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Process mining is taking on an increasingly important role within Appian’s automation and orchestration platform. It should provide both more insights into organizations’ processes, but also into the underlying Data Fabric. Of course, there is also the necessary space and focus on AI in version 24.2, with the Appian AI Copilot as the main exponent, in addition to eleven new AI Skills. We list the announcements and its implications below.

Since Appian’s acquisition of Lana Labs in 2021, we’ve written about the role process mining plays in Appian’s vision and automation in general. It’s not just Appian that believes process mining and things like low-code development and RPA fit well together. We see this trend throughout the market: a convergence of these types of technologies geared towards adding efficiency.

Also read: Process mining and low-code automation complement each other

However, integrating a new technology into an existing platform is no easy task. For process mining to reach its full potential, Appian first had to take another important step. After all, insight into processes is only really useful if the underlying data layer is ready as well. Hence, the company first focused on developing the Data Fabric. For a detailed story about this, please refer to the article we wrote about last year, based on an interview with Appian-CTO Mike Beckley.

After the Data Fabric was developed, process mining was ready to become an integral part of the Appian Platform. That has now finally happened with the official announcement of Process HQ as part of the platform.

Appian Process HQ

Process HQ is a confluence of multiple technologies. It includes components of Data Fabric, process mining, machine learning and generative AI. The purpose of Process HQ is to enable all processes that organizations build within/on the Appian Platform to be monitored and improved. The idea is that this ensures that costs and risks go down, delays are reduced, and because of this, better compliance is possible as well. This means better performance for the business as a whole. All this without having to start costly and lengthy data collection processes.

The two main components of Process HQ are Process Insights and Data Fabric Insights. With Process Insights, users from the business line of organizations can get started with process mining. That is, without having a background in data science or process mining. It should be possible (using AI) to identify problems, errors, bottlenecks and delays. Not only that, users also get recommendations to adjust those processes that yield the most profit when improved. Appian promises step-by-step guidance for users, even deep into the details of a process.

Much of Process Insights’s information comes from the Data Fabric. Components that provide insights have also been developed for this component. With Data Fabric Insights, it will be possible to create reports and dashboards based on the data available in the Data Fabric. This should allow users to get faster insights into what this data says and means. Appian promises that users do not need a development background or knowledge to do this. Further, it also promises that it will be possible to work within all conceivable guardrails. Someone not allowed to see specific data will not get to see it.

GenAI additions

The second set of innovations to Appian Platform 24.2 has to do – how could it not – with generative AI (GenAI). For example, Appian AI Copilot has become more important. We can’t quite pinpoint its significance yet, based on the information we have available right now. Indeed, the AI Copilot itself is not new. It does play a role in the Data Fabric Insights component described above. The insights that can be extracted from the Data Fabric can presumably get extracted even faster with the help of Appian AI Copilot.

Furthermore, the latest version of AI Copilot uses GenAI’s capabilities to automate the generation of test cases for developers. Developers generally have to put together these test cases on a role-by-role basis. AI Copilot can now automate this for developers. The idea, of course, is that these test cases cover the various roles well. This should allow developers to make their applications better and more reliable.

Finally, Appian announced eleven new AI Skills today. We briefly discussed these AI Skills in our article on the strategic partnership between Appian and AWS. Appian introduced those skills at Appian World last year. The new ones go further than simple classification and extraction. They use the LLM embedded in the Appian Cloud to summarize documents, identify PII data, and generate text, to name a few new skills.

Everything gets more and more integrated

As far as we are concerned, the new features in Appian Platform version 24.2 mainly show that the various components are becoming increasingly part of a whole. Data Fabric and Process Mining are inseparable by now, but the AI Copilot also plays a role in Process HQ. Furthermore, we think it is also good to see the AI functions that Appian has addedare are generally practical and useful. That is ultimately of much more use to you as an organization (and as a developer) than all-encompassing and often not very accurate or secure AI functionality.