Process mining enables organizations to streamline and automate their business processes. The initial phases of process mining projects often include exploration activities aimed to familiarize with the data and understand the process. Despite being a crucial step of many analyses, exploration can be challenging and may demand targeted guidance and support. Still, little attention has been paid to understanding how process analysts approach this exploratory phase. With this goal in mind, in this paper, we report the results of an empirical study investigating exploration practices in process mining. Our study reveals that analysts follow different behavior patterns when exploring event logs and enact various strategies to understand the data and gain new insights. The results remark the need for a deeper understanding of process mining practices and inform future research directions to better support process analysts and explain the cognitive processes underlying the analysis.
Francesca Zerbato, Pnina Soffer, Barbara Weber
30 Sep 2021