Neil Raden of Hired Brains recently published a new report – “BI is Dead! Long Live BI! Making the Transition From Data to Decisions“. Neil and I go back a ways – he and I wrote Smart Enough Systems: How to Deliver Competitive Advantage by Automating Hidden Decisions, the first book on Decision Management, back in 2007. Neil’s paper has a great list of 12 best practices and he focuses particularly on the need to move from thinking about data to thinking about decisions.
As regular readers of this blog know this is something I am also pretty passionate about. The need to begin with the decision in mind, to focus on the decisions being improved, is critical. As Neil points out in his best practices, the ability of business people to build a model of their business with a degree of abstraction is critical. This is why I focus clients of Decision Management Solutions on identifying, decomposing and modeling the relationships of their decisions before they start applying analytics or writing business rules.
Neil also focuses on the need to define how to make decisions without coding as well as the need to create continuous improvement processes, test and learn cycles, because decision-making is not static. I believe that the set of technologies needed for this is increasingly clear – something to manage decision logic, a way to embed analytic models into this logic, tools to optimize these decisions and a platform for ongoing analysis and improvement – and is described in our report on technologies for Decision Management Systems.
I agree with Neil that the best practices he outlines are critical for analytic success. I believe it is time to move from what we call BI to what we are increasingly calling Decision Management. BI (as it was) is dead, long live Decision Management.