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Users don’t have analytic skills? Try decision management


Syndicated from BeyeNetwork

Last week I posted Use decision management to make systems smarter and I got two interesting comments. Ronald made an excellent point first:

I don’t think the lack of deep analytic tools is the prime reason for BI not being intelligent. In my opinion it’s the lack of education and skills concerning analytical methods and thinking in the individual as well as the lack of ‘an analytic culture in the organization’- which Davenport also writes about.

This is, of course, true. People tend to look at data in a fairly shallow way and all too often make decisions based on their gut rather than on rigorous analysis of data anyway (as discussed in this post To Hell with Business Intelligence, try Decision Management). George followed up on this by saying:

Going deep to analyze the data available to the organization is great, but if the user getting the output of that is not trained or capable of understanding how to use that information, it is all a waste of effort.

Now while I agree with the two of them I would say one thing about decision management – the users of a decision management system don’t need to know how to use the information or need to have analytic skills. Indeed that’s part of the point – the analysis of the information, the insight that can be derived from it, are embedded into the system and the user simply gets an answer (perhaps a yes/no answer, perhaps a price, perhaps a range of options from which to choose). You still need analytic skills, you just don’t need them in the application’s users.

IBM used a neat phrase when they launched their recent business analytics service line – from decision support to action support.