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Use decision management to make systems smarter


Syndicated from BeyeNetwork

Michael Vizard had an interesting post (via @merv) – Making Business Intelligence Applications Smarter in which he began with the great phrase:

One perplexing oxymoron of IT industry is the simple fact that most business intelligence applications are not all that smart

In Smart (Enough) Systems Neil and I argued that the way to make systems smarter, smart enough to be useful in fact, is to focus analytics on improving the operational decisions that drive the day to day aspects of your business. These micro decisions can and should be improved with analytics and this makes a huge difference because these little decisions add-up – small improvements make a big cumulative difference.

It seems to me that the reason BI applications are not that smart has two causes. The first, the absence of deep analytic tools, is the one Michael identifies. But I think there is a second problem – a failure to focus on the decisions that are going to be made differently. Data mining and predictive analytics can simplify data to amplify its value and turn uncertainty into usable probability. But the value of this will always be limited if it is not focused on decisions. And, I would argue, operational decisions at that. This is the premise of decision management and this is how you can use your data to make your systems smarter.