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Task Capture Explained - Types, Benefits & Tools

Lari Numminen

September 21, 2023

Task capture is a core element of increasingly popular task mining solutions helping enterprise businesses improve task and process efficiency. In this article we explain simply what it is and how it works.

What is task capture?

Task capture technology collects and analyzes user interactions data from employees workstations to measure how work is done within a team or a company.

Task capture is a core feature of task mining software. There are at least five different types of task capture technology - but in their core they all work in the same way. They capture information from different employee's workstations and then apply task mining algorithms to enable task and workflow analytics.

Task capture visualization

How Task capture works

The task capture process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Data Collection: By monitoring user interactions with software applications, data is collected in the form of logs, screenshots, or other means. This data includes information on user actions, time spent on tasks, and the order of tasks performed.
  2. Data Processing: Collected data is then cleaned, transformed, and structured to prepare it for analysis.
  3. Pattern Recognition: Machine learning algorithms are applied to the processed data to identify recurring patterns, trends, or anomalies in the tasks performed by users.
  4. Analysis and Insights: The results of pattern recognition are analyzed to provide actionable insights, such as identifying bottlenecks, inefficiencies, or areas for improvement in the workflow.
  5. Optimization and Improvement: Based on the insights gained, process improvements can be implemented, such as automating repetitive tasks, redesigning user interfaces, or streamlining workflows to enhance efficiency and user satisfaction.

Key benefits of task capture

Task capture in task mining can provide valuable information for businesses looking to optimize their processes, reduce costs, and improve overall productivity. Some of the key benefits include:

  • Increase efficiency. Task capture allows you to quantify and improve processes or workflows, and provide concrete evidence-based feedback on tasks.
  • Remove variance and error. Task capture helps you identify where users are not following the agreed process or workflow happy path.
  • Improve compliance. Task capture enables you to track compliance and ensure policies are followed.
  • Identify automation opportunities. Task capture allows organizations to quantify the time and cost of different types of manual processes and workflows, identifying areas where automation can replace manual, repetitive work.

Different types of task capture technologies

  • Task recording - task recorders are simple software apps installed on a workstation that collect interaction, including keystrokes, mouse clicks, scrolls and other activities with timestamps and potentially also screenshots or video recordings.
  • Automated task capture - automated task capture solutions work much in the way of task recording apps, but they are typically more sophisticated and may not require the employee to activate and pause recording activities.
  • Process task capture - many process mining software solutions have task mining functionality that can involve gathering task-level granularity of data from event logs, much in the way process mining works.
  • OCR task capture - a subfield of automated task capture technology are different task mining solutions that utilize optical character recognition (OCR) technology to capture information from browsers or user interfaces.
  • Work API - a relatively new approach to task capture is Work API. It tracks and captures business objects directly from the user interface of relevant business applications without the need for recorder or image capture technology. For more information see Work API whitepaper.

Five examples of task capture tools

  1. Workfellow Process Intelligence: the first hybrid solution that combines process mining and task mining with generative AI event log technology.
  2. UiPath Task Mining: A powerful task mining solution that uses AI to automatically discover, analyze, and optimize business processes based on user actions and system events.
  3. Celonis Task Mining: A task mining tool that captures and analyzes user interactions to help organizations understand their processes and identify areas for improvement.
  4. ABBYY Timeline: A process intelligence platform that combines task mining, process mining, and data analytics to provide insights into how processes are executed, identify bottlenecks, and optimize performance.
  5. Kofax WorkView: A task mining solution that captures user activities and process data to uncover hidden inefficiencies and provide actionable insights for process improvement.

Why does task capture matter?

Task capture is the core enabling technology for task mining solutions. As more companies explore ways to improve processes, team efficiency and enable intelligent automation - task capture provides ways to identify challenges such as swivel chair inefficiency.

Enteprise leaders also need to understand the core mechanics of task capture - as different methods of task mining will have implications on data privacy and data protection. For example, in the European Union (EU) some task recording solutions may not be compliant with GDPR legislation, if they are unable to mask or remove personally identifiable data from the task capture flow.

Looking for an effortlessly intelligent task capture solution? Read the object-centric task mining ebook.

Task capture Q&A

What exactly is task capture?

Task capture is the process of recording and analyzing human interactions with computer systems or software applications to understand how users perform tasks and interact with different tools. It is a key component of task mining, which aims to optimize workflows, improve efficiency, and enhance user experiences.

What is the difference between task capture and task mining?

Task mining and task capture are related but distinct concepts. Task mining refers to the entire process of analyzing and optimizing user tasks, while task capture is a specific step within task mining that involves recording and analyzing user interactions with computer systems or software applications. Task capture forms the foundation for task mining, providing the necessary data for pattern recognition and analysis.

How does task mining work?

Task mining works by collecting data on user interactions, processing and structuring this data, applying machine learning algorithms for pattern recognition, analyzing the results, and implementing improvements based on the insights gained. It combines techniques from data mining, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to analyze user behavior and identify patterns in tasks.

What is the difference between task capture and process mining?

Task capture is a core component of task mining software where you capture events on employees business applications using OCR or other intelligent technology, while process mining works by extracting event log information from enterprise resource systems, such as the CRM or ERP.

Written by

Lari Numminen

Chief Marketing Fellow