Analytics & Optimization Getting benefits from compliance

Mar022006

Laurie Sullivan wrote on TechWeb that Compliance Spending To Reach $28 Billion By 2007. She noted that:Companies that treat compliance as more than just a necessary budget item see unexpected benefits. Survey respondents ranked the top business benefits of compliance as streamlining business processes, 36 percent; better quality, 28 percent; secure information, 14 percent; supply globalization efforts, 11 percent; improved operational visibility, 10 percent; and other, one percent. I often blog about compliance issues as I think business rules is an ideal technology for compliance automation and it is only with automation that these costs can be reduced and more benefits gained. Let's take the benefit of streamlining business processes. In this case the use of business rules to automate critical decisions within a business process can reduce the number of steps in the process, simplify routing and eliminate time-consuming and costly manual reviews. As for quality, the use of business rules to automate quality checks and ensure consistency and completeness is...

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Analytics & Optimization The future of BPO includes business rules

Feb282006

David Margulius wrote a nice piece on BPO in InfoWorld recently - The great business process handoff.  I have blogged a couple of times about the value of business rules when considering business process outsourcing but a couple of comments in this article caught my eye especially:Will BPO vendors eventually look like ASPs, offering open interfaces and process transparency? Or will they look like black boxes providing only limited inputs and outputs? Can BPO vendors actually deliver innovation and optimize outsourced processes, or will they just run existing processes at a lower cost?Me I think BPO vendors will have to use business rules to expose the key decision-points within their processes whether or not they provide transparency in a more general case. Companies simply have their own way of doing business and even in a standard process there will be variation in decision-making that needs to be imposed by the client on the outsourcer. The use of business rules management systems like Blaze Advisor would allow the outsourcer to expose these decisions to...

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Analytics & Optimization Agile Rules? A “conversation” with Scott Ambler

Feb272006

Scott Ambler is a well known writer on Agile techniques and some of his comments were posted on a business rules group recently - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bizrules/. I found some of them very interesting and so got Scott's permission to re-post them here and thought I would comment on his thoughts from a rules perspective.My [says Scott] focus has been on the modeling side of things, and I often use business rules as a perfect example of why it's important to use the right model for the situation.  Business rules are related to many aspects of your system, to capture them in use cases makes it very difficult to refer to them in data models for example (and vice versa), so my advice is to capture BRs in some sort of BR spec/database/... where each one is uniquely identifiable and therefore easy to reference.  The overall concept is called single source information, Single Source Information: An Agile Practice for Effective Documentation and it is the only new practice added to Agile Modeling for v2.Excellent advice. Business rules are not something...

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Analytics & Optimization Don’t sleep on it, automate it

Feb272006

Interesting article in New Scientist - 'Sleeping on it' best for complex decisions. While this is mostly about how people make decisions about things that affect them directly, it made me think about businesses who are relying on staff to make complex decisions on behalf of their customers - or indeed about who to accept as a customer and who to reject.The research suggests the conscious mind should be trusted only with simple decisionsSo what if the decision you need your staff to take, while they are working with a customer or prospect, is a complex one (whether to offer them credit, allow a payment holiday etc)? Well this article would imply you have three choices: Tell the customer you will call back tomorrow so your staff can "sleep on it" Make a bad decision Rely on automation to eliminate the need for your staff to make the decision at all No clearly the second option is no good and the first one has some risk - you might lose the customer in the meantime. The third one is the subject of this blog - using business rules and analytics to...

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Analytics & Optimization Got events, SOA? You need business rules

Feb212006

In Time for event-driven SOA Joe McEndrick summarizes a post by Brenda Michelson It seems to me, reading these, that a business rules approach to automating operational business decisions would be a very valuable element in an event-driven SOA. Joe quotes Brenda saying:"The event may signify a problem or impending problem, an opportunity, a threshold, or a deviation. Upon generation, the event is immediately disseminated to all interested parties (human or automated). The interested parties evaluate the event, and optionally take action...A broader event-driven architecture stretches beyond event-driven SOA, to include real-time information flow and analysis, and complex event processing."One of the things business rules are great for is taking large number of events and then processing them quickly to determine what to do about them - clearly something essential in a real-world example where lots of events are likely to occur. Additionally they are a powerful tool for actually do real-time analysis and complex event processing - something I posted on...

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Analytics & Optimization EDM and EDW

Feb172006

Scott Gnau and Ron Swift of Teradata wrote a nice piece in DM Review that I saw today - 2006 Information Technology Trends for CIOs They talk about competing on analytics - quoting Tom Davenport's interesting article on this subject about which I have already blogged. They go on to highlight a number of trends that will drive the adoption of an Enterprise Data Warehouse. These include a number that intersect with EDM - Compliance, SOA, improving business processes Two other specific points seem relevantWe also predict that rules-driven, event-triggered, exception-based reporting will go mainstream. Process owners will adopt event detection to optimize a variety of business processesAnother key use for EDM technologies - rules, leveraging predictive analytics, making better decisions.Real-Time IT Must Drive Decisions and Results At the core of this will be the near-real time EDW. Intelligence must come to decision-makers in a dynamic context that's unforgiving of data latency, which becomes decision-making latency, which becomes tactical execution latency, which...

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