Customer Engagement But what about the Celtics’ website?

Jan102006

I saw this article in Computerworld today - Celtics Turn to Data Analytics Tool for Help Pricing Tickets. Now this real-time display of ticket sales trends stuff sounds great and I am sure it really helps experienced sales executives figure out how to price remaining tickets etc. I have two questions though: What about less experienced sales executives? How are they meant to interpret this given their lack of experience? What about the website? Their website links to Ticketmaster for tickets but the pricing there is not dynamic, not informed by the data analytics they are doing. Now what if the Celtics had taken an EDM approach instead? They would have taken the rules of thumb of their experience staff, plus any rules the NBA has about how tickets can be priced, and combined those with predictive analytic models that predicted how likely a game was to sell out or how likely a particular area of the stadium was to have open seats etc. With these they would have built a pricing engine that sat behind the CRM systems the sales executives use and made that decision...

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Analytics & Optimization Enhancing Legacy Systems with business rules

Jan062006

Interesting piece in Insurance and Technology this week - Enhancing your legacy. Lots of good discussion about the challenges and options with legacy and then this fascinating question:How can insurers guarantee that new systems are designed for the future?The various people being interviewed made a number of good points which made me think about business rules in this context. "Design flexibility into the system"This is the key benefit of using a business rules management system as part of a new system (or to modernize part of a legacy system). Using business rules, especially using templates to define classes of business rules, allows the system to evolve as regulations, best practices and policies change. "Implement components that are user-configurable, requiring fewer programmers to maintain"Again, key benefit of business rules is the ability of business users to maintain their own rules allowing programmers to move on to new things. In my section on legacy modernization I have some stories about how to do this without replacing the...

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Analytics & Optimization If an automated compliance framework is the problem, business rules may be the solution

Jan042006

Interesting post by Mitch Irsfeld in the CMP compliance blog. He discusses the need for sustainable compliance:Sustainable compliance can mean the ability of a tool to easily integrate changing requirements and add new policies and controls processes, and add new stakeholders to the workflow. It can also mean the tools are built using open standards and deployed in a services oriented architecture (SOA). An SOA can also ensure reuse of the software for several different regulatory compliance and risk management initiatives. Still others consider sustainability to include the ability to tie compliance tasks with decision support and executive information systems...He discusses some other aspects of sustainable compliance and summarizes by sayingSustainability can and often does comprise all of the above. Ultimately, sustainability is an end user goal, not a feature of a product or service. Sustainability is driven by the need reduce the ongoing cost of compliance activities. Most often, but not always, involves automating repetitive tasks. Nevertheless,...

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Analytics & Optimization How many rules is REALLY typical?

Jan042006

In his blog recently (well not that recently), Marco Ensing stated:In all my years of experience, I've never encountered a client with more than 500 rules in a single rule policy. The reason is not any scalability issues on inference engines. The reason is simple. It is difficult for a business expert to manage a very large rule policy maintain a very large rule policy verify and validate a large rule policyNow I have to take issue with this. I think Marco is talking to a different group of customers than I am. Clearly I talk to those with more need for a business rules management system and with more complex problems but I speak to many who have thousands of rules. Take a specific example - Auto Club Group and their auto-underwriting system. Now auto underwriting is not the world's most complicated kind of insurance, even when you are trying to handle multiple states. Despite that they have 3,000 rules - far more than 500. These rules are managed and maintained by the business user (they change them every week) and they are able to verify and validate and...

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Analytics & Optimization Predictive Analytics and Insurance

Dec202005

Interesting news on discussion of predictive analytics at the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) - PREDICTIVE MODELING RAISES OPPORTUNITIES AND ISSUES FOR ACTUARIES AND INSURERS, CAS ANNUAL MEETING IS TOLD.  Typical quote:"The use of predictive modeling techniques is becoming increasingly popular among a wide variety of insurance companies because of its potential to give insurers – especially personal lines insurers – an edge in competitive markets."A number of key issues were identified at this meeting: Don't blindly implement - make sure you understand the impact Explicability - make sure you can explain how the models work to a regulator Right tools - use appropriate tools An Enterprise Decision Management approach works perfectly for this. Business rules and scorecards make it easy to explain decisions. Unlike other kinds of predictive models, Fair Isaac scorecards are specifically designed to show how and why a particular score resulted. Business rules are also easy to understand and make it easy to track which rules fired for a given...

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Analytics & Optimization Business Rules and resisting the commoditization of process

Dec122005

Interesting note in this EDS blog on the commoditization of process. What is interesting to me is that all this discussion is around the flow, management and performance being standardized or commoditized. If you use these processes, and so do your competitors, how can you still differentiate yourself? Well you could make sure the business rules that drive the decision points in the process are unique and a match for your corporate perspective/attitude/philosophy. Using a business rules management system you can inject automated decisioning into the processes, whether you run them, someone else runs them or you use a standard one. Not only will this give you efficiency gains, by eliminating manual decision-making steps, it will let you easily change the decision policies within your process maximizing agility, allowing for personalization and ensuring that your customers still feel they are dealing with you, not with some generic enterprise. I wrote on this topic a couple of times previously here, in the context of Business Process outsourcing -...

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Analytics & Optimization Compliance, OMG and business rules

Dec062005

Attending an OMG event today I participated in some sessions on Compliance. OMG is getting more active in compliance, both with the OMG Regulatory Compliance Alliance and with a Domain SIG. Lots of interesting discussions about how to turn regulations into something parse-able or executable as well as some wonderful stats on regulations and compliance: Regulatory compliance costs IT $billions annually The US alone passes over 4,000 new final rules annually Basel II will cost over $15B globally A typical international bank may be governed by over 1000 regulations The full presentation will be made available here. There were also some good discussions around the mismatch between business folks and IT in  regard to compliance - the IT folks know they are going to have to spend money on this while business folks seemed to think that no additional IT spend would be required. Finally there were some good discussions on how to show an ROI for compliance initiatives, somewhere I think Decision Yield has a role to play. The specific article on decision...

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