Analytics & Optimization State of Ajax: Progress, Challenges, and Implications for SOAs

Sep132005

In State of Ajax: Progress, Challenges, and Implications for SOAs Dion Hinchcliffe discusses some of the benefits of the Ajax approach."Practitioners of Ajax get high-intensity user interaction (end-user productivity), asynchronicity (efficient backround processing), web browser access to web services (web service access, reuse, and interoperability, as well as SOA integration), platform neutrality (browser and operating system agnosticity), and the Ajax feature set can be delivered as a framework you don't have to create yourself (developer productivity)"The one thing I would say this is missing is the ability to easily manage the business rules inherent in the user interface. For instance, if I want to ask a policy holder if they have hurricane shutters but only do so in certain states I could use an Ajax approach and code that in the user interface. But, how can my underwriters add new states to this list and how can I reuse this rule when checking the completeness of an XML feed from an agent, for instance? One way is to use a business rules...

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Analytics & Optimization How do business analysts maintain business rules?

Sep132005

The business analyst is responsible for defining the business processes which will be supported and then gathering and organizing the business rules that will provide the foundation for the application planning process. This list of rules will typically be in the form of structured natural-language statements that clearly, completely, and concisely express the rules, facts, policies, and procedures that will be implemented.  Once these statements are clearly listed, the business analyst will work with the developers/architect to identify the objects (business data) which will be referenced by the rules. After the object model and the control flow for the rule project have been set up, the business analyst will write or modify rules using some kind of Rule Maintenance Application. This rule maintenance application should be: Built in a zero-training user interface like a webpage Restricted to terminology familiar to the business analysts Controlled so the business analyst cannot break anything Unique for each distinct group of analyst/business users with...

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Analytics & Optimization What types of decisions in the mortgage industry can use EDM?

Sep132005

There are many mortgage decisions that can use business rules or business rules and analytics in combination. Here are some examples. UnderwritingBusiness rules have been used to implement underwriting for sub-prime products - often in conjunction with analytics. For instance, one such decision engine qualifies a loan for multiple products based on a seller’s guide or underwriting guideline consisting of about 5000 rules and a simple Fraud scorecard. It can accept a 1003 and credit information and can provide pre-approval or approval or referral decisions. These implementations also involve ability to associate stipulations/conditions in both numeric code and text. In addition, for each loan processed, it has the ability to  report all associated rule failures and should supply the area that caused the failure and the data that would be required for a pass. Pre-qualificationBusiness rules can be used to implement Pre-qualification decisions based on a smaller set of application data. These implementation’s enable Pre-Qualifications on a flow or a bulk...

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Analytics & Optimization How can a business rules solution enable compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA or similar?

Sep132005

A formalized, auditable collection of rules for collecting and acting upon information is central to the requirements of regulatory mandates such as Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA. Companies must ensure and enforce compliance by every employee, for every transaction, and in every automated system. With traditional programming techniques, logic on how a program should behave is hard coded into each individual system. So if a corporate policy needs to be changed (because of a new law or increased reporting requirements), each program must be examined, recoded, tested, and redeployed to production. A business rules product such as Blaze Advisor allows the logic that controls such requirements to be stored in a single location, where it can be reviewed, updated, audited, and accessed by multiple computer programs. Since the logic is not duplicated in multiple programming systems, it is consistent and up to date for use throughout the company. In a real world scenario, this could mean things like proper privacy warnings posted and audit logs generated for...

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Analytics & Optimization The Changing User Interface

Sep132005

This article InformationWeek > User Interfaces > The Changing User Interface > September 5, 2005 has an interesting section on AJAX - the combination of Javascript and HTML/XML to generate very dynamic web pages. The one downside with this approach, as practiced by most, is the replication of business rules into user interface code. Thus rules about, say, when I need to have a particular piece of data and when I do not (ask about Hurricane shutters in Florida but not in California) get embedded into Javascript - not the world's most accessible language for business users. What if, instead, you could manage the business rules that impact your user interface in the same way as you manage business rules that execute on your server and GENERATE the AJAX components you need from there? This would let you: Manage business rules once Deploy them to any platform, server or client Allow business users to manage business rules about user interaction without learning Javascript Move rules from client to server as you needed to Use the same rules...

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Analytics & Optimization Insurance Underwriting – pushing decisions to the point of contact

Sep092005

Auto Club Group, a AAA insurer, has used business rules to automate underwriting decisions - a classic business rules scenario. LIke many insurers they were manually reviewing 100% of their policy requests.As they expanded into new markets they needed to make independent agents prefer to work with them and they needed to keep their costs under control while growing their business. All of this in a heavily regulated market with different laws and restrictions in each of the states in which they did business - on top of federal laws and company policies. Auto Club Group came to InterACT, Fair Isaac's show, in October of 2004. Here they heard the Hartford talk about using business rules to automate underwriting for the first time. 9 months later they were live and 12 months later they were able to come to InterACT 2005 and present the results! 99% of their policies are now underwritten automatically, their business has grown 35% and the number of independent agents joining their network has tripled. Not bad for the first year of a new system! A detailed case study...

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