Research Shows Majority of Business Decision-Makers to Use, or Evaluating, Process Mining This Year

Findings reveal damage to business performance when companies lack insight into their processes

NEW YORK & MUNICH–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Celonis, the pioneer and global leader in process mining and execution management, today released independent research showing that businesses are hindered by the complexity of multiple systems and processes, and lack understanding of their process data. These findings stem from the Forrester Consulting survey commissioned by Celonis: “Trends in Process Improvement and Data Execution: How Organizations are Improving Processes and Turning Process Data into Real-Time Action.”

The study found that business leaders are turning to process mining to deliver data and uncover insights about how their business operates. These insights are helping them to understand and improve the execution of a complex web of processes that power their company. These include supply chain and customer service processes that function across a vast range of systems, such as Enterprise Resource Planning, Supply Chain Management, Information Technology Service Management, spreadsheets and more.

The findings also show a range of business issues that are created when companies lack insights into how their processes are executing including increased cost, decreased efficiency, missed new business opportunities, lower productivity, high employee turnover rates, missed KPIs, loss of revenue, lower customer and employee satisfaction as well as loss of strategic vision.

“Process inefficiencies are the silent killers in businesses and they can’t be seen without process mining,” said Wil van der Aalst, Chief Scientist at Celonis. “When process inefficiencies are seen and fixed business performance increases as well as the flexibility to read and react to business disruptions, inflation, pandemics and sustainability requirements.”

The survey revealed that… “More than ever, organizations are tasked with navigating increasingly complex processes. The art of simplification — a useful business principle in theory — has, for many companies, evolved into problem-solving by adding, not subtracting, technologies. For others, it has meant wishfully throwing automation at complex processes, only to see a lack of fit lead to disappointing results. To optimize business performance, brands must quickly and objectively identify process inefficiencies and gather real time understandings of their inner workings at scale to meet company goals and successfully compete.”

The study captures insights from more than 800 decision-makers at companies worldwide.

Key Findings include:

  • 61% of decision-makers will use, or are evaluating, process mining in the next 12 months, ranking it the top technology they plan to use to measure or improve their business processes.
  • 71% of businesses use ten or more applications to execute a single process and 72% still use manual methods that limit process visibility.
  • 90% of businesses that use process mining technology are confident they’ll hit their process improvement targets this year.
  • Only 16% of businesses say they have complete visibility into their processes and just 7% report complete, real-time process visibility.

Organizations are Failing to Optimize Processes, Losing Out on Key Opportunities

Organizations have historically struggled to develop, document and track processes, but on top of this, companies now wrestle with macroeconomic challenges such as inflation, supply chain disruptions and hybrid system environments, making process visibility even more critical now.

  • Only 56% of decision-makers feel they’re able to incorporate all systems involved into their department’s processes to create an end-to-end view of those processes.
  • Almost half of the survey participants, 44%, said they are spending more due to lack of process insights. 28% of North America respondents are feeling the impact of lower customer satisfaction from process issues compared to their EMEA counterparts, 25%.

Elusive Real-Time Data Hampers Execution

The next phase of transforming business processes is moving from complete process visibility to complete real-time process visibility. In the modern consumer experience, reacting in real-time is table-stakes – imagine if Uber took more than a day to process requests. Why should business processes be different?

The lack of real-time data adoption by businesses to improve process visibility shows:

  • 53% of businesses report using process visibility data that is more than one day old
  • 28% of businesses report using process visibility data that is greater than 10 minutes old and less than one day old
  • 12% of businesses report using process visibility data that is greater than one minute but less than 10 minutes old

Based on the findings of Forrester’s research, Celonis makes the following recommendations to improve productivity (and therefore save resources and provide a better customer experience):

  • Identify processes to track and baseline before assessing which to improve, or automate: It’s crucial that businesses first know their processes, intimately, before triaging and changing plans for improvements. A helpful mantra to remember is “understand, reengineer, and automate processes” – in this order.
  • Invest in process skills: Most companies are structured by functions, not processes. To improve processes, leaders must emphasize an end-to-end process mindset – not functions. Business process owner roles, hardly ever found in an organization, must exist and be influential.
  • Task mining, in tandem with process mining, enables companies to gain additional insight into how their processes actually work. This provides the full picture of process weak points and employee pain points from the applications they’re using along a process. Process mining and task-mining combined can provide a full picture.
  • The true value of process mining comes with cross-system discovery: Processes covered by a single system (such as ERP, SCM or CRM) tend to benefit less from process mining than those that span a multitude of systems. Process mining initiatives should focus on the multi-system use cases for high return from their process mining investments.

Celonis is the process mining market leader and pioneer of the execution management category. Its Execution Management System (EMS) is built across three pillars – data, intelligence, and action – to provide a 360-degree view of all business processes within an organization. Celonis’ EMS analyzes and identifies processes bottlenecks, automates fixes to them and makes actionable suggestions to put data to work for its customers.

Read more about the underlying issues and potential solutions in former ZDNet editor-in-chief Larry Dignan’s post here and our animated infographic here.


Celonis commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate the current state of process improvement and data execution within organizations. Forrester completed an online survey of 818 process owning and business execution decision-makers at organizations around the world to evaluate the state of process improvement and data execution within organizations. Survey participants included decision-makers in director positions and above within technology, data strategy, or oversight roles. Questions provided to the participants asked about process visibility, execution, and improvement. The study was carried out in September/October of 2021.

About Celonis

Celonis helps organizations to execute on their data. Powered by its market-leading process mining core, the Celonis Execution Management System provides a set of applications, a developer studio and platform capabilities for business executives and users to eliminate billions in corporate inefficiencies, provide better customer experience and reduce carbon emissions. Celonis has thousands of global customers and is headquartered in Munich, Germany and New York City, USA with 16 offices worldwide.

© 2021 Celonis SE. All rights reserved. Celonis and the Celonis “droplet” logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Celonis SE in Germany and other jurisdictions. All other product and company names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.


Joanne Blum

Director of North America Communications