Tutorial: Get started with task mining

This tutorial with sample data allows you to experience task mining in the process advisor feature. In this tutorial, you will:

For the task mining tutorial, download User recording demo data. For the process mining tutorial, go to Tutorial: Get started with process mining.

Get process advisor ready

  1. Sign in to Power Automate.

  2. Select your environment.

  3. On the navigation pane to the left, select Process advisor > Processes.

Import a solution

In this tutorial, we'll import a solution which already has sample recordings.

  1. On the navigation pane to the left, select Solutions.

    Screenshot of the 'Solutions' screen.

  2. In the toolbar at the top, select Import solution.

    Screenshot of the 'Import' screen.

  3. Select Browse.

    Screenshot of the 'Import a solution' Browse screen.

  4. Download the RPAinaDayProcessAdvisor_1_0_0_7 solution .zip file and open it.

    Screenshot of the downloaded file folder.

  5. Select Next.

    Screenshot of the Import a solution screen.

  6. Select Import and wait for the solution to import.

    Screenshot of the Solutions screen with a message that the import was a success.

View sample recordings

  1. Once you've successfully imported the .zip file, on the navigation pane to the left, select Process advisor > All processes below the process cards.

    Screenshot of the process advisor home screen.

  2. Select the Invoice submission process.

    Screenshot of the invoice submission process.


    If this is the first time you're accessing process advisor, make sure you've selected Processes at least once and waited until the Getting things ready loading spinner has disappeared before importing. If you try to import the RPAinaDayProcessAdvisor_1_0_0_7.zip solution without first initializing the Processes section of process advisor, you'll see only a couple of recordings in the imported solution.

    You can see some of the existing recordings under Recordings.

  3. To be sure you see the entire list of existing recordings, select See all.

    Screenshot of media/task-mining-tutorial/recordings.png

  4. Go back to the Invoice submission process by selecting Invoice submission process.

    Screenshot of the Invoice submission process screen.

Explore the features

You'll see the following features:

Screenshot of the toolbar features.

  • New recording: Create a new recording.

  • Analytics: See the process map and insights.

  • Share: Share your processes with your team members.

    Process owners can pick two role options when sharing with other users: contributor and co-owner. The contributor role gives the user the ability to upload their own recording to the process. The co-owner role gives the user the ability to upload recordings and edit other recordings.

    Screenshot of role options.

  • Analyze: Analyze a process.

  • Create activity names: Create activity names for your process.

  • Delete process: Delete your process.

Analyze a process

  1. Select Analyze to analyze a process. When you perform this action, process advisor will analyze existing recordings to identify any bottlenecks within the business process.

    Screenshot of the Analyze button.

  2. The analysis will take a few minutes to complete. During this process, a status message displays under the New recording button. If you run into an error during the analysis stage, select Analyze to trigger this action again.

    Screenshot of the process analysis status screen.

  3. Once it's done, you'll see the Process analysis status change to Analyzed. Select Analytics to see the process map and insights. This step may take a couple minutes to complete after the analysis has been performed.

    Screenshot of the Analytics button.

Analytics page layout

This section explains what you can do on the Analytics screen.

Screenshot of the Analytics screen

  • Automate activities (preview): To streamline the automation process, you can use the Automate activities feature (currently in preview mode). This feature detects if the user performed actions using an application that has Power Automate actions available, such as Microsoft Outlook or Excel. Upon selecting Automate activities, a draft Power Automate process containing the relevant actions is generated. The user can then modify and customize the draft process to create the final automated process.

  • Legend: Provides users with additional information about the report, helping them to better understand the visualizations and data presented.

  • Process: section offers users in-depth information about the analyzed process, including the process map, time analytics for each variant and each recording author.

  • Application: Provides information about the apps used in recordings. This includes what apps were used by authors, how often were they used, and what the transitions were between them. This report explains which connectors should be used when implementing automation for the process, and where potentially to use desktop flows as there‚Äôs no existing connector.

Business process step relationships

In the previous example, you'll see the various steps in the business process and their related durations. These steps include:

  • Download invoice attachment from email (48 seconds)

  • Open Excel invoice list (11.5 seconds)

  • Open invoice from OneDrive (21 seconds)

  • Enter invoice details (53.6 seconds)

  • Save and submit (9 seconds)

  • Notify team of submission (26.67 seconds)

Gather insights with a process map

Visualizing and analyzing processes is made possible through the process map. By examining a graphical representation of how business processes are performed, you can gather insights about potential areas for improvement..

Go to the process map by selecting Analytics > Process map.

Screenshot of the process map.

View metrics with activity combinations and variants

This section explains the Variants by frequency bars on the right.

Screenshot of the variants by time in seconds bars.

On the process map, you can observe various activity combinations and variants that are displayed individually. A process variant represents a distinct sequence from the start to the end of the process. It is like a 'trail' through the process that varies from other variants by at least one activity. The process map also provides additional metrics such as activity frequency and throughput time. Activity frequency indicates the total number of recordings or cases that pass through it. Throughput time measures the duration between the first event of the case and the last event.

Screenshot of the 'Variants by frequency' tab.

By selecting the first bar on the process map, you can view the most frequent process variant, which is the invoice coming through email. It may take some time for any changes to reflect on the chart.

Screenshot of the invoice coming from email variant in the process map.

Identify automation opportunities

You can see that people spend a lot of their time entering the information in the application. This helps identify an opportunity to automate the process.

Screenshot of entering invoice details.

View analytics data

  1. Deselect Var 1 by selecting any blank space within the Variant by frequency area.

Screenshot of selecting a blank space.

  1. Look at the top analytics data. The average process time is 1.47 minutes out of five recordings.

    Screenshot of analytics data.

  2. Analyze other time-based metrics dashboards.

    • Activity by average time in sec: Notice that Enter invoice details and Download invoice are taking the most time.

      Screenshot of activity by average time in seconds.

    • Recording by average time in min: Notice that some people (Preston Morales and Shakti Menon) are taking more time than others.

      Screenshot of media/task-mining-tutorial/avg-time-min.png

  3. Select the Application (preview) tab to see details on which applications were used.

    Screenshot of Application (preview)

    It might take a while to load the reports.

    • By providing information on the applications utilized in a business process, their frequency of usage, and the amount of time spent on each application, this report is crucial for gaining insights into the process.

    • For example, the dashboard shows that a legacy invoicing app, Outlook, and Excel have significant contributions to time spent and actions by applications.

    • Take time to get familiar with the different reports.

    Screenshot of the Application (preview) screen.

  4. Go back to the process map by selecting Process.

    Screenshot of the Process tab.

  5. Look at the automate activities feature. From the process map, you can see that process advisor has highlighted several activities as potential candidates for automation based on applications.

  6. Start creating a flow for automation by selecting Automate activities (preview) at the top.

    Screenshot of process map with blue circles.

    A tab will open in the browser and show the flow designer. The recommended actions that match to the activities from the process map automatically appear on the right panel. For example, several email connectors are suggested for you to use in order to automate the Download invoice attachment from email activity.

    Screenshot of recommended email connectors.