Analytics & Optimization Different Perspectives

Aug052005

When developing systems, one often gets quite different perspectives from the business people involved and from the programmers. Many of us have seen this so often that we take it for granted. Yet this difference of perspective often results in serious problems when developing complex systems. Is it inevitable? Not with the right approach.So why do they fight? The basic issue when developing systems results from the different perspectives and skills brought to bear by business and IT folks. Business users are at the mercy of regulations, court rulings and business policies that must be enforced. They must also respond to an ever-changing business and competitive environment. This often means they can’t stabilize their requirements or explain them easily to developers – legal or business jargon does not always map well to Java code! Meanwhile the developers typically don’t understand the regulations or business environment well enough and so can’t develop necessary applications, systems and updates fast enough. As an Illustration let’s take the example...

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Analytics & Optimization Decision Management and Government

Aug042005

Although most people talking about decision management, business rules or predictive analytics are talking about their value to businesses, government agencies too can benefit enormously. Many agencies are adopting business rules for compliance and eligibility systems while predictve analytics and broader decision management are becoming popular too. A number of government agencies have started to use business rules for automating decisions such as licensing, fees, compliance or eligibility. One great example is the California Department of Motor Vehicles, recently profiled in Intelligent Enterprise - New Rules, Agile Government. DMV used business rules to replace the core decision making component of an old legacy system that took many programming hours to make each change with one where changes can be made quickly and easily. Having thus renovated their mainframe system they were then able to re-use the rules to power a web application that allows California residents to estimate their license fees - check out The Vehicle Registration Fee Calculator. The...

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Analytics & Optimization The differences between BI and EDM

Aug032005

I am often asked "What is the difference between Business Intelligence and EDM?" so it seemed worthwhile to write a little on this topic. The simple answer is that Enterprise Decision Management differs from traditional BI in that it is focused on execution of decisions and actions rather than reporting. Let's drill into this a little. One of the hottest topics in the field of business intelligence (BI) today is what many call “operationalizing” BI. At issue is how to bridge the gap between the insights BI brings to knowledge workers and decision makers in the back office and the tactical, everyday decisions and actions that determine an organization’s success. An enterprise drawing strategic intelligence from BI also needs a way to push the same degree of intelligence out into its operations and front-line systems. Phrases such as “operational BI” and “decision-centric BI” may reinforce the feeling that what’s needed to bridge the gap is a logical extension of business intelligence technology. In fact, as some observers have noted, the...

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Analytics & Optimization Are Business Rules the fastest growing market you have never heard of?

Aug022005

The two leading business rules vendors, Fair Isaac and ILOG, announced second quarter results last week. Both of them announced record results for their Business Rules products with growth around 60% year over year! These two vendors represent more than half the worldwide market for pure business rules solutions so you have to take these results as proof that the market is taking off. Add to that the fact that Gartner are on their third Magic Quadrant (see the most recent one at Gartner Business Rules Magic Quadrant 2005) and Forrester about to do a Wave Report on the market and you see clear signs that this market is hot. So why is this market doing so well? It seems to me that there are a number of key reasons. Compliance, and the need to demonstrate compliance, is more of a focus for large companies than ever. You have Sarbannes-Oxley, BASEL II, HIPAA and much much more. Business Rules engines are a great way to build systems that ensure and can demonstrate compliance. I wrote an article on this for Compliance Advisor. Personalization and customer management...

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Analytics & Optimization Business Rules – will programmers resist?

Jul292005

In some recent articles Stephen Swoyer at Application Development Trends suggests that programmers may not be ready for the business rules approach of empowering business users to change their own rules. In two articles, Proponents Push Business Rules, But Programmers Aren’t Buying, Yet and The Business Rules Approach—a Zero-Sum Game?, Stephen articulates both some of the benefits of business rules and some of the concerns raised by programmers. My experience has been that many programmers do resist allowing the adoption of a business rules fearing that users will break the system, that their job will go away or just that they will lose some control.  Customer cases, however, tell a slightly different story. In general the IT folks are initially resistant but are turned around by the realization that they are no longer going to be nickled and dimed to death with small changes and that the business users are increasingly learning that you can't tinker with a system continually without consequences to things like reporting of trends. Getting freed up to...

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