Epiplex500 Blog

Explore the differences and find out which one is right for your organization and why. 

Any organization staring at the daunting task of studying and getting a grip on the current state of the internal processes has a couple of choices. One, understanding the AS-IS using process mining tools or two, using task capture and task mining tools for the task. 

It is often confusing to determine which approach would be better to study the processes. Many still tend to think of process mining or task capture/mining to be the same thing. But they are not, and it is important to understand the differences so you can implement the right approach. If you are one of those who are not completely sure about which approach to use, read on for some insights.  

Process Mining: Definition    

Process mining is a field of data science and data mining that evolved from event logs that most software applications store. Most business applications like SAP, Salesforce, etc. have a lot of data in the form of event logs which contain details of how a task has flowed within the enterprise.  

The event logs contain details such as case ID, user, time and date stamp, and more. Standardized process mining algorithms take this data and identify trends, patterns, and details of how processes unfold. The end outputs of this data mining can be process discovery and KPI measurement to identify areas of improvement.  

Why choose process mining?    

Process mining helps organizations that are at the initial phases of any process transformation and who are interested in understanding how their high-level end-to-end processes look like. Process mining also helps organizations to identify the KPIs surrounding each individual task within the process before a deep dive is done into each task.   

Task Capture/Task mining: Definition   

Task mining using task capture is an approach where processes and tasks are analyzed after capturing the user’s interaction with the systems at the keystroke level on the GUI of applications being used.  

Task mining tools use a small capture agent that sits on the user’s systems, and captures all the user actions. Applications that should and should not be captured are pre-set using the whitelisting and blacklisting of applications. The captured data is then analyzed using data mining techniques to come up with process maps, process insights, and even process documents. 

Why choose task capture?   

Task capture gives granular information on user actions to perform a task. Task capture is comparatively easy to deploy, and it does not have any “dark events.” Meaning, it does not miss out on any applications or any steps the user is taking to complete the process. Even if the user is using legacy applications, green screens, MS Office, VDI/RDP environment, etc., as part of the process where event logs are not available, using the task capture approach will make sure everything and every single step are captured.  

While process mining gives high-level process charts and the KPIs of each task within the process, task capture gives a clear picture of the nitty-gritty of the task, which is essential for process improvement and automation. Task capture is a scientific way of studying user behavior within the enterprise, just like customer behavior and customer journey on any front-end retail website are studied using cookies.   

Task Capture Vs. Process Mining: The differences 

 Process Mining  Task Mining  
Data Source  Event logs from IT systems  User actions – keystrokes and mouse clicks, etc. 
Scope of study  End-to-end processes at a high level  Granular details of user actions within each task 
Granularity  Processes and tasks within a process Tasks, steps, and actions of a user to perform the task 
Applications & environments which are supported  Usually contemporary mainstream applications that have event logs. Legacy & desktop applications are out of scope Can get task capture data from all kinds of applications, including green screens, desktop applications 
Complexity & Time taken Complexity is based on the types of applications involved in the process. May require a very time intensive preparation of a data lake first before the actual analysis Task capture can be deployed fairly easily and quickly, and it does not depend on the applications being used and the environment  

Task Capture Vs. Process Mining: Which should you choose?    

In most instances, process mining and task mining tools are complementary. However, here are some points to consider when choosing which option to use and when.     

  • At what stage is an organization, in understanding its processes?   
  • What sort of applications and environment do the users use to carry out the processes? 
  • What level of detail and granularity do you need in understanding your processes and tasks? 
  • What is the maturity of the process transformation team w.r.t data mining experts, process experts?     
  • What are the outputs needed from the process study? Process maps, KPIs, process documents, RPA code?    
  • What is the cost you are willing to bear for the process study?    

The process mining approach is time intensive but gives a good story at a high level of how the process in an organization function and the KPIs surrounding each task within the process.  

The task mining approach is fairly easy to deploy, and it can give process insights in a fairly quick turnaround time. The applications involved in an organization’s processes also are important to consider. If some of the applications involved are legacy systems, Desktop applications like MS Office, etc., green screens, then you have to note that these don’t have event logs, and any actions that the users are doing on these applications will be missed in the process analysis using process mining.  

Task mining does not have any such “dark events.” For automation initiatives, many times, organizations use both process mining and task mining. Process mining helps identify which parts of the process need the most attention from an efficiency improvement standpoint, while task mining helps get into the nuts and bolts of that particular task to solve and create the automation needed. It is important to note that some task capture tools also give RPA code apart from helping to understand all the variations of a task in detail.    

Epiplex AI-powered process capture enables automated capture of IT-driven business processes executed by SME/PE experts using the widest range of applications, including Windows, Java, Green Screen, and HTML applications, from CAD applications (CATIA, UGNX, etc.) and those running under Citrix and other cloud environments.    

Why choose Epiplex AI-powered Process/Task Capture? 

  • Captures the widest range of applications. It has no reservations w.r.t to applications and environments that it works on.    
  • The task capture data produces documents, process maps, simulations, and even RPA code for all RPA vendors.    
  • Automatically captures a plethora of metadata which gives flexibility in process analysis. 
  • Automatically identifies confidential/sensitive data on the screen and masks them.    
  • Additional tacit information about the process can also be captured in a simple, intuitive way using screen narrations that describe screen elements using region, callout description, and audio.     
  • Automatically captures validation rules for fields during process capture by identifying the format, structure, nature of the input, range, etc.    
  • Can be used to capture As-Is and To-Be process from third-party automation playback for all the major automation vendors.     
  • Epiance provides superior data, as superior task capture data means superior analysis and superior analysis.  

For automation to succeed, analysts need to understand not only the high-leveled process map but also all the details of the process, up to the very nitty-gritty, and this is where task capture becomes essential.  

Epiance task capture is recognized as the best task capture solution in the industry by multiple consulting companies and large organizations using it. To opt for this ideal solution for your organization or more details and understanding of the Epiance Epiplex task capture tool, request a demo here.