Analytics & Optimization Competing on Analytics

Sep092005

This article on Competing on Analytics in DM Review caught my eye today. In it Jim Ericson discusses a report by Tom Davenport on using analytics for competition. While some of the aspects of competition that they discuss driving analytically are suitable targets for "traditional" BI (like M&A), some really require moving beyond that to what I call Enterprise Decision Management. Companies need to build a decisioning backbone that not only automates key customer-facing, high-volume transactions but allows them to compete by adding analytics to this backbone. "Among the leaders, Davenport has identified common traits: strong senior executive advocacy of analysis and fact based solutions; the use of predictive modeling and complex optimization techniques; analytic approaches across multiple functions or processes; and movement toward an enterprise level analytical strategy."Clearly to deliver predictive models across multiple processes as part of an enterprise strategy you need a technology backbone for managing these analytically-improved...

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Analytics & Optimization Is Orchestration tailor-made for business rules?

Sep082005

In his posting SOA=Orchestration, David Linthicum said, among other things, "Orchestration is a godlike control mechanism that's able to put our SOA to work, as well as provide a point of control. Orchestration layers allow you to change the way your business functions, as needed, to define or redefine any business process on-the-fly. This provides the business with the flexibility and agility needed to compete today." and "Orchestration must provide dynamic, flexible, and adaptable mechanisms to meet the changing needs of the domain. This is accomplished through the separation of process logic and the back-end services employed." As you read this you can immediately see the value of business rules. Business rules management systems: Offer a single point of control for managing business rules, something your orchestration layer needs Support change on the fly by the people who understand the business, the people who know how your business functions should evolve Deliver real business agility by reducing the time it takes to change the way...

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Risk & Compliance Sarbannes-Oxley Ideas and Suggestions

Sep082005

Two recent postings on Search CIO around work AMR did on Sarbannes-Oxley caught my eye today - SOX: Seven steps to CYA and SOX: New rules for year two. In these John Hagerty of AMR makes a couple of great points:In addition to reducing employee time, automated testing of controls enables companies to stop bad things from happening as they occur, not after the fact. To do this, companies can embed testing of internal controls right into the business processes themselves...Now this is a clear call to use business rules, at least to me. The advantage of automation is clear from the articles but what is the additional advantage of automating with a business rules management system? Business rules can be numerous, especially for larger more complex companies. Business rules management systems have the repository, reporting etc you need to MANAGE these rules, not just implement them. As John points out "SOX is a process, not a project" - you will have to evolve over time. This kind of compliance tends to be better understood by those executing the process...

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Customer Engagement Self Service and EDM

Sep072005

I downloaded and reviewed an excellent little white paper by Allen Bonde today. You can find it on CRMguru - Transition to Transformation: 5 Steps for Optimizing Your Customer Experience. Allen does his usual excellent job of outlining some of the challenges and steps to bring true self service to your customers (his website has more). Anyway, this got me thinking about the value of EDM, business rules and predictive analytics to self service. Allen notes a couple of key requirements / first steps that seem pertinent to a discussion of the value of EDM. True multi-channel support Embedded analytics Understanding user preferences Now EDM helps with all these aspects of moving up the self-service food chain. True multi-channel support means delivering the same decisions and interactions with your customers regardless of their choice of channel. This means that Gold customers get better interactions than regular customers, even if they chose to use the web or email. How many companies really manage that? Not many - the channel choice normally overwhelms the...

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Analytics & Optimization Banks Worldwide Plan to Overhaul Aging Core Banking Systems to Gain Competitive Advantage, According to Global Survey

Sep062005

Banks Worldwide Plan to Overhaul Aging Core Banking Systems to Gain Competitive Advantage, According to Global Survey. This was an interesting posting from a survey conducted by SAP and Accenture. There were some great quotes in this: "Seventy percent of bank executives surveyed said flexibility was the biggest problem hindering the success of their core banking systems." Flexibility presumeably means being able to add new products and services, respond to new regulations, add branches, merge with other banks etc. quickly and cost-effectively Providing a core decisioning platform, using business rules management systems, would seem to be an obvious way to both increase flexibility (a key business rules benefit) and to do so without forcing a replacement of the whole backbone - see Giving Your Mainframe a New Brain elsewhere in this blog. "Fierce competitive dynamics and the necessity to keep pace with new products and to strengthen customer relationships will motivate banks to significantly rethink and revamp their IT architecture over the next...

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Analytics & Optimization Business Rules and Metadata

Sep022005

Alan Lewis writes a blog and works at eBay. Some time ago he posted a note about Blaze Advisor 6.0 and pointed out the value of the metadata extension feature. This made me think about the value of metadata in a business rules setting. So why is it important to be able to extend the metadata for business rules artifacts? Well I think there are a couple of reasons. Business rules can be derived from all sorts of things - government regulations, internal policies, rules of thumb, data and so on. Every company stores and categorizes these rule sources differently. Being able to extend the metadata of business rules to link them to these different rule sources is key to maintainability, a top priority for picking business rules management solutions in the first place. Most business rules implementation are focused at least in part on time to change or respond - business agility. Typically, however, the business does not know that an implementation-level business rule has to change but that a policy has changed or a regulation has changed. Impact analysis must then...

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Analytics & Optimization Analytic Applications growing fast

Sep012005

This news item highlights a growing category in the applications market - analytic applications. Industry Analyst Report Cites Fair Isaac as Revenue Leader in Analytic Applications Market. Besides Fair Isaac's showing, no suprise given how long Fair Isaac has been developing analytic applications, this report shows that the market for this kind of application is growing fast - in 2004, IDC report that the market reached $15.1 billion, representing a growth rate of 12.3%. As the major application vendors like Oracle, Siebel, SAP add analytic capabilities to their products this can only accelerate. So what are the core technologies you need to build these kinds of analytic applications? Well, business rules and predictive analytics of course! Predictive analytic technologies let you generate executable models that predict the likely outcome of actions or the likely behavior of customers. This let's you analytically-enabled applications. Business rules let you manage these models and decide what you should (and are allowed to) do about what they tell you. ...

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