Analytics & Optimization How do I know I am ready for EDM?


There are many ways you might tell you are ready for EDM or that you need EDM to go to the next level. Here are just some of them. You can segment your customers 30 ways-but you deal with them 3 ways. EDM systems enable you to build complex decision trees and apply predictive analytics in order to micro-segment populations or groups of transactions for highly targeted treatment. Check out the customer service section. You need to comply-and demonstrate compliance-with new, and more complex, regulations. EDM ensures that decisions are consistently made using the same set of guidelines and policies, and gives you the tools to demonstrate that the correct rules are being applied in operation. Check out the compliance section. It takes much longer to respond to a competitive threat than to recognize it. EDM systems help you put new rules into place 5-10 times faster, so you can quickly enact new strategies to change your offers, your products and your approval strategy. Check out the business agility section. Manual reviews are dragging down the time to...

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Analytics & Optimization Identity Theft – decisioning in action?


I saw this article on Identity Theft and the entirely coincidental press release on Fair Isaac's new Identity Fraud prevention product (Falcon One). Identity Fraud prevention is a classic example of an EDM problem. Why? Well consider the core measures of EDM success - Precision, Consistency, Agility, Speed and Cost. Successful Identity Theft prevention requires: Precision - don't reject transactions that really are from the person they say they are from, do reject those that are fraudulent Consistency - identity thieves will use any and all channels to attack so you had better respond consistently across channels Agility - identity thieves are engaged in an "arms race" with you so you had better be able to keep changing your approach to keep ahead of them Speed - no-one is willing to wait while you check so you had better be able to check fast Cost - even though identity fraud is expensive there are bazillions of transactions taking place each day that are real so you can't afford to spend too much checking each one for fraud Doing this well takes...

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Analytics & Optimization Book Review: Principles of the Business Rules Approach


This book is one of the classics on business rules from one of the most long-standing authors in the area, Ron Ross. The book is a little more than three years old but, as it is not really focused on technology for managing business rules so much as the general approach, it has aged well. Ron does a good job explaining what business rules and how to capture them and gives a solid overview of things like fact models, processes and how they relate to rules, and dos and don'ts of rule writing. There is a lot in the book about his particular approach to writing rules which, whether you follow it or not, has some good advice about usage and style for writing declarative business rules. The book does not go into details on the technology of implementing business rules using a business rules management system but instead focuses on the value of an approach that separates business rules from other kinds of requirements and manages those rules as an asset. A good book to introduce the subject to someone without a technology bent. There is more on business rules here and...

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Analytics & Optimization The two kinds of predictive analytics


I saw this article in InformationWeek today - Businesses Mine Data To Predict What Happens Next - and it made me realize that people can be confused as to what predictive analytics means in the context of decision management. In fact it made it clear that there are two uses of the term predictive analytics. Firstly there is the use of predictive analytics as a kind of analysis done with BI-like tools. This is typically offline and used to inform a knowledge worker.  Essentially this is building a report not on what has happened but on what will probably happen in the future. Many of the examples in the story are like this. Clearly this is an improvement over the usual approach of using reporting and visualization tools to simply understand the past. However, it still assumes a relatively low volume of decisions and that a person with some analytic skills is the best consumer of the prediction. Second there is the use of predictive analytics as a way to make operational systems "smarter". This is typically both offline - the creation of the models...


Analytics & Optimization Interoperable Medical Records – SO WHAT?


In the Federal Times last week there was an article on Your health records online. The government is mandating interoperable medical records by 2014 to try and avoid potentially life-threatening medical errors, such as prescribing drugs that counteract other medicines a patient takes or that a patient may be allergic to and to reduce costs by eliminating errors, duplicative tests and needless hospital admissions. So will an interoperable medical record do these things. Nope, not on its own. This is one of those classic cases of mistaking a building block for a solution. It's like saying that a 360 degree view of a customer will result in better customer treatment. It might, it can certainly help but it is not going to deliver any benefit unless it can be used to improve decisions! Let's take the example used in the article. You are being checked in to a hospital in an emergency and can't answer questions. You have a long, complicated medical history. Having that available would let a doctor identify that you should not be given medicine A but should get...

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Analytics & Optimization 300 Posts – time for some admin


Well this is the 300th post on this blog - something of a milestone I guess. I thought now might be a good time to remind readers of some useful features of this Typepad blog (and some other ones we have added). First, on the left hand side: The Subscribe section on the left has buttons to let you subscribe to the feed from this site either as RSS (using Feedburner) or using Email (using FeedBlitz). If you enjoy reading please use this to make sure you don't miss anything My other blogs are listed below that on the left - check them out for additional content The categories and archives give you other ways to check out posts. I try and tag entries with the right tags so the categories should be useful How about the right hand side: A list of recent posts Last few entries from the ebizQ blog to make it easy to jump across to that one Recent comments posted by y'all Technorati button to show who links here (I'm currently ranked 100,567 for those that track this kind of thing) Google search, set up to search the blog by default A blogroll (those blogs I...

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Analytics & Optimization Beyond BI – Bill gets it (mostly) right…


CIO Insight and eWeek covered a recent memo from Bill Gates on "Beyond BI". As I often talk about EDM being "Beyond BI" I thought I would make a couple of comments on his memo."The impact on the workforce is remarkable. Productivity is higher than it's ever been. Buyers can shop the entire world without leaving their desk. Sellers have access to markets that were once beyond reach. The amount of information collected about customers, competitors and markets is unprecedented...."That makes solving information overload/underload a critical task. Fortunately, a new generation of technology innovations is opening the door to solutions that will make it dramatically easier to find relevant information quickly; to use that information to drive intelligent decision-making; "Well here I completely agree with Bill (I'm sure he'll be delighted to know that) as EDM is all about using technology (business rules, predictive analytics) to drive "intelligent decision-making". I do think that many folks over-estimate the value of...

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