Analytics & Optimization A statistican on every desktop or in every service?

Feb062006

Interesting article in DM Review A Statistician on Every Desktop: Deploying Predictive Analytics Throughout the Organization by David Smith of Insightful Corporation. David makes some great points about the need to make predictive analytics more available in the enterprise.David and I have a slightly different perspective on where you should make predictive analytics available. David is talking about "every desktop":Companies that find ways to deliver predictive analytics and reporting solutions to the desktops of their key decision-makers will immediately see greater returns on their investments in both technology and personnel.Now me, I would like to think about how we deliver predictive analytics into every service you have in your enterprise, at least every decision service. This is not about visualization or reporting but about executable analytic models embedded in the key decision services that power your transactional systems. Examples: Integrating models that predict insurance risk into an automated underwriting process so that the call center...

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Analytics & Optimization Taming Application Development with Business Rules

Feb012006

Nice article on some of the challenges of software development by Brian Kilcourse in CIO Magazine - Taming the Wild Child of IT—Application Development. There are some great quotes in it.Software, and more specifically software development, is arguably the single most strategic component of IT. The conception, development and delivery of new applications, services and systems can be a powerful competitive edge. It creates market leaders, drives growth and expands the limits of what is possible for businesses and their customers. Definitely.Software development has become unmanageably complex as the scope of business applications has widened and enterprise environments have expanded to include the widely distributed mix of components and technologies it takes to power today’s businesses. Factor in constantly changing business requirements, competing priorities and limited communication with end-users, and the challenges that development organizations face are truly daunting.Could not agree more. One of the reasons for the rapid growth in the business rules...

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Analytics & Optimization Making BI productive

Jan302006

Meridith Levenson wrote an interesting article on Business Intelligence: Not Just for Bosses Anymore in CIO Magazine. There are some great comments in here:The new system hasn't made the business better - at least not yet - only better informedA classic comment on BI. Reporting and understanding are great but knowing what your problems or bottlenecks are is just the beginning. You must be able to change in response.Today, the big potential for BI is using it at the operational level to improve business processesWell certainly the big potential for "business intelligence" though not perhaps "BI" in the classic definition. I remain unconvinced that using the same technologies that help executives understand their business to help operational staff improve their execution of a process or, more dramatically, improving the way an automated process runs, is viable.the core of BI is still reporting rather than process managementYup. Hence the distinction above between "BI" and "business intelligence"CIOs who don't use BI to...

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Analytics & Optimization Business rules and temporary applications

Jan302006

Interesting post on ZDNet - The age of the temporary application is here. Made me think about EDM and business rules in the context of a temporary application. The article had some great comments:But there's also a huge sea change taking place at the highest levels, and we're seeing it happen through a convergence of trends, including on-demand, software as a service, and of course, SOA. Standardization makes this possible — in interfaces, messaging, service delivery, and hardware components. It's all become hot-swappable.Yup - more and more things making applications more and more "hot swappable". But what does this mean for technology? He goes on to say:Under this model, we can build and disassemble applications as business needs change. That could include services maintained within the enterprise and accessible via a common repository, as well as on-demand services available from an outside vendor or partner.Well clearly if you are building these "hot swappable" applications then you need to be able to enforce policies, manage risk and...

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Analytics & Optimization EDM and “the next big thing”

Jan272006

I like the EDS "Next Big Thing" blog and saw this post - Elevator speech about the next big thingBeing able to proactively manage the complexity created by massive change through the application of new levels of automation. We live in a world of exponential change. It is overwhelming our ability to absorb and comprehend what’s going on. Automation and context aware computing techniques will be used to focus on managing our attention, bringing the information to us in a way we can both comprehend and taking appropriate action, wherever we are in the world. Now when I read this I was struck by how relevant an EDM approach is to delivering on this elevator pitch: Massive complexity requires automation - the complexity is increasingly in decisions and so a focus on automating decisions is required. The use of predictive analytics to predict appropriate actions and of business rules to deliver on these actions is key. The ability to use optimization tools and scenario analysis to both analyze what-if scenarios and plan possible responses to potential...

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Analytics & Optimization Cross-platform approaches are the future

Jan272006

Interesting little snippet on the SOA blog – Survey: Java EE, .NET neck and neck. Clearly lots of companies are going to end up deploying systems to Java and .NET over the next few years. Add in the long tail of legacy COBOL applications and you have a typical heterogeneous environment. One of the attractions of a business rules approach is the separation of decision logic from the "plumbing" of applications. While an SOA approach – developing business rules as services – helps a lot, it can also be very effective to use a business rules management system that let’s you externalize all the rules, manage them in a repository and then deploy them as .NET services, Java services or COBOL programs while still ensuring that you can manage the rules once to ensure consistency. There are business rules management systems out there that support multiple deployment platforms from a single repository – Blaze Advisor is one.

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