Process mining: Digital transformation lynchpin in banking & finance 

Process Mining

Technology is now central to the operations of almost all modern businesses, and this is especially true for organisations in the finance sector. But as the sector embraces digital transformation, are business leaders overlooking a key way to ensure they are delivering the experiences that customers need, while also trimming their own costs?

Spurred by consumer demand, businesses in the banking and finance industries are leveraging technologies from cloud to artificial intelligence to improve customer experience, drive efficiencies and win new business. This shift has advanced to an extent few would have predicted, with 85 percent of CEOs having accelerated digital initiatives despite the challenges of the pandemic, according to research by Deloitte. 

These businesses, though, first need to understand what to transform, and if the strides they’re making are actually working – this is where process mining offers an opportunity. Process mining helps businesses understand their operations in a way that was previously impossible, gaining insights about how their business processes actually run, rather than how they think they might run, to truly be successful in digitally transforming.


Failing to make the leap

For some time now, companies in the banking and finance industry have been trying to keep up with the latest technologies, risking being overtaken by digital-native rivals if not. Faced with start-ups and challenger banks powered by technologies such as machine learning, incumbents cannot afford to delay any longer. 

While the pandemic accelerated a shift towards embracing digitisation, hurdles still remain for businesses in 2022 according to research by The Hackett Group. The study finds that business leaders fail to engage with digital projects due to fears over inflation, skills gaps and productivity. 

Companies must act quickly to embrace digital transformation. Acting like an X-ray machine for processes within a business, process mining looks for the points where processes become stuck, leading to delays or costly manual interventions. 

Process mining delivers the data and insights leaders need to eliminate costly delays and hold-ups within their business operations and underpins successful digital transformation. Being able to find business processes gaps that impact customers and their needs is the first step to make businesses more efficient and resilient to meet today’s supply chain and business disruption as well as inflation challenges.

There is still learning to be done though, and many business leaders are unaware of the full capabilities of process mining and execution management and their potential to increase business efficiency. This is one of the reasons that some banking and financial services providers are losing out to competitors.


How process mining can drive success in banking and finance

Process mining can speed up and improve efficiency across the whole value chain in the banking and finance sector. It works by using data generated from business processes, which are recorded in ‘event logs’ by business software. Event logs are saved in scenarios like when a customer makes a request, a complaint is processed or a new credit application is made. Each stage of the process generates its own event log which the software can analyse. As a result, process mining can be applied to just about any process within banking and insurance businesses. 

Mining helps understand how transformation is actually working
by measuring business impact

Process mining works across all stages of each process. This means leaders are not restricted to streamlining one part of the organisation, but are able to take a holistic overview and see possible starting points for a comprehensive digital transformation spanning multiple company divisions. 

The technology digs into standard business data, making it transparent and revealing the hidden inefficiencies where manual processes are slowing the organisation down. It is built to ‘iron out’ the problems that consume time, create inefficiency and waste businesses’ money. As businesses adopt new digital processes, process mining can pinpoint problems as they happen. 


Why execution management matters

Execution management works alongside process mining to drive intelligent fixes which improve business performance, taking the data and intelligence delivered by process mining and translating it into action. Once inefficiencies have been identified, execution management presents the next-best-action recommendations to eliminate inefficiencies. Business leaders can see where these inefficiencies lie and speed up and automate processes where necessary. This translates into satisfied customers, happier employees and increased profits – plus reduced rework, better conversions and a more efficient workforce. 

Process mining and execution management help banks with everything from regulatory reporting to payment processing, identifying ‘pain points’ where needless manual interventions are present and enabling managers to automate these. 

For example, process mining can highlight where related cases are being directed to multiple agents, rather than being grouped together and directed to a single team or agent. Such interventions can significantly reduce overall case volume, freeing up employee time, and cutting costs. Even in high-volume products such as foreign exchange trading, process mining can automatically and continuously map processes, delivering insights on where failures are occurring. 

Banks using process mining and execution management have reported being able to process credit applications up to four times faster and reduce the lead time in the retail process by six months. 

As businesses transform, process mining helps leaders understand how their transformation is actually working too, by measuring the impact on the business. This means that at every stage, the technology can ‘weed out’ the time-consuming manual steps and speed institutions on the path towards seamless automation and greater efficiency. 

It can also help to deliver improved consumer-grade customer services that people now expect in the workplace. After two years of experiencing digital-first services, consumers now demand ‘reliable service and rapid problem resolution’, according to a McKinsey report from 2020. 

Providing good customer experience is a business imperative. Process mining and execution management allow businesses to continuously evaluate in real-time how customers respond, weed out inefficiencies and take actions in customer service. For businesses that must digitally transform, data, insight and actions are invaluable, both before, during and after the transformation process. 


Delivering a frictionless future

The banking and financial services industries must leverage data and insights generated by processes to reduce friction so that their businesses can perform at maximum efficiency levels. 

Process mining and execution management offer key data, insights and action advantages while reducing risks and quickly providing value in days and weeks rather than months.

Process mining empowers business leaders with the process visibility and insights, and execution management delivers the actions they must take to deliver truly frictionless digital transformation initiatives. It’s the key to making banking and financial services businesses perform at levels they never thought possible.   

Nick Mitchell is vice president and country manager UK&I at Celonis