To be able to apply process mining techniques it is essential to extract event logs from data sources (e.g., databases, transaction logs, audit trails, etc.). XES is the standard format for process mining supported by the majority of process mining tools. XES was adopted in 2010 by the IEEE Task Force on Process Mining as the standard format for logging events. It is now in the process of becoming an official IEEE standard. Next to XES (eXtensible Event Stream) other target formats supported by ProM are MXML (Mining eXtensible Markup Language) and CSV files.
Once the relevant data has been located, the extraction and conversion is fairly straightforward. The challenge is to select event data related to the questions an organization has.
Process mining assumes the existence of an event log where each event refers to a case, an activity, and a point in time. An event log can be seen as a collection of cases and a case can be seen as a trace/sequence of events.
Event data may come from a wide variety of sources:
The presentation What kind of data does process mining require? illustrates the requirements using several concrete examples.
For people new to the field, it is interesting to experiment with various data sets. Therefore, this website contains pointers to various example datasets: