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    Operational business intelligence (BI) has a focus on day-to-day operations and so requires low-latency or real-time data to be integrated with historical data. It also requires BI systems that are integrated with operational business processes. However, while operational BI might be part and parcel of operational processes and systems, the focus is still on changing how people make decisions in an operational context. To compete on decisions, however, you must recognize that your customers react to the choices made by you, your staff and your systems, and that you must manage all the decisions you (or your systems) make – even the very small ones. This is the basis for enterprise decision management or EDM. Five main areas of difference exist between operational BI and EDM – a focus on decisions (especially operational ones), organizational integration, analytic technology change, adoption of additional technology and adaptive control. In this article, I want to outline some steps organizations can take as they move from “traditional” BI towards operational BI and enterprise decision management. Some of these steps would be a good idea if operational BI was your goal. But hopefully you are more ambitious than that and want to really begin to compete on decisions.
    9 years ago by @cschie
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    It strikes me that many companies who think they have either a unique process or a lot of process variations actually do not - they have a standard set of activities that must be assembled dynamically based on the circumstances, customer etc. This leads to a rules-first approach to defining the process and much simpler processes. This is particularly useful when you start considering case management processes where using the rules to determine what state the case has reached and what, therefore, is the right next step is a clearly better approach.
    9 years ago by @cschie
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    As IBM absorbs ILOG it will be important that it continue to invest is this multi-platform approach. Not only are there some nice features in the .Net product (that I for one would like to see available to the Java product) but decision management with business rules is, for most companies, a multi-platform problem. The value of using business rules to decision management comes in part from making sure the same rules are used everywhere they are supposed to be used. While deploying business rules in Decision Services on SOA makes this easier, the best solution is to allow the rules to be packaged up and deployed as Java components, Web Services, .Net assemblies or COBOL code so that they can run natively on all the platforms that run the business.
    9 years ago by @cschie
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    The power of Decision Management in this kind of scenario is threefold. Firstly it focuses on the decisions themselves - what decisions matter to the customer interaction. This ensures that the data being collected and used is that which will make a difference. Beginning with the decision in mind in this way focuses analytics and data gathering. Secondly it allows the decision to be made consistently across channels so that customers get the same service from the agent at the gate, the call center, the service center or the kiosk. Operational BI assumes there is a person to make the decision and so cannot deliver this true cross-channel consistency. Thirdly, Decision Management recognizes that policies and regulations matter as much, sometimes more, than data. Presenting the data and even its analysis to someone who then fails to follow procedure is not helpful. Decision Management combines the policy aspects of a decision with the analytic aspects in a way Operational BI does not.
    9 years ago by @cschie
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    I had an interesting chat with Miko Matsumura VP and Deputy CTO of Software AG the other day. While we ranged widely, the official topic was Software AG’s launch of AlignSpace. AlignSpace is a hosted “Social BPM” solution supporting collaborative process discovery. The idea is that it will combine: Social networking (around process definitions) Collaborative design of processes Translation of a wide variety of process models A process marketplace There aren’t many specific details yet (the site has an overview of these things but no details) but Miko discussed some of the key characteristics he felt an offering would need to deliver on this idea of social BPM: Easy to use, low barrier to entry so those with process know-how but not technical skills (in modeling for instance) can participate. A pricing model that let’s people participate even those with a fairly small role Widespread access so that everyone can participate Independence so that companies are not excluded because of their technology or standards choices. Community - it is not enough to have “social media” features, it must actually build a community around processes A marketplace of experts, skills and information must be created so people can buy and sell process expertise.
    9 years ago by @cschie
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    Overall this looks like a very strong release, especially with some of the core engine enhancements around temporal reasoning, support for XSDs and delarative type modeling. If the commercial vendors did not think they had a real competition on their hands, Mark and his team will prove them wrong with 5.0. Drools 5.0 is not yet ready for release (they are hoping for a November release) but those of you who like playing with, and contributing to, code that is nearly ready can get it from the downloads page (scroll down). Michael Neale posted Drools 5.0 M2 New and Noteworthy Summary recently and Drools 5.0 M1 - New and Noteworthy before that. You can get periodic updates on the world of Drools from Mark and Michael on their blog.
    9 years ago by @cschie
     
      EDMdroolstool
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      Let’s start by recapping decisions services. Decision services are services, generally stateless ones, that answer business questions for other services. Decision Services typically have no side effects so they can be called whenever they are needed without the caller worrying that something will change in the system. This means that database updates, event generation or other actions taken as a result of the decision are taken by the caller not by the Decision Service. This is not 100% true but works as a general rule. To work, Decision Services need to contain all the logic and algorithms necessary to make the decision correctly.
      9 years ago by @cschie
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      Continuing some posts on next generation warranty systems in the build up to speaking at the Warranty Chain management conference I thought I would contrast how current generation warranty systems handle critical decisions with how next generation systems do so.
      9 years ago by @cschie
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      Substitute a standard web services interface for a speaking tube, a business rules management system for his encyclopedic knowledge of policies and regulations, data mining or predictive analytics for his customer knowledge and adaptive control for his experimentation and you have Decision Management. The Answerer but on an industrial scale.
      9 years ago by @cschie
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      RuleXpress is a repository-based tool that can be used offline or in a multi-user environment. Models are stored in a central repository and can be checked out to a local copy and then merged back. Within the tool the key organizing principle is that of a community - a group of people who share the same understanding about their vocabulary and rules. Within this you can have projects but the focus of the tool is on the activity of vocabulary/rule management as an ongoing task. The key activities are to manage vocabulary and rules or, more specifically terms, fact model, rules, decision tables and rule groups.
      9 years ago by @cschie
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