Back in summer 2019, we met Angela from the Celonis Academic Alliance. Celonis had just reached unicorn status a year ago. We had a conversation about Celonis’ vision of a frictionless future and how they had started their Academic Alliance program to foster an ecosystem of students, educators and data science enthusiasts to build long-term success, public awareness, and user adoption for Process Mining technology.
Out of personal interest, we learned to use the Celonis technology ourselves and invited Angela for two Process Mining workshops to our HULT International Business School London campus in the following winter. The industry demand to boost data science talent among students, the ongoing willingness of students to up-skill- especially amid the Covid-19 crisis and the resulting tightening of the job market motivated us to continue our journey with Celonis. In the spring of 2020, the Business and Technology Society, the Data Analytics Society, and the Academic Alliance program from Celonis created a pilot workshop-series called the “Process Mining E-Learning Club.”
The idea was to create a forum of exchange for students who wanted to acquire both theoretical and practical Process Mining expertise to upskill for their future professional life. In the end, our club consisted of 45 students from London School of Economics and HULT International Business School who were all eager to add data and operational analytics skills to their CV and learn from the experiences of inspiring Celonauts.
Data Science is a huge field and understanding what skills are demanded in the professional world can be hard, not to mention that upskilling with hard skills is only one side of the equation. The ability to learn from data and make decisions to improve processes is another skill in itself. With E-Learning Club members coming from both business and technology backgrounds, we were interested in getting to know an up-and-coming technology that not only adds to our skillset, but also makes us better thinkers for our future careers. Process Mining is omnipresent in several aspects of everyday life from going grocery shopping to boarding a plane. At the same time it’s a key skill for the labor market as we learned that it is used by a majority of market-leading businesses from BMW to Unilever and Uber. Furthermore, there is a high demand from both students and industries to leverage hard skills like gathering and transforming process data, creating the right analyses to generate data-driven insights, and bringing the insights into knowledge that is relevant for businesses to improve. Knowing how Process Mining works and how to extract insights from data crucially helps to get a better understanding of the complex world we and many businesses live in - from complex supply chains to customer journeys. Process Mining is a truly innovative technology and upskilling early in this field puts us in the position to drive change and innovation both from an academic perspective as students and later in our careers.
In the end, our Process Mining E-Learning Club ran over a period of five weeks. We completed the online training, read academic papers about the development and innovations in Process Mining, and had the opportunity to experience the whole Celonis customer journey by sharing our learning experience in weekly breakout sessions with Celonauts. In these sessions, we met with Celonauts across different departments from Marketing, Business Development, and Data Science & Management Consulting to Partner Management, and Customer Success Management. With the help of Celonis Academic Alliance and the feedback we received, the hardship of learning data science became a shared success story. Furthermore we received really positive feedback from all participants that they were especially excited to learn about the in’s and out's of a successful tech company. Week by week, we learned more about Celonis customer and partner success stories while we continued to upskill our own Process Mining knowledge. It was a bit like a crash course in successful business organization and management from enthusiastic and inspiring Celonauts coupled with software skills and sector expertise. Needless to say, business students found this added value a compelling reason to keep coming back. Connecting with Celonauts gave us a sense of the Celonis spirit. We witnessed how their values guide them and how they put their technology into the hands of those who will use it for good - like us! We came to know Celonauts as independent intrapreneurs (entrepreneurs working for a company) working for a future that is ready for and shaped by Process Mining technology. It was super exciting to hear all of the students discuss the possibilities of how we can apply Process Mining in our own fields and in our work. We are proud to be a small piece of the ecosystem around the up and coming Process Mining wave and already have plans for a larger-scale cohort of students learning Process Mining!