Process Mining MOOC on Coursera

Whether you call it Process Mining, or Automated Process Discovery, nobody can deny that this field that combines big data analytics with business process is at the center of an important transformation in the workplace.  Process mining is useful to kickstart the implementation of predefined BPM diagrams, and it is also useful in unpredictable case management to see what has been done and whether it is compliant with all the rules.  What would you give to attend a complete, college level course on process mining?  What if it was free?

What if it was free, and it was being taught by Wil van der Aalst, arguably the foremost expert on workflow and process mining? What if it started next month, and you could attend from anyplace in the world?  Would you sign up?  I would.  And I have.

Prof van der Aalst from the Technical University of Eindhoven is teaching the course “Process Mining: Data science in Action” on Coursera starting Nov 12.   It is available to everyone everywhere.  It will last 6 weeks, and require about 4-6 hours of work per week.  It is not just an important part of data science, it is data science in action:

Data science is the profession of the future, because organizations that are unable to use (big) data in a smart way will not survive. It is not sufficient to focus on data storage and data analysis. The data scientist also needs to relate data to process analysis. Process mining bridges the gap between traditional model-based process analysis (e.g., simulation and other business process management techniques) and data-centric analysis techniques such as machine learning and data mining. Process mining seeks the confrontation between event data (i.e., observed behavior) and process models (hand-made or discovered automatically). This technology has become available only recently, but it can be applied to any type of operational processes (organizations and systems). Example applications include: analyzing treatment processes in hospitals, improving customer service processes in a multinational, understanding the browsing behavior of customers using a booking site, analyzing failures of a baggage handling system, and improving the user interface of an X-ray machine. All of these applications have in common that dynamic behavior needs to be related to process models. Hence, we refer to this as “data science in action”.

Many of you have seen one of my many talks on process mining, so you know that I believe this is an important, emerging field, one which Fujitsu has been a part of.  This course will be a chance to get below the surface of what we normally present in a 45-minute webinar, and more than you can get from reading the Process Mining Manifesto.  It is the first major MOOC on process mining.  There two reasons why this is notable:

  • First of all, BPM is becoming more evidence-based and the MOOC “Process Mining: Data science in Action” provides a concrete starting point for more fact-driven process management. It fits nicely with the development of data science as a new profession. There is a need for “process scientists”, now and in the future.
  • Second, it is interesting to reflect on MOOCs as a new medium to train BPM professionals and to make end-users aware of new BPM technologies. Such online courses allow for much more specialized BPM courses offered to thousands of participants.

I for one am looking forward to it.  Here is a short video to explain:

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