As a fellow business leader exploring process mining, you may feel both excited and overwhelmed by the potential of this emerging technology. With the number of vendors and features increasing rapidly, selecting the right process mining software is becoming a key challenge.
Through my experience implementing process mining for various clients, I‘ve felt your pain first-hand!
So in this guide, I‘ll provide an unbiased feature-by-feature comparison between 3 leading tools – Celonis, Apromore and IBM – to help demystify process mining systems based on your specific needs.
Let‘s dive in!
Why Process Mining Adoption Remains Slow
Several industry reports highlight the untapped potential of process mining:
- 93% of business executives want to apply process mining, yet, 79% have never used it according to process mining stats.
- 52% consider lack of expertise and tools as the top barrier, as per an Everest Group Survey.
- The process mining market is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 50%, reaching $10 billion by 2025, as per MarketsandMarkets.
Clearly, while process mining adoption is increasing, selecting the right platform remains a key hurdle. Trying a tool requires significant time and effort, while still not guaranteeing suitability.
This analysis aims to help you shortlist options by transparently evaluating core capabilities across leading vendors.
While lists of process mining tools run into 100+ options, I‘ve focused on the top 3 established vendors based on market share:
- Celonis – A pioneer in process mining, Celonis holds over 60% market share
- Apromore – A leading open-source platform used by over 135 organizations worldwide
- IBM – A key new entrant, bringing process mining to enterprise BPA platforms
I compared them across 5 key capability areas, having tried their free trials myself:
- Data connectivity – Flexibility around data formats, systems, and capture
- Discovery – Process visualization, replay, variants, and drill-down
- Conformance – Comparing as-is vs should-be processes
- Monitoring – Process intelligence dashboards and filtering
- Enhancement – Simulation, automation, and redesign capabilities
Let‘s analyze each area across the tools. I‘ve included screenshots from my trials to illustrate the capabilities.
Since event log data is the fuel for process mining, flexible data connectivity is crucial.
Celonis provides extensive options through flat file uploads, live database integration with systems like SAP and Salesforce, and their embedded process robot for task mining.
Celonis data sources
Apromore focuses on file uploads, with example logs provided for common processes. Users can also upload process models.
Apromore data upload
IBM allows file and database connectivity like Celonis. It also integrates with IBM BPA tools like Automation Discovery for event log generation.
IBM data upload
Celonis provides the most flexibility for data connectivity with extensive options. This allows addressing data availability challenges better.
Once data is available, process discovery automatically models the end-to-end flow.
Celonis offers comprehensive discovery capabilities including:
- Hierarchical process maps showing activities across swimlanes
- ‘Happy path‘ and variants analysis
- Animated process playback
- Interactively filtering parts of model
![Celonis process discovery](https://cdn.celonis.com/celonis/process-mining-demo/clnx-parr-proc-brwsr– Explorer-wht.gif)
Celonis process discovery
Apromore‘s open-source algorithms generate event-order based models highlighting roles, stats, and hierarchy. Advanced visualization options are limited compared to commercial tools.
Apromore process map
IBM automatically visualizes hierarchical discovery models with overlay of performance metrics. The visualization style resembles flowcharts rather than swimlane models.
IBM process map
Celonis and IBM offer more advanced discovery capabilities like animation and path analysis compared to open-source Apromore.
Conformance checking compares as-is processes to should-be or target process models.
Celonis allows users to select any two processes or scenarios for conformance analysis. Deviations are quantified and highlighted in the models.
Celonis conformance checking
Apromore also checks for deviations between two models. But it does not allow comparing real-life event data to models.
Apromore conformance checking
IBM enables comparison between as-is and should-be processes as well as across scenarios. Color coding in models highlights conformance gaps.
IBM conformance check
IBM and Celonis provide more flexibility to benchmark scenarios and quantify deviations through event data.
Ongoing process monitoring is crucial for obtaining intelligence.
Celonis offers customizable dashboards that correlate metrics from across processes. Analysts can filter data interactively.
Celonis process analytics
Apromore generates basic summary reports on process KPIs, variants, and deviations. The open-source version has limited dashboard features.
IBM provides out-of-the-box executive dashboards showing productivity, quality, and compliance metrics. Users can add charts and filter to a process instance level.
Celonis enables the most flexible analytics while Apromore offers only basic reporting. IBM strikes a balance with customizable executive dashboards.
Improving processes through simulations and automation is an important objective.
Celonis provides an end-to-end process transformation platform by combining mining, automation, and data integration. Event-driven actions can be configured through the Execution Management System.
Celonis Execution Management System
Apromore is focused on mining rather than enhancement capabilities since it is open source. But it allows exporting BPMN models for implementation in other BPMS tools.
IBM enables process redesign through its simulation module for predicting improvement impact. Mined processes can also be automated through IBM‘s BPA suite.
IBM process simulation
Celonis combines process mining with workflow automation for end-to-end improvement. IBM focuses on simulation for redesign.
Recommendations Based on Your Priorities
Let me summarize the key differences across the three platforms:
|Data connectivity||Extensive options||Only files||Files & databases|
|Process discovery||Advanced visualization||Basic||Advanced|
|Conformance||Scenario comparison||Model-to-model||Scenario comparison|
|Monitoring||Custom analytics||Basic reporting||Executive dashboards|
|Enhancement||End-to-end platform||Export models||Simulation|
Here are my recommendations based on your key priorities:
- If you need strong data integration capabilities, Celonis provides the most options through databases and task mining.
- For rich process visualization, IBM and Celonis are better equipped than open-source Apromore.
- If conformance checking across scenarios is critical, opt for IBM or Celonis over just model comparisons in Apromore.
- For custom and interactive analytics, Celonis is the most flexible option.
- If you prioritize simulation for enhancement, consider IBM‘s capabilities.
- For a tight integration of automation with mining, Celonis offers an end-to-end platform.
I hope mapping their capabilities to your priorities helps shortlist options and plan POCs. Do let me know if you need any clarification! I‘m happy to help demystify these tools.
Key Takeaways from the Analysis
Let me recap the key highlights from this detailed feature comparison:
- While open-source Apromore provides an entry point, commercial platforms offer more advanced analytics, easier usability and enterprise-scale.
- IBM differentiates with its focus on simulation and automation integration for process redesign based on insights.
- Celonis leads functionality across discovery, conformance and monitoring while offering an integrated transformation suite.
- Evaluating free trials is the best way to shortlist tools based on an organization‘s specific process improvement and maturity objectives.
- Ultimately, aligning your tool selection with the end-to-end process optimization roadmap is vital for maximizing value.
I hope this transparent and unbiased analysis helps you evaluate tools against your needs and priorities. Please feel free to reach out if you need any help with process mining! I‘m always happy to discuss how these technologies can boost your process excellence journey.