actions are performed in a process. This information is critical for determining if compliance standards are being met. Moreover, automating these steps ensures regulatory compliance while minimizing costly penalties.

Another chief advantage of process discovery is the ability to scale processes to meet business needs. By revealing just what exactly takes place in each process, this software shows organizations exactly what’s needed to scale them for business imperatives, like scaling up HR functions for mergers and acquisitions.

Greater customer satisfaction for customer-facing applications like loan processing or healthcare insurance claims is implicit to the advantages of increased efficiency and effectiveness process discovery supports. When paired with RPA, it gives consumers and organizations faster results and better resolutions.

Who Is Using Process Discovery?

Process discovery accelerates processes in almost every business unit and industry. It’s an excellent means of preparing for or improving RPA outcomes in departments found across all industries, including accounting, human resources, customer service, and marketing. It’s also widely used in areas of finance, insurance, telecommunications, healthcare, contact centers, and IT services. Process discovery is regularly employed by almost any user of RPA, since the former is an excellent means of maximizing the latter’s value.


Process discovery is used in so many industries and business units because it integrates with almost any application such as Microsoft Office suite, ERP or CRM. Other approaches to improving processes—like process mining—are difficult, if not impossible, to integrate with these systems. However, process discovery’s ease of use with AI technologies that capture users’ actions with almost any available tool or IT system is directly responsible for its utility in so many different applications, including:

telecommunication telecommunication Telecommunications
Insurance Insurance Insurance
Accounting Accounting Accounting
Human Resources Human Resources Human Resources
Customer Services Customer Services Customer Service
Finance Finance Finance

Process discovery impacts the telco industry by illustrating which aspects of workflows are most beneficial to automate. These usually involve customer interactions like onboarding customers, notifying them of new service options and features, and navigating them through the process of changing or upgrading services. Other customer service needs in this vertical include changing personal details related to contact information or addresses.

telecommunication

The insurance vertical encompasses everything from health insurance to home and automotive insurance. Process discovery can readily identify new customer related processes to automate, like issuing reminders for payments or requesting documentation for claims or policies. It’s also useful for finding new backend processes to automate like resolving claims, formulating quotes, and determining discounts for premiums.

insurance

Almost any accounting department will benefit from process discovery’s ability to speed up workflows. It’s regularly used to identify ways of automating processes for managing payroll, reconciling balance sheets, handling expenses, and ensuring orders are filled and invoices are paid. Other common use cases include notifying clients of invoices that need to be paid and filling out tax forms.

accounting

The almost endless array of workflows in HR departments is perfect for identifying new processes to discover and automate. Process discovery is particularly effective on tasks related to acquiring talent like issuing invitations for interviews, screening resumes, performing background checks, and sending job offers. It’s also critical for assisting with benefits like processing requests for vacations, off days, health insurance needs, and more.

human-resources

In contact center settings, process discovery is regularly used to accelerate agents’ abilities to help customers. For example, it’s employed to record customer interactions for evaluation and training purposes, issue real-time access to customer information in different IT systems, and update customer data upon request. It can also reveal information for upselling and cross-selling opportunities to increase revenues.

customer-service

Financial services has traditionally been one of the biggest users of RPA and, by extension, process discovery. Regulatory compliance is a critical use case in this field. Financial organizations have to follow any number of accords like Basel II as well as international mandates like Know Your Customer. Process discovery and RPA are crucial for ensuring these demands are met in a timely fashion without error, preventing organizations from paying stiff penalties.

Finance

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How do I get started with Process Discovery?

The traditional approach to process discovery can be split into three steps.

1

DOCUMENTATION

2

ANALYTICS

3

AUTOMATION
DOCUMENTATION

The first involves documenting each action a user takes—from clicking a mouse to interacting with different systems to move data—while completing a process like onboarding new customers, for example.

1
ANALYTICS

The next step involves analytics to prioritize the different processes and tasks in a way that’s most meaningful to fulfilling objectives, like completing the exit process when employees leave companies. During this step it’s possible to evaluate which actions are opportunities for automation. The results are classified in order of importance of completing the goal of whatever workflow is involved. Thus, users can see which processes to automate first and their effect on the particular process executed.

2
AUTOMATION

The final step is actually automating the desired process. This step is one of the most important for process discovery because it creates meaningful action from the results of discovering the tasks and processes. It’s where the true business value in process discovery is realized.

3

Today, end users can expedite this manual approach to process discovery and RPA by automating process discovery itself using the Automation Anywhere Discovery Bot. Discovery Bot is designed to observe and record human interactions with IT systems for recurring processes so they can identify automation opportunities and automatically create bots. The ability to modernize process discovery by coupling it with RPA and Discovery Bot democratizes workplace automation by placing it in the hands of the business users (customer service agents, HR personnel, accounting specialists, etc.) who actually need it.

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