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Decision Modelers – who are they?


DMNBookFrontCoverJan Purchase of LuxMagi and I are working away on our new book, Available now! Real-World Decision Modeling with DMN and one of the questions we have been asking ourselves is who we are aiming the book at – who builds decision models? Jan had a great post on Who Models Business Decisions? recently to address this question and I wanted to point you to it and make two quick observations as it relates to analytic projects (both “hard” data science projects and “soft” business analytics projects) and subject matter experts.

We have done a number of analytic projects using decision models to frame analytic requirements. We work with data scientists using decision models to make sure that the data mining and predictive analytic efforts they are engaged in will connect to improved business results (better decisions) and that the models built can be deployed into production. Decision models put the analytic into context and ensure the analytic team stays focused on the business. We also work with data analysts building dashboards or visualizations. These are sometimes just focused on monitoring the business but increasingly are designed to help someone make decisions. By focusing on the decision making first and then designing a dashboard to help, data analysts avoid letting the structure of the data or the availability of “neat” widgets drive the design. Decision models keep you focused on the business problem – improving decision-making. We have a neat white paper on this too – decision modeling for dashboard projects. Don’t only use decision models on rules projects – use them for analytics too.

We are also increasingly bullish on the ability of subject matter experts, business owners, to participate in decision modeling. Our experience is that the simplicity of the DMN palette combined with the logical structure of a DMN decision model makes it easy for SMEs to participate actively in developing a model. They do have to watch their tendency to describe decision-making sequentially but rapidly pick up the requirements/dependency approach critical to DMN models. Don’t limit DMN decision modeling to modelers and analysts – bring in the business!

Available now! Real-World Decision Modeling with DMN