Why Companies Need Process Intelligence

By James Berrocales

One of the main things that we believe at iGrafx is that you can’t change what you can’t see.

When we think about this phrase in terms of Process Intelligence, we could ask ourselves why an organization might want to change in the first place? Every organization wants to become more efficient, faster, and more agile. All these things translate to more revenue, which at the end of the day is why an organization exists in the first place.

Given that improvement is the reason why an organization would want to change, we could tweak the phrase “You can’t change what you can’t see” to “You can’t improve what you can’t measure” and still get the same idea.

Measure Your Improvement

In order to know you have improved something, for example an organization’s processes, you need the ability to measure the improvement. This concept is familiar to us all in different aspects of life.

Let’s take weight loss. We all know that when a client says to a personal trainer, “I want to be healthier”, “I want to lose weight” or “I want to look better”, the trainer will respond with questions such as these: “When you say you want to be healthier, do you mean lowering your blood pressure? If so, what’s your goal? For losing weight, how much do you weigh, and how many pounds do you want to lose? Perhaps you want to look better, then that means you want to lower your body fat and increase your muscle. Do you know what your body fat percentage is? How many percentage points do you want to lower it? How many pounds of muscle do you want to increase? Are your goals realistic in the timeframe that you’re looking for?”

After these goals have been established, more things will need to be measured. For example, how much weight is being lifted in the gym from week to week. When it comes to diet, the person needs to determine how many calories they need to consume every day to reach their goals and the macronutrient breakdown of protein, fats, and carbs. Then they need to track daily what they’re consuming to meet their goals.

The Role of Measurement

Those who fail to attack an improvement in wellness in this way often won’t achieve their goal.  Metrics, or intelligence is needed, and decisions need to be made based on this intelligence. It’s no different with businesses. To meet their objectives, concrete goals aligned to their strategies need to be determined and metrics aligned to those goals will indicate if they are on track or not, or if there are problems that need to be addressed.

You cannot improve what you can’t measure.

What is Process Intelligence?

So, what is process intelligence exactly? It’s an approach enabled by technology that allows companies to gain visibility into their operations by capturing data, monitoring this data, and then analyzing it in terms of their business processes. To be most effective, it needs to be done in as close to real-time as possible. Why? Because if decisions are to be made based upon this data, decisions are made in the present, not in the past. To be most effective, data around what’s happening at present is better than what happened last month when decisions cannot be made to affect the outcome.

In the weight loss example, knowing how much you weigh today is much better than knowing how much you weighed 30 days ago.

Near real-time process intelligence is extremely important. Real-time data enables organizations to make sound decisions that improve efficiency and reduce costs, or in general help reach business objectives.

Process Intelligence for Risk Management

Process intelligence can also help identify and mitigate risks. When we think of risks, we often think of them in terms of compliance, but risks to an organization’s strategy is a better way of thinking about this. True, every organization should have a strategy around compliance, but there are other strategies where data can help an organization. Suppose a company wants to improve their time to market to gain a competitive advantage. Data can reveal risks that can prevent them from reaching this goal. Once mitigation steps have been identified, data will be what lets them know if those controls are actually working.

Data supports continuous improvement. Processes don’t need to be improved once, they need to be improved constantly as an organization responds to ever-changing market and external factors. A steady stream of data allows companies to always know how their business operations are doing and highlights areas they need to focus on.

Overcoming Challenges

There are challenges related to process intelligence that all companies face that need to be addressed.

The first challenge is a multi-faceted application landscape. Most of the data that companies use reside in the application systems that they use. The larger an organization is, the more applications are in use. Some of them are purchased and some of them are home grown. Some are new and others are old legacy systems. All this data is in different formats and in so many places that it can be difficult to know where to find the data you’re looking for.

Second, when companies have access to good data, there can exist such a flood of data, that it can be difficult to analyze it all. It’s the same with writing a research paper. When writing it, you need to know what is important, or what the main points are. You need to know what conclusions can be drawn from the research.

A Lack of Understanding

This leads us to the third point. There is a lack of understanding of how to interpret the data that is collected to know what conclusions can be drawn from it.

What do companies need to deal with these challenges?

They need to be able to provide the right insight to all stakeholders that make decisions, without a flood of information. At times, there is a lack of understanding of what a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is. The point is that it is a Key Performance Indicator. Organizations need the ability to identify what the few data points are that need to be looked at. In an organization, not all decision makers are senior level employees. Intelligence can include operating instructions for process executioners. Why? Because it is data that helps them to make the right decisions.

Additionally, not everything needs to be known. Giving everyone access to everything can make it difficult for decision makers to know what to focus on. It’s valuable to narrow down the data individuals need, removing from their view superfluous data so that they are only focusing on what is relevant to their role.

Lastly, this data needs to be easy to understand. It’s not complicated. It should be easy to find, and easy to use to drive decision-making.

How Process360 Live Can Help

The iGrafx Process360 Live platform combines Process Intelligence, Process Design and Automation to help organizations gain operations transparency. This allows for optimal processes that drive better performance.

First, it offers the ability to analyze data and makes it so that process data is democratized. From business leaders to front-line workers, it provides to access the data they need in one place.

Second, its robust permissions management prevents users from seeing data that is not relevant for them.

Third, all of this can be shown in Dashboards that can be customized for a department, a role or even an individual.

For more information about how Process360 Live can help you improve your business, contact us here.

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