Forrester analyst Mike Gualtieri asks “if analytics does not lead to more informed decisions and more effective actions, then why do it at all?” Specifically in a great post What Exactly The Heck Are Prescriptive Analytics? he says (emphasis mine)
Prescriptive analytics is about using data and analytics to improve decisions and therefore the effectiveness of actions. Isn’t that what all analytics should be about? A hearty “yes” to that because, if analytics does not lead to more informed decisions and more effective actions, then why do it at all?
Enterprises must stop wasting time and money on unactionable analytics. These efforts don’t matter if the resulting analytics don’t lead to better insights and decisions that are specifically linked to measurable business outcomes.
Now he calls it Prescriptive Analytics and we call it Decision Management but we are aligned on the value proposition – operationalized analytic insight. I also really like his focus on the intersection between analytics and business rules (decision logic). As he points out you can wrap business rules around analytics to make them actionable (starting with the analytic) and you can also start with the business rules and use predictive analytics to improve them. The combination of business rules and predictive analytics is the powerful one. And our experience shows that using a decision model, built using the Decision Model and Notation (DMN) approach, is a great way to show how you are going to use these technologies together to make better decisions and how those decisions are specifically linked to measurable business outcomes – metrics or objectives.
In fact I am in Asia this week presenting on a pilot that demonstrates exactly this. We have been developing a decision model and decisioning architecture, implementing that decision model in business rules and using analytics to inform those business rules as part of a pilot for a large enterprise out here. We are excited about the results as they show exactly what Mike – and I – have been saying: That a focus on decisions, tied to business outcomes, modeled and implemented with business rules and analytics leads to better business results.
If you would like to talk about a pilot or other help operationalizing your analytics, get in touch.
Thanks to my colleague Gagan Saxena for spotting this great post