Analytics & Optimization SOA, Business Intelligence and Business Rules

Nov112005

An interesting entry caught my eye on CBDI today - COMMENTARY - SOA FRAMEWORK FOR BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE. One key idea in this article is around business rules:We still remain firmly of the opinion that real time control is one of the most interesting aspects to SOA, and of course some enterprises are just starting to dip their toes into this particular pool as they use mediation services together with rules engines to monitor key metrics and measures.Now this is clearly one of the main uses of business rules in an SOA/Business Intelligence architecture. However there is a broader use, that of deciding what to do about this metrics/measures - taking action. This use of business rules not just to monitor and aggregate/dis-aggregate but also to act is key to the enterprise decision management approach. It is not enough to decide that something should be done, in a real-time 24x7 world you must act appropriately and immediately - you can't wait until you can tell someone. Business rules management systems, combined with predictive analytic models that deploy insight...

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Analytics & Optimization Using Business Rules to Improve the MRO (Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul) process

Nov092005

In Repair Efficiency in Automotive and Aerospace, Joe Barkai of Manufacturing Insights talks about some of the problems of auto and aircraft repair:The technical complexity of automotive and aerospace equipment, especially in onboard electronic systems, has increased to the point that it poses a significant troubleshooting and repair challenge for service technicians and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) personnel. Complaints about lengthy and costly repairs are rampant, increasing total cost of ownership (TCO), tarnishing brand image, and hurting customer loyalty.He goes on to discuss various aspects of this problem and identify some solutions, including: Establish a maintenance knowledge management strategy to capture equipment failures and disseminate best troubleshooting and repair practices throughout the maintenance organization. Increase the use of enterprise knowledge and apply lean methods to reduce time waste, and control the variability in task time and accuracy.Personally I think he use of a business rules driven approach can really help both...

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Analytics & Optimization Managing complex repairs and diagnostics

Nov092005

Although the manufacturing and repair business is not one often associated with business rules, nevertheless there are some interesting uses of business rules to be found. Two are outlined below. First Seagate Disk drive manufacturing may produce more than 50,000 drives per day at a single plant. Discs that fail their quality assurance check must have a determination of the fault and the proper repair strategy. Blaze Advisor, Fair Isaac's business rules management system, is used to drive Seagate’s automated fault diagnosis system. Rules may be updated by technicians and engineers without specialized computer programmers.  The system has reduced average diagnosis time from minutes to seconds and thus increased production capacity for the plant. In addition system diagnostic and remediation rules can be changed in days instead of weeks, improving the response time to new problems. A detailed case study is available here. Second a major storage hardware company. Changing hardware or software configurations for storage systems in the field...

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Analytics & Optimization The future of SOA – business rules?

Nov082005

This article - Stepping into the future of SOA - raised a couple of interesting points about the value of SOA in "aligning business and IT".  Now while I agree that it might be a while before we reach what the article calls "a self-optimizing IT nirvana in which applications and network infrastructures monitor and reconfigure themselves based on easily adjusted business rules" I do think that the combination of business rules and SOA goes a long way to improving the alignment of business and IT. How can business rules help an SOA approach do this? Well firstly as noted elsewhere in the blog, business rules are designed to build decisioning services and so fit really easily into an SOA. What does a business rules-built decision service offer: Rapid development - declarative business rules are ideal for describing the behavior of a decision service so development is accelerated Dramatically reduced maintenance costs - declarative rules are much more stable in the face of change than code and so maintenance is easier and cheaper True...

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Analytics & Optimization Business Process Outsourcing and Business Rules

Nov082005

At Fair Isaac's recent InterACT Budapest I presented on "Preserving Agility: How Rules Management Improves Business Processes – internally and with BPOs" with a colleague from Microsoft - Sanjay Katyal from Emerging Ecosystems Development, Platform Strategy Group. he and I discussed how business rules are essential in a process-oriented approach that mixes Business Process Management (BPM) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). Here's a summary. One of the potential problems with Business Process Outsourcing is that it tends to ossify processes - attempts to guarantee performance contractually at a detailed level can force a BPO to stick to the old process while some BPOs run a very standard, and very fixed, process to deliver cost efficiencies. Even when BPOs use more software and less people it can be hard for their customers to manage changes resulting in overly static processes. Business Process Management software, used to automate a process internally, can fail the 80/20 rule - the technology can reduce costs by eliminating the 80% of tasks...

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Analytics & Optimization BASEL II Compliance

Nov042005

Basel II is a worldwide banking accord with the stated goal of improving global financial stability though adjustment of loan reserves to match risk. The final version of the Accord was published June 2004 and has an all-encompassing impact on credit and risk management practices. For Basel II, key components for compliance appear simple on the surface and have three pillars: Pillar I requires Data Models, Validation and Documentation; Pillar II requires oversight, stress testing, governance and functional independence; Pillar III requires reporting disclosure. In addition demonstrated compliance requires banks to meet the "Use Test". Any approach adopted will need to be “proven” to supervisors, requiring clarity and ease of replication while very tight implementation timelines leaves little room for “reinventing the wheel”. Add to this the use of distinct systems, separate lines of business, the mix of centralised and decentralised processes and the fact that lenders are beginning from a variety of levels of sophistication and an apparently...

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Analytics & Optimization Long time, no post

Nov032005

Sorry for the lack of posting - been at Fair Isaac's big European show, InterACT Budapest. Anyway, back now and starting to post some of the great stories from the show. One of them was the results a major UK online bank got from implementing Blaze Advisor - check it out here as it is a fantastic illustration of the  power of business rules.

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Analytics & Optimization UK Bank and operational credit risk

Nov032005

Back in 2002 a major UK online bank set out to implement a new credit management system. This was intended to: Improve the operational management of credit risk Reduce the effort expended in manual interventions Reduce disparate IT systems into a cohesive whole Develop a customer-level decisioning capability Provide readily available data for credit analytics The bank set out to make more informed decisions and reduce bad debt, increased acceptance rates and ensure more appropriate allocation of limits. They also hoped to improve the customer experience and decrease costs while increasing revenue. They selected Fair Isaac Blaze Advisor for this program based upon 6 key areas: Flexibility Business ownership of scorecards, strategies and policies Minimal IT involvement post implementation Time to market The front-end decisioning process deals with customer or prospect initiated contacts, categorises customer contacts, manages limit increases or decreases as well as payments holidays. Customer-driven product feature personalisation was also key as was...

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