Appian (APPN -0.20%) took an important step this summer with its acquisition of Lana Labs, a process-mining company. Process mining is the upstream step that takes place before low-code software can implement workflow, assessing what work gets done and how it can get done more efficiently.

In this Beat and Raise segment recorded on Oct. 8, Fool contributors Jeremy Bowman and Nicholas Rossolillo break down Appian's recent Investor Day and why process mining is key to the company's new business model.

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Jeremy Bowman: First, going back to the presentation. The main reason for this was Appian recently made an acquisition of Lana Labs. This is a process-mining company. I'm just going to read, this is the CEO Matt Calkins' words because I think he puts it best what process mining is. He says:

Process mining is a technology that examines usage logs to discover what work people are actually doing and see the patterns in that work and find processes that have not yet been automated. Those processes can then be automated in Appian using workflow technology. Process mining is a great complement to workflow. Process mining discovers processes, workflow automates them."

I know that's a bit of a mouthful. [laughs] I think that's the best definition you're going to get on process mining.

Nick Rossolillo: It's pretty technical stuff.

Bowman: Yeah. Then I'm going to go back to the slides and then the chart, which you'll see. The company keeps coming back to this chart. You see, process mining, this is what the company does upstream, then workflow, which is designed how work gets done and then automation, which you might think of as bots that are doing the actual work. It's a pretty powerful set of tools and really no other company on the market is providing this entire suite of solutions. Lana Labs is the company I've just mentioned here. This is a diagram of how process mining works. This is a model matches with workflow so they layer on top of one another and then you got your low-code platform here. Matt, he called this the most important slide in the presentation. He said he shows this to customers and they immediately get it. I think it looks very simple, but it's an important concept to understand if you're trying to get to know the company.