All posts by Todd Rollin

Analytics & Optimization Ignite Machine Learning with Decision Rules

Chalkboard with Machine Learning on it
Aug152018

When today’s businesses create a list of must-haves in the race to alter and ultimately transform how they operate, machine learning is one of those checkbox necessities. And indeed, when you run the gamut of business-consumer touchpoints, machine learning is, indeed, one of the mainstays. What’s machine learning, and why is it needed? Machine learning is powered by algorithms that learn from data, identifying critical patterns, connections and insights – without being programmed to reach specific conclusions. Machine learning enables more data of multiple types to be analyzed quickly, in order to derive maximum benefit from it. It takes advantage of exponential boosts in data storage capabilities and computing power (at a fraction of the cost than what was previously possible) to help make faster, smarter decisions while constantly learning, evolving and providing unexpected new insights. Where machine learning models are superior to traditional approaches One of the core benefits... [Read More]

Leave a comment

Analytics & Optimization Unlocking Decision Automation with a 5 Stage Workshop Approach

Digital assets
Aug092018

Automation has played a fundamental role in enabling businesses to make better, more consistent and more strategically sound decisions. Increasingly sophisticated cloud-based software has given organizations the capacity to define the policies and regulations that drive decisions, and then to incorporate analytics into models – decision services – that can be refined to account for changing conditions. But software is only the toolset. Decision automation can be effective only as an enabler for an effective process to decide what decisions to support using decision services, and how those services will be used to drive business processes. For that purpose, a proven, documented process is required. FICO facilitates decision service development for its clients using a methodology called Decision Requirements Analysis (DRA), developed by Dr. Alan Fish, Principal Consultant, FICO Decision Solutions. DRA focuses decision-makers’ attention on a domain of decision-making and decomposes it into a network of decisions, which are... [Read More]

Leave a comment

Analytics & Optimization Digital Transformation: Unleash Your Firm’s Hidden Knowledge

Digital assets
Sep052017

In my last post on digital transformation, I talked about how it’s tempting to track your competition in the race to disrupt and transform your industry, but that every business’s DNA mandates an approach specific to your challenges and objectives. When you start to uncover new insights that are transformational, it’s critical to consider one often overlooked fact: You have a lot of hidden data living in your organization that you ultimately need to tap to digitize your business. Where does the data reside? In the brains of your business experts, data scientists — even front and back office staff. And of course, on their PCs, tablets, and even sticky notes and business cards. It’s not just knowledge of their jobs, but the specifics about how they get things done; how they deal with people both in and outside of the company (including customers, partners, vendors and suppliers); and even... [Read More]

Leave a comment

Analytics & Optimization Digital Transformation: Visualize Your Journey, Not Your Rival’s

Digital assets
Aug242017

This is the second post in this series – read post one here. Marcel Proust wasn’t ruminating about digital transformation when he said, “We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.” But this statement could well align with what businesses face in their DX evolution. Putting a new vision to work — and ultimately altering the fabric of your business — is a process that will be different for every organization. That means you really can’t just copy what your competitors are doing and try to do it better — because by the time you’ve emulated them, they’ve moved onto the next digital iteration of their business. Instead, you need to model your journey based on your own DNA — factoring in people (the entire ecosystem, including your people, customers, partners, etc.), your products and... [Read More]

Leave a comment

Customer Engagement Three Keys to Advancing your Digital Transformation

Digital assets
Aug082017

With today’s proliferation of data, digital transformation (DX) has become more than a hot topic: It’s an imperative for businesses of all shapes and sizes. The collision of data, analytics and technology has businesses, analysts and consumers excited — and scared — about what could happen next. On one hand, everyone from banks to bagel shops and travel sites to tractor manufacturers have found new ways to connect the dots in their businesses while forging stronger, more dynamic customer engagement. Artificial intelligence (AI) has come of age in technologies such as smart sensors, robotic arms, and devices that can turn lights and heat on and off, adjust for changes in conditions and preferences, and even automatically reorder food and supplies for us. However, today’s Chief Analytics Officer (and Chief Data Officer and Chief Digital Officer, for example) faces both the promise and precariousness of digitizing business. While significant opportunities abound... [Read More]

Leave a comment

Analytics & Optimization Analytics Unleash the Power of Alternative Energy

WindFarm Designs image and quote
Jun282017

“The wealth of the nation is its air, water, soil, forests, minerals, rivers, lakes, oceans, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats and biodiversity… that’s all there is. That’s the whole economy. That’s where all the economic activity and jobs come from. These biological systems are the sustaining wealth of the world.” – Gaylord Nelson, former US Senator and founder of Earth Day When we ponder climate change and alternative energy, the visceral reaction for many of us is not just thinking about our future on this planet, but also our children’s, and that of their children. Even proponents of “staying the course” by focusing largely (or even solely) on traditional energy sources would have to acknowledge that our global economy would collapse as our systems degrade over time – as Gaylord Nelson reminds us in his brief but compelling message. Alas, the challenges of tapping into alternative energy’s potential are still very... [Read More]

Leave a comment

Analytics & Optimization Clean Energy Firm Solves an “Impossible” Problem with FICO Tech

Windfarm Designs logo
Dec132016

Harnessing the potential of wind energy is a challenging problem, from capture through conversion into electrical power. A key facet of wind farm design is how the turbines are placed. A “typical” wind farm project may encompass 200×300 grid points on the wind map to cover 20 turbines; if you consider the number of ways to position these turbines, the placement problem becomes incredibly cumbersome. But it’s not just maximizing energy yield that vexes the human brain. For years, the industry studied the problem of how to factor load constraints into the power optimization mix. Turbine loads (described through IEC standards or load models) have been considered too difficult to include in the optimization problem. Instead, consultants and manufacturers manually review and adjust layouts, which not only takes time – it also generates less than ideal results. Markedslabben AS, a Norwegian wind farm design tool and optimization start-up, cracked the... [Read More]

Leave a comment

Analytics & Optimization Innovative Application Process Leads to Happy Yarra Employees

Apr222016

With more than 1.7 million customers and 50,000 businesses, Yarra Valley Water is Melbourne’s largest water and sewerage utility. From day one, it has sought to provide timely and excellent customer service, culminating in, among other enhancements, the development of its easyACCESS system to automate its development application process. The project has seen the company win a FICO® Decision Management Award for Decision Management Innovation, and we’re thrilled to have Yarra Valley Water telling its story at next week’s FICO World, to be held in Washington DC on April 26-29. As I worked with Stuart Squires (system manager for Yarra Valley Water), Rhonwyn Colley (director for Wise Technology Management, who were key to the implementation and deployment of easyAccess) and FICO’s Jeremy Chen on the presentation, I was struck by not only how the FICO® Decision Management Suite technology was the core analytic and technology driver behind the success of... [Read More]

Leave a comment

Analytics & Optimization 3 Reasons to Visit INFORMS 2016, April 10-12, in Orlando

Apr072016

The INFORMS conferences continue to unveil game-changing approaches that businesses are using advanced analytics such as optimization to literally transform lives and businesses. For those of you who aren’t familiar, The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) is the largest society in the world for professionals in the field of operations research (O.R.), management science, and analytics. They hold multiple annual conferences targeting diverse audiences, with the Business Analytics and Operations Research conference – held this year at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando, Florida, from April 10-12 – focusing on the wide-ranging use cases that demonstrate the breadth of depth of analytic innovation. This year, FICO is thrilled to be an INFORMS Platinum Sponsor, which reflects our organization’s focus on optimization and prescriptive analytics as critical components of an integrated decision management strategy. If you’re already planning to come to INFORMS, here are three good... [Read More]

Leave a comment