Roy Schulte of Gartner gave a webinar last week on “Best Practices for Real-Time Analytics and Decision Management”
Digital business is driving CIO and senior IT leader awareness of decision management, an emerging discipline comparable to data management and business process management. Decision management improves business effectiveness by embedding real-time analytics and business rules into the flow of transactional applications and processes.
I have blogged about Roy and some of the work he has done with Lisa Kart and Teresa Jones on approaches to Decision Management and it’s nice to see Gartner continuing to focus on Decision Management as a key component of moving from Predictive to Prescriptive Analytics.
Like me, the folks at Gartner like the OODA Loop – Observe, Orient, Decide and Act (I touched on the role of the OODA Loop in Decision Management in Decision Management Systems, for instance). Within this loop they show Predictive Analytics in the Orient stage as one of a set of pattern identification techniques and then use business rules and optimization technologies as ways to decide what to do (injecting the resulting actions into workflow or BPM systems to ensure they get acted on).
I particularly liked one graphic they used as it mirrors my thinking more or less exactly:
(c) 2015 Gartner Inc.
This shows what I consider the Decision Management best practice – a step in a process where a decision must be made that reaches out to a decision service that then uses business rules and/or analytics to process the relevant data and come up with a decision that the process can then consume. This is how business rules are best used in my experience and is by far the most effective way to apply advanced analytics to a transactional or operational decision.
I also like the fact that Roy talked about building Process Models, Data Models and Decision Models. We are having some great success with Decision Models built with the new Decision Model and Notation standard and it’s the best way (by far) we have found to accurately specify how you want a prescriptive analytic system to operate.
You can watch the replay here (registration required) and I recommend it.