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29 June 2016
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Process mining for business: audit with 100% sampling

Proceeding to a next audit, auditors often face a number of challenges, where a solution for one only adds to another. How to ensure timely audit and at the same time guarantee the availability of representatives of an audited area? How to make valid conclusions about an audited area given only incomplete information (due to tight deadlines and unavailability of right people)? How to process a large amount of data obtained during an audit using limited resources of an audit team?

Auditors face a difficult choice of solving or reducing the impact of at least some of these problems. We offer a simple and effective solution for the challenges of the modern audit. We will focus on the use of process mining techniques for business process and IT audit.


 

What is process mining?

Process mining allows you to gain insight into a business process by processing the data on its events recorded in automated systems. For example, if your sales managers work in a CRM-class system and record any stages of interaction with customers from a first request and to a successful transaction there, you can simply download the interaction history from this system. You can then use these data to restore the end-to-end real picture of a process, get fast statistics on the speed of transactions, personnel work load and other important indicators. The depth and volume history of data may be virtually any: you can analyze individual transactions, categorize them and look at the big picture of a process.

ICL Services experts can also visualize processes using the process-mining-based service PRO\Vision. It helps us to quickly and cost-effectively see the real structure of a process based on objective evidence — those data on process events.

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Figure 1. Process visualized with PRO\vision
The arrows indicate the transitions between process events, underlines — the number of records committed this transition and the average time of transition in hours (shown in parentheses). Thus, you can identify process bottlenecks, busiest stages, unauthorized crossings, loops and returns.

The use of process mining allows you to:

1.      Remove restrictions on the sampling of analyzed data;

2.      Increase the objectivity and validity of your conclusions;

3.      Significantly reduce the time auditors need for interviews.

Once again, all you need to do is prepare the process event data for automatic analysis.

For more information see our article on the advantages of process mining in real projects on the Open Systems portal.

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